Friendly neighborhood is scheduled to have road repairs this season — and the state of the roads is the only complaint some residents of Friendly have about their area at all.
“They’re already working on the roads, and the roads are what need to be improved,” Friendly Street Market employee Lisa Davis said. “I think that the community itself takes care of themselves.”
Friendly Street Market has survived for around 30 years through two major economic downturns, thanks to the support of community members. Locals are quick to talk about the level of togetherness their neighborhood has. The market’s success is just one example of how Friendly area residents come together to support their community.
“People literally come in and say, ‘Are you guys doing okay?’ and they make an effort to come and shop here just so that we’re in business still,” Davis said.
Eugene is a city where the nearby university produces neighborhoods filled with students who frequently move in and out of homes due to short-term leases. In areas like West University neighborhood, where there are only about 20 homeowners remaining out of about 6,700 people, the high turnover of residents and large number of rented properties can often lead to a lost sense of community.
However, according to homeowners living in the Friendly area, there is a strong sense of community in their part of town. Davis said this feeling of togetherness can be seen from the ability of community members to come together to fix problems.
“When there’s something that needs to be improved or changed, they just do it,” Davis said. “We had a water feature installed in that park over there; community got together and got it done. We have a community garden on Van Buren; community got together and got it done.”
There are several popular parks in the Friendly neighborhood, which residents said can create an agreeable atmosphere.
“For me, (living) right by the park, I get pleasant noises in the day and it’s really quiet at night,” Gita Walling said after taking a break from yard work.
Walling has been a resident of the Friendly neighborhood for almost four years but has been in Eugene for a total of 14 years.
“I chose Friendly because it’s my favorite area of town,” she said.
Alyssa Wagner, as she sat on a bench by the playground with two kids, also said she enjoys the overall experience of Friendly. She said she thinks the name of the area “suits it.”
“There’s lots of kids in the neighborhood,” Wagner said. “You don’t have any problems here. It’s pretty friendly.”