Elections are upon us, and issues nation wide and local call the attention of Americans once again to review and decide what will be important factors to vote on for the future.
Among these national issues are how our future president will deal with domestic and foreign policy, which narrows down to the economy, the involvement with Iran and Syria and the war in Afghanistan. However, issues concerning the nation’s future are not the only concern of the people voting.
Eugene, Oregon has Ballot Measure 20-197, which will use $43 million in bonds to fix streets and fund bicycle and pedestrian projects. Of that amount an annual average of $516,000 would be used to support bicycle and pedestrian projects and the remainder will be applied to fixing streets.
If approved this will allow repairs on 74 lane miles of roads. Ellen Stember, a Eugene resident who bikes everyday, thinks Eugene has a bad pothole problem, “that’d be awesome because Eugene has a lot of potholes and when they just re-did 18th [street] and it was finally like I’m not jumping around the whole entire way.”
Stember is not the only one who is agreement with this Measure. Two University of Oregon students Andrew Deichler and Branden Jensen were in favor for the idea of improvements to bike lanes in Eugene. “With the increasing number of students and being more bike friendly would be nice.” said Deichler. Jensen shows support for the measure because he thinks bike transportation is important but he does not think it is priority number one for Eugene.
The local issues are important to make decisions about but it looks as though Measure 20-197 is in favor by a couple people in Eugene, which is a very bike friendly area according to League of American Bicyclists which rates Eugene as Gold Level in bike friendly rating which is just below Platinum. According to bikeleague.org, “Eugene has a 5.5 percent bicycle mode share – about five times the national average. Eugene has a policy framework that incorporates bicycling and other alternative transportation modes into all aspects of the city’s transportation system, including requirements for new development to accommodate and enhance bicycling and a provision of an integrated system of bikeways throughout the community.”
“Eugene has an impressive annual Business Commute Challenge. The weeklong competition is conducted every October. Companies compete to see which workplace has more employees who bike, walk or take the bus to work. The city also celebrates bicycling through Kidical Mass, the Spring Roll Alley Cat Food Drive, Bike Polo, Bike Brigade Mobile Bike Dance Parties, and more.” reports bikeleague.org.
When asked about the presidential election and what the issues were that should have been touched on more Stember said, “I wish they talked more about medicated Medicare…I’ve noticed both the candidates avoid answering that question because it’s long and complicated and no one wants to talk about the state of Medicare and our entitlements.”