June 20, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Bike parking ‘woefully insufficient’ at Farmer’s Market

5 min read

Public comment at the city’s Active Transportation Committee on June 9:

[00:00:05] Rob Zako: I’m Rob Zako, executive director of Better Eugene Springfield Transportation. And I want to speak this evening about the new Farmer’s Market. My wife and I had a chance to go on Saturday. It is fabulous. I had actually had, I guess I had thought that all the booths would be inside the building and that’s actually not the case.

[00:00:22] It’s like other real cities all over the country where there’s a Farmer’s Market and like a open community area in different rows. And we had great energy and I talked to Horton Road Organics and said, ‘Who gets to be inside and who gets to be outside?’ And they sort of figured it out. Some farmers want to be outside and some farmers want to be inside, and it just sort of worked out

[00:00:43] What does this have to do with transportation? I saw that there’s some new bike racks at the northwest corner, maybe a handful. But the Farmer’s Market is replacing a parking lot. And we’re wanting to get people to not use cars so much and to walk or bike. And it didn’t seem to me, I wasn’t seeing anywhere near the number of bicycle parking spaces that you would think if you have a lot of people biking to the Farmer’s Market, which I and my wife plan to do this summer.

[00:01:07] So I just bring that to your attention. I don’t know if there are plans to install those or to have bicycle valet parking. But I would say right now the bicycle parking that I saw seems to be woefully insufficient.

[00:01:19] Rob Inerfeld: I observed just today, I was at the ribbon-cutting for the Farmer’s Market, and I observed exactly what Rob Zako shared. The space is really, is overprogrammed with just the need for the farmers to have their stalls.

[00:01:32] And afterwards I ran into Will Dowdy, who’s the division manager for the City’s Community Development Department. And I raised this with him and he, and I said, I was disappointed, etc.

[00:01:42] But one of the things I talked with Will about is, maybe we could take one of the car parking spaces on the park street and put a bike corral in there. We didn’t really get into the details of what that would look like, but I think that’s a viable option that we can talk about with them.

[00:01:53] John Q: Flagging a public safety issue, George McDonald.

[00:01:57] George McDonald: My name is George McDonald. I commute every day to University of Oregon and I’ve noticed that almost every day, there’s this car that’s parked at East 13th Avenue.

[00:02:06] And it’s to the point where I see people like pushing strollers or even elderly people with walkers having to go out onto the street to get around it. And I’ve mentioned this to some parking city of Eugene Parking Enforcement staff nearby who said they would take care of it, but it just seems to be perpetually there.

[00:02:23] And so I just wanted to bring it to your attention, not just because I think it’s a little embarrassing in a city that’s supposed to cater to people who walk and bike, that it’s such a dramatic issue, but also it just really seems like safety hazard for me to see pedestrians walking out on the road to get around this car.

[00:02:39] John Q: Later in the meeting, Mary Christensen.

[00:02:42] Mary Christensen: I wanted to say about George’s comment too. We also contacted—this has been going on for months or a month—and we contacted the the property management company three times and they said they would do something about it. I did two times and somebody else did it another time, each time they said they would do something about it, but the car, it just persists and it’s right over the sidewalk and it’s really bad. So it—something needs to happen. Is the City staff going to do something about that or what would be the next appropriate step?

[00:03:10] Cas Casados: So we have contacted Parking Services and while I know that they are very understaffed right now and short on people, we will remind them the request that we made and follow up with them.

[00:03:21] Mary Christensen: Thank you. Could you report back to us, maybe at the next meeting, or even earlier, if you get email, if you get a response or a resolution. Please.

[00:03:32] John Q: The other public comment involved multi-use paths.

[00:03:36] Tom Kreider: My name’s Tom Kreider. I’m a cyclist and a pedestrian on the Eugene multi-use path. I also have a concern about the e-bikes and scooters is, they are generally going at an excessive speed.

[00:03:48] John Q: Tom said Lake Tahoe’s multi-use path shows one way that pedestrians and wheeled traffic can safely co-exist.

[00:03:55] Tom Kreider: Ride on the right, walk on the left, with pedestrians yielding to cyclists.

[00:04:01] John Q: Ride on the right, walk on the left.

[00:04:05] Rob Inerfeld: I think the thing that Tom recommended that’s really would be a change for the City of Eugene would be to have people walking in the opposite direction of traffic, of the bike—the wheeled traffic, right? So he was suggesting that we have it more like on the roads where if someone was walking along the street with no sidewalks, you’d recommend that they walk in the opposite direction of traffic so they could see the oncoming vehicles and make sure that they’re off to the side.

[00:04:27] So, I’m not sure what to do with that. It seemed it would be a big change for the users of the paths in our community. It might be something that ATC wants to talk about, whether you think that’s a viable option. I would imagine there’s probably pros and cons to it. It would, I think, ultimately, the City would have to decide whether or not we supported that, but I think we’d be open to input from the ATC.

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