April 22, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

With the political season underway, we welcome your 3-minute speeches

3 min read
We invite you to prepare and submit your three-minute speeches—on topics of your choosing—throughout the 2024 political season.

The 2024 political season is underway, and we’re discussing the issues as we move toward electing those who will represent us in Eugene, Salem, and Washington D.C.

We’ll be interviewing all the candidates, but we also want to hear from you. We invite you to prepare a three-minute speech on your favorite issue. Here’s longtime activist Randy Prince.

[00:00:20] Randy Prince (Active transportation activist): As political activists, you know, whether you’re testifying at a city council, whether you’re making a presentation, or whether you’re in an elevator, literally: You’ve got the elevator speech concept and you should have a three-minute speech concept and you should have a 12-minute speech concept.

[00:00:37] John Q: With his three-minute speech on active transportation, Randy Prince.

[00:00:41] Randy Prince (Active transportation activist): There is no commitment from the city of Eugene to having a continuous bike system to make sure a person can ride a bike from one place to anywhere in the city.

[00:00:51] The city is systematically destroying the bike system that worked.

[00:00:55] The city’s saying things like, ‘Well, they’re going to tear down the concrete walls around the Amazon Creek, and they’re telling us that they need to park all the equipment on the bike path by South Eugene High School there, so that will be closed for quite a few months.’

[00:01:12] The constant long-term closure of major aspects of the bikeway system: 24th Street for this reconstruction / repaving, I’m sure that’ll be months. The bike path was closed through Amazon Park for many months; the riverfront, a year, a year and a half, two years; major segments being closed for many months, more than any other mode of transportation.

[00:01:39] And look at the High Street project: ‘We can’t get the signal parts. Therefore, you no longer have a bike route on the west side of downtown.’

[00:01:47] I looked at 8th Street and I think they steer them onto the sidewalk. And the Franklin Boulevard roundabouts—no protected bike lane there. If you’re going home from the university to Springfield, you’re going to Glenwood anywhere, going out to the Gateway area: ‘You bicyclists are just going to have to mix in with all the pedestrians that we hope to get.’

[00:02:09] This just goes on and on.

[00:02:11] And when I called LTD (Lane Transit District), they did not know about the proposal to turn 24th into a protected bikeway. Bicyclists will have to stop for those who are going onto a bus and motorists will have zero chance of swinging around a bus that’s stopped to load passengers.

[00:02:30] So it’s not a good look for alternative transportation in Eugene. The city people with the Public Works are inherently hostile. They’re not hostile to get money for a project and spending the money, but as far as putting any effort into having a continuous bike system or effective bus, I mean, there’s nothing.

[00:02:52] The bus has always been second class and the bicyclist is second class and they give lip service to pedestrians, but not where it counts—like in how you walk to a bus stop. And just seeing the deteriorated state of the sidewalks in downtown Eugene—unbelievable, the neglect, and we have an urban renewal district.

[00:03:17] Absent major systemic change in the city of Eugene’s government, I don’t see any way that the current configuration of bicycle advocates and transit advocates is going to turn around an auto-centric orientation in Public Works, which is one of the most influential departments in the city of Eugene.

[00:03:36] John Q: You’re invited to submit your three-minute speeches throughout the 2024 political season. We’ll share as many as we can. Our email and phone numbers are listed on the website, KEPW 97.3 Whole Community News.

Whole Community News

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