Reaching new ground

Infrastructure issues in Trainsong are small in comparison to past

By Dillon Pilorget

Jeff Althouse smiles with barrels of his Oakshire beer. He is pleased with his spot in the Trainsong Neighborhood, and he says the people there are wonderful.

Employees and residents in the Trainsong Neighborhood cite lack of attention to infrastructure as one of the main problems facing the neighborhood today. While room for improvement remains, members of the community are taking steps to make Trainsong a better place to live, work, and visit.

Jeff Althouse, co-owner of Oakshire Brewing, said although he does not see any big problems with Trainsong, some changes with the setup of the neighborhood might be helpful. “Infrastructure wise it’s a little bit challenging out here,” he said. “There’s no actual public storm water system.” He also said there is not enough parking, some sidewalks need completing, and some public grass needs to be mowed more often.

Looking Glass is one of many social services organizations helping community members in Trainsong.

Katie Amondson, Program Director at Looking Glass Station 7 echoed Althouse’s sentiments and said, “There’s not a lot of places for people to hang out within this area.” This may contribute to the fact that not many people come to Trainsong unless they live there, she said.

Though Trainsong maintains its share of issues, infrastructural and otherwise, community members are taking charge of their neighborhood. Shane Truesdale is a member of the Trainsong Neighborhood Association. He said that the neighborhood has improved immensely in the seven years since he moved in. “When I first moved here it was horrible,” he said. “The park was always full of tweakers, there was a bunch of gangsters that used to live around the corner…the place has really cleaned up a lot since then.”

Shane Truesdale relaxes in a hammock outside his home across from Trainsong Park. He is involved with community improvement efforts and is hopeful for the future of the neighborhood.

Neighborhood leaders like Truesdale are partly responsible for the improvements that Trainsong has seen. The neighborhood association has begun to plan events in the park to encourage a sense of community among the neighbors, and it has also implemented a neighborhood watch, Truesdale said.

The City of Eugene has also stepped up to contribute to revamping Trainsong. It gave the neighborhood association grants to clean up the park and also planted trees. The Eugene Police have also increased their patrol of the neighborhood. “That’s helped out quite a bit,” Truesdale said.

Amondson’s ideas for what might make the neighborhood stronger seem to reflect current efforts. She said that for things to get better, the community members will likely need to continue to connecting to one another. More meeting and social places aside from the park might help with this, she said.

Althouse suggested that some road improvement might make Trainsong more accessible to visitors and friendly for residents and employees, an issue that Amondson also mentioned.

Truesdale is confident in the progress that Trainsong has made and doesn’t see any problems that aren’t already being addressed. “I think if we just keep moving forward the way we have been and stay a community, I think it should be fine,” he said.

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