by Claire Roth
BEST recently provided Eugene and Lane Transit District officials with an analysis of what has changed with MovingAhead since the public hearing 2-1/2 years ago and offered recommendations for next steps to ensure success.
In a 6-page memo to the Eugene City Council and Lane Transit District Board of Directors (full text below), BEST recently reiterated its support for the staff recommendation for MovingAhead:
- River Road: EmX
- Highway 99: Enhanced Corridor
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.: Enhanced Corridor
- Coburg Road: Enhanced Corridor
- 30th Avenue to LCC: No-Build
BEST also underscored, “taxpayers want to see a return on investment to benefit the community more with limited public dollars.”
BEST noted changes relevant to MovingAhead since the last public hearing in October 2019. These include the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel patterns, the impact of the war in Ukraine on gas prices, the City of Eugene’s work on middle housing, LTD’s dropping of its Transit Tomorrow study, and the recently adopted federal transportation investment package.
BEST concluded that these changes argued for adopting MovingAhead now to take advantage of federal funding opportunities, but to proceed more incrementally with the less expensive Enhanced Corridor alternatives and/or further study. An exception is River Road, where a combination of neighborhood support and wide right-of-way make the EmX alternative attractive.
Looking ahead, BEST offered a prioritized list of next steps.
- First proceed with Eugene’s Franklin Boulevard Transformation, for which there is already significant federal and state funding committed.
- Second, BEST calls on LTD to adopt a 10-year strategic business plan to map out planned capital investments, changes to service, and how to pay for these.
- Finally, BEST recommends pursuing the five MovingAhead corridors in order of opportunity: River Road, Highway 99, Martin Luther King., Jr. Blvd., Coburg Road, and 30th Avenue to LCC. Moreover, as each corridor presents unique challenges and opportunities, each should be approached appropriately.
On Monday, March 14, the Eugene City Council is scheduled to adopt MovingAhead.
On Wednesday, March 16, the LTD Board of Directors is expected to follow suit.
BEST, Eugene Chamber support MovingAhead (BEST, 2/28/22)
Enhanced Corridor PLUS (BEST, 10/21/19)
MovingAhead Analysis and Recommendations (BEST, 10/14/19)
Officials will vote soon on MovingAhead concept plans, but there are still chances to weigh in (Register-Guard, 3/7/22)