Eugene cyclist approve measure that will repair damaged streets

Bicycles locked at the Public Safety Department on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Ore. (Photo by Nicholas Filipas)

Bicyclist stand behind measure 20-197 that will ensure safer and smoother roads for cyclists.

By Lauryn Newson

J361 Reporter

Eugene, OR- As election day is nearing closer, some of the nation’s more import issues like the deficit and healthcare are getting the most attention by media.  While those issues are still important, Eugene cyclists will be keeping an eye on some of the more local issues that affect the way they ride.

Eugene has gone great lengths to accommodate bikers by improving roads and creating safe paths that will keep cyclists out of danger.  Nonetheless, there is always room for improvement according to the implications of Ballot Measure 20-197.

If approved, Ballot Measure 20-197 will use bond proceeds to fix 74 lane miles of road as well as fund bicycle and pedestrian projects.  The measure will accumulate $8 million in revenue annually.  Out of that income, $516,000 will go to projects while the remainder will be used to fix damaged roads and pay bond issuance costs.

Eugene resident Ellen Stember felt that the measure was just what the city needed due to some her bumpy encounters with potholes.  “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.”  She continued on and said, “I feel like Eugene has a really bad pothole problem,  especially like there bike lanes.  They’re not really fun.  They’re usually really painful.” Stember also felt as though Eugene is really bike friendly already, but still has a lot of upkeep to do.  However, she thinks that the city is fully aware of the conditions of the roads and are doing their best to make them better for riders.

Locals recognize the improvements that Eugene has made to the roads since 2008 when bond measure 20-197 first passed, but would not mind seeing further enhancements to the streets.  Like Stember, University of Oregon  student Andrew Deichler was in favor of the measure. “With the increasing number of students, being more bike friendly would be nice” said Deichler.  For the most part, Deichler felt as though Eugene was fairly bike friendly, with the exception of some areas.  However, student Branden Jensen felt as though the street repair issue holds some significance, but is not the most important issue Eugene is facing.

After Bond Measure 20-197 was passed for the first time in 2008, countless numbers of roads were fixed in Eugene creating an environment that invites locals to use biking as an alternative mode of transportation.  Many local biking communities such as GEARs are endorsing Measure 20-197 with hopes to raise awareness of the issues regarding street repairs.

The Eugene City Council has voted to place Measure 20-197 on the November 6 ballot.  According to the City of Eugene Voters’ Pamphlet, the bonds will cost $43 million, which will be paid for through city property taxes.

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