Amazon neighborhood residents of Eugene are upset at the University of Oregon students cluttering their neighborhood and using their streets as a parking lot as discussed at the Steering Committee meeting, Monday, May 9.
The meeting, located in an event room at Hilyard Community Center, residents, city officials and faculty at the University gathered to discuss the parking issue in hopes of generating ideas for redirecting student parking. Residents and city employees brought up many options for keeping students parking elsewhere, or not driving at all. The meeting did not end with a set plan of action to solve the issue, but residents raised questions and were able to voice their opinions.
Chris Walkup, who lives on 24th Avenue and Emerald Street, attended the Steering Committee meeting to open the discussion on the issue of students and faculty parking in his neighborhood. Walkup’s home on 24th Avenue is a busy street in general, and the added cars make trash pickup difficult along with other concerns like guest parking and creating dangerous traffic for bikers and pedestrians.
The Parking Services Manager of Eugene, Jeff Petry, said the city has no long term plans to alleviate the problem on the residential streets, but the City Traffic Engineer, Tom Larson, said there might be restrictions within the next two years for the neighborhood’s intersections. By placing parking restrictions at the curbs near the intersections, bikers, cars and pedestrians can have better visibility of each other and reduce the number of accidents.
University of Oregon students have been straying from parking near campus due to the increase in meter parking and two hour parking zones. More students are not willing to pay the parking permit fees or risk getting a parking ticket. Gwen Bolden, the Director of Park and Transport at the University, said the UO discourages freshmen from bringing their cars, but does not have any other plans to combat the overflow of cars parking around campus. “There are options out there, but there’s nothing that we’ve looked at to this point yet,” Bolden said. “It’s very important to make sure neighbors’ concerns are being met.”
To meet the neighbors’ concerns, the city will likely implement two hour parking in the areas surrounding 24th Avenue within the coming years.
In other business the residents also brought up issues of the maintenance of Amazon Park regarding the flooding of the running trails and the Dog Park. Another important concern is the hopeful repaving of the skate park to smooth concrete to increase the safety of the skateboarders.