Neighborhoods will celebrate Eugene’s first annual ‘Make Way Day’ this month. The tradition started in Ireland, according to an organizer who spoke to the city council earlier this year.
Joan Medina: My name’s Joan Medina. Getting outdoors and appreciating nature is one of the many benefits of living in Eugene. My husband and I recently retired and decided to move here so that we could enjoy Eugene’s natural beauty. We love walking to the stores and to the parks.
[00:00:30] As we were walking and exploring the area, we noticed how many sidewalks are in disrepair and include tripping hazards. Other places are inaccessible because of overhanging branches, parked cars, thorny bushes, and overgrown hedges.
[00:00:49] We have seen wheelchair users traveling on the street because the sidewalks are inaccessible.
[00:00:56] This is a concern for people with mobility disabilities, people who are blind, and the elderly. Accessing our communities is an important human right and creating accessible and inclusive spaces is a social responsibility.
[00:01:15] For the past few years, cities across the world have celebrated ‘Make Way Day.’
[00:01:20] This day began in Ireland to raise awareness about the needs of people with disabilities in public spaces. Communities come together to make the sidewalks in front of their homes accessible by trimming overhanging branches and vegetation, and by repairing cracks and tripping hazards.
[00:01:42] We propose celebrating ‘Make Way Day’ here in Eugene. It could be an impactful, community-building and decisive day of action to improve access for everyone.
[00:01:55] The city of Eugene is a beautiful place to live and thrive. Let’s start our own ‘Make Way Day’ and make Eugene accessible for everyone.
[00:02:14] Also this month, city transportation planners share the latest news on sidewalk funding. The Zoom meeting Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. will highlight potential funding sources for construction and maintenance.
[00:02:28] To join neighbors helping neighbors and hear the latest on funding for safe sidewalks, contact your neighborhood association.