BY RUBEN GARCIA
EUGENE, Ore. –
In the Jefferson Westside Neighbors neighborhood, everything seems great. The lawns are freshly mowed. The sun gleams against the sidewalk and heats the surrounding area. A fresh breeze counterbalances the subtle springtime heat. Residents are happy. Here sits a happy neighborhood full of all sorts of different types of people. You’ll find that in Eugene. As great as the residents say this neighborhood is, there are some concerns that the residents of Jefferson Westside Neighbors have.
Business owner Nicki Miles spends most of her afternoons watching her daughter ice skate at the Ice Center, located in the western part of Jefferson Westside Neighbors. Aside from the Ice Center, Miles enjoys the entire atmosphere of the neighborhood. “We love how laid back it is. The diversity of the people and everybody seems to be really friendly,” said Miles. To Miles the people in the neighborhood are great but getting to the ice rink is a concern, “The transportation could use maybe a little bit of work, more paths, walking paths that sort of thing.” Getting around by foot is a concern for Miles, but so is getting around in her car. The Ice Center sits on a one-way street and one-way streets are not to Miles’s liking. “I hate the one way streets” said Miles. Transposition is a nuisance for residents in the neighborhood, but so is the crime.
Rachel Moreno, biology major at the University of Oregon, loves the neighborhood but can do without the crime. “There’s a lot of break-ins,” said Moreno. Crime is never a good thing, especially in a neighborhood that looks perfect on the outside. Moreno did not mention as to why she thinks there are lot a of break-ins in the area, but Nicki Miles may have the answer, “You get a lot of Eugenian type people.” She did not mention any negative things about these type of people, but Eugene does have a certain type of people that does come to mind. Without those people wandering around the neighborhood, JWN would improve.
Another improvement that store manager at Pro Sound & Audio Dan Reyhle believes can take place, is lessening the gap between JWN residents and the students at the University of Oregon. Reyhle said, “I feel like the two are separate entities”. This may come as a shock to most. Without the University of Oregon, Eugene would have a different atmosphere. There would no powerhouse football team. There would be no revenue coming in from the school. Eugene and the school seem integrated but to Reyhle, this is not the case. “If you go anywhere in Lawrence. It is all KU, KU, KU.” Go Ducks is a national tagline, but Kansas’s Rock Chalk Jay Hawk is a little more catchy. Whatever the case may be Reyhle wants the University of Oregon and the rest of his neighborhood, to be more like the University of Kansas and the rest of Lawrence.
Happy residents have deep concerns. Here in the Jefferson Westside Neighbors neighborhood, there is a lot of positives and few negatives, but residents have spoken and action needs to take place.