Welcome to the River Road neighborhood

The River Road Community Organization (RRCO) involves and represents neighbors to increase the quality of life in the neighborhood.

  • Facilitating civic empowerment in decisions affecting our neighborhood. We work with city and county agencies on development and planning. We provide forums to identify, discuss and resolve neighborhood issues and meet with candidates.
  • Fostering rich social networks and relationships among neighbors. We host regular social events, encourage neighbors to volunteer in the neighborhood, and participate in work parties.
  • Guiding stewardship  of the natural world that we enjoy. We collaborate with the city and other non-profits to maintain public space.

River Road Community Update #181

September 12, 2018

By Carleen Reilly

Weather forecasters say we might have rain west of the Cascades today. It sure would help our firefighters.

Neighborhood Plan (NP) Outreach. Thanks to Louisa and Louie for volunteering to carry clipboards at the Promenade on Sunday. If you know someone isn’t signed up for e-mails, direct them to Louisa and Louie for information about why they need to sign up. If you know of events we need to attend, be sure to let me know: community dinners, garage sales, river or park clean up events, public meetings, you name it.

Focus groupsNP Working Groups. Because I am signed up for two transportation goals, you may hear more from me about how transportation policies are proceeding. You can look on the project website under “Topic Areas” to see compilations of comments from neighbors this fall that working groups are translating into policies and actions. It is mind-breaking work to encapsulate ideas into policies and develop objective, measurable actions. If this is your forte, you can still join in our work. (See the NP sign up link below to ‘Get Involved.’) We will hold another working group on September 27 to finalize draft goals and work on policies and actions coming out of working groups.

Transit. The September 11 Register-Guard had an article on potential projects in transit corridors in the next decade. An online survey is available for comments if you are unable to attend a corridor open house. It will be available until October 10.

The article cites the River Road Corridor as an example, but it doesn’t give the details of the other corridors to get a comparison.

“For example, the analysis estimates that extending EmX service along River Road would cost $78 million to build and $2 million a year to operate, shave eight minutes off the corridor’s existing transit time and displace six homes or businesses.”

What this statement doesn’t say is that EmX would shorten your wait time. It may only shave off 8 minutes of travel time, but it may also shave off several minutes of wait time because EmX arrives every 10 minutes. I know I have currently waited at the bus stop for 20 minutes for the next bus to come.

Neighborhood demographics. The Community Advisory Committee met last night, and a major topic was demographics of River Road and Santa Clara. We looked at age groups, minorities, housing trends, transit trends, neighborhood livability, and on and on. Demographics will shape our NP decision making, whether we are designing roads for families or seniors; cars or bikes; single-family housing or multi-family apartments.

On a related topic, in the Monday, September 10 Register Guard, they looked at Lane County in comparison with other counties and statewide. One citation was that the median household income of Lane County ranks 19th at $45,222, which is well below the statewide median of $53,270. [I did correct the R-G statement to ‘statewide median.’ The R-G stated that it was the ‘average’ household income for the state.] http://www.tfff.org/sites/default/files/OregonByTheNumbers2018.pdf This fact goes a long way toward explaining why housing is so unaffordable to our community members.

Another demographic chart caught my eye. It was posted on Mayor Lucy Vinis’s Facebook page about large differences in life expectancy between various neighborhoods. I was quite surprised and pleased to see large blocks of increased life expectancy in Santa Clara. River Road didn’t stack up quite so well–closer to the middle of the pack, but definitely better than some other blocks of Eugene.

“People who live northeast of the railroad tracks in the River Road area will statistically live 8 years longer than their neighbors to the southwest in the Bethel neighborhood…”

This is a very short article and an easy to understand map about life expectancy.

Calendar

  • SUNDAY, September 16, 2018. 3:00 – 6:00. Promenade. Rosetta Park at Benjamin & Evergreen.
  • TUESDAY, September 25, 5:30 – 7:30, p.m., Moving Ahead – River Road Corridor, Colin Kelly Middle School, 850 Howard Ave, Cafeteria. www.movingahead.org.
  • TUESDAY, September 27, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. NP Working Groups, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 4110 River Road in Santa Clara. Finalize a draft of the goals for each topic area. Bring homework from small groups to continue policy and action work.
  • SUNDAY, September 30, 10:00 to 2:00 Plastics round up. Is anyone planning for neighborhood collection rather than hundreds of vehicles showing up to drop off 3 boxes each? Lane County Waste Management is hosting a collection event at the Glenwood Transfer station, 3100 E 17th Ave., for a SPECIFIC list of household plastics that were dropped from local recycle programs. Go to: www.lanecounty.org/plasticsroundup to learn what is ACCEPTED and how materials must be PREPARED and SORTED for collection day.
  • SUNDAY, October 7, Time TBA. RRCO Pancake Breakfast. Emerald Park on Lake Dr.
  • SUNDAY, October 7, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Film Showing: Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness. River Road Annex, 1055 River Road.
  • WEDNESDAY, October 10, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Making it Happen! Open House. The Planning Division is hosting a project fair showcasing all ongoing Envision Eugene implementation projects. See how our neighborhood planning fits into the larger picture. Eugene Library, Bascom-Tykeson Room, 1st Floor.
  • MONDAY, October 15, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Film Showing: Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness. Emerald Park, Lake Drive.
  • TUESDAY, October 16, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Community Advisory Committee. Location to be announced.

Disclaimer: The RR CRG weekly messages are my personal views and interpretation of community events and neighborhood planning efforts. I am not a Board member of RRCO (River Road Community Organization); SCRRIPT (Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team) has transitioned leadership to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); and I have never been a City employee.


Carleen Reilly has lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. She served on the RRCO board of directors from 2007-2013, and has been involved over the years with the Joint Strategy Team (JuST), the Santa Clara-River Road Outreach and Learning project (SCRROL), and the Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team (SCRRIPT)

She publishes a weekly e-newsletter called “River Road Community Resource Group Newsletter” that focuses on land use, transportation, parks and open spaces, economic development, and Community interests as they are related to our Neighborhood Planning activities in conjunction with the Santa Clara neighborhood. If you would like to subscribe you can contact Carleen at: carleenr |at| gmail dot com.

River Road Community Update #178

August 24, 2018

By Carleen Reilly

It is hard for me to believe it is late August. You know all the cliches about ‘Where did summer go?’ That big turkey on my deck yesterday was a bit startling–looking in the window as I sat typing at the computer. Was that an omen?

Neighborhood Planning (NP). Thanks to Ali Litts, Cameron Ewing, and Joshua Kielas for carrying clipboards on short notice at recent events. Signing people up for regular NP e-mails is crucial to the success of our work. If you are having a garage sale or going to a neighborhood event, I can supply you with a clipboard with information about our NP project. Let me know of your availability to help with outreach.

Arrg! Speaking of signing up for regular e-mails, it appears that some people were inadvertently unsubscribed from the list–including myself. If you did not receive the August 9 or August 13 invitation to the Working Group on August 28, 6:00 to 8:00, you may have been unsubscribed. You can resubscribe by going to the link https://www.eugene-or.gov/3667/Get-Involved.

Working Groups. The upcoming meeting will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Santa Clara, 4110 River Road, from 6:00 to 8:00. New Location!

This working group meeting will set the stage for you to do three things over the next few months:

  1. Review the draft goals of the plan, which will be developed by the Community Advisory Committee at their next meeting
  2. Write draft policies for the neighborhood plan, and
  3. Identify action items to implement the plan

A group exercise will help prepare you to do this work on your own, or in small groups, between August 28th and the next working group meeting in late September.

Please RSVP so we know how many copies of materials to prepare.

Business Outreach. If you know of businesses that would like to engage with other businesses and be informed about NP, let us know. Economic Development is one of our five areas to learn about and incorporate in our plan.

RRCO news. Here are some small morsels gleaned from Monday evening’s RRCO Board meeting. Perhaps you can keep an eye on them to see how they progress.

  • The Goodwill Building has a for lease to retail sign in the window. Do you know anyone who wants to try a start up?
  • The RRCO Board still has a vacant seat. Are you interested?
  • The EUG-ART404 will be working with Cameron Ewing on an art project near the Chamber Connector to welcome people to our neighborhood. Calling all artists and would be artists! Exercise your creative urges.

Calendar

  • WEDNESDAY, August 22, 7:00 p.m. Affordable Housing project, Dayspring Fellowship Church, 1580 River Road. Neighborhood meeting for property planned for affordable housing, north of River Road Dari Mart.
  • SATURDAY, August 25, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Affordable Housing Listening Session. River Road Annex, 1050 River Road. Attendees will prioritize a list of good ideas so the property can be developed appropriate to our needs.
  • August 28, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. NP Working Groups, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 4110 River Road.
  • MONDAY, September 10, 2018. 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. RRCO General Membership Meeting, River Road Annex, 1050 River Road.
  • TUESDAY, September 11, 2018 (Subject to change.) NP Community Advisory Council. Location to be announced later.
  • TUESDAY, September 25, 5:30 – 7:30, p.m., Moving Ahead – River Road Corridor, Colin Kelly Middle School, 850 Howard Ave, Cafeteria.

Disclaimer: The RR CRG weekly messages are my personal views and interpretation of community events and neighborhood planning efforts. I am not a Board member of RRCO (River Road Community Organization); SCRRIPT (Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team) has transitioned leadership to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); and I have never been a City employee.


Carleen Reilly has lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. She served on the RRCO board of directors from 2007-2013, and has been involved over the years with the Joint Strategy Team (JuST), the Santa Clara-River Road Outreach and Learning project (SCRROL), and the Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team (SCRRIPT)

She publishes a weekly e-newsletter called “River Road Community Resource Group Newsletter” that focuses on land use, transportation, parks and open spaces, economic development, and Community interests as they are related to our Neighborhood Planning activities in conjunction with the Santa Clara neighborhood. If you would like to subscribe you can contact Carleen at: carleenr |at| gmail dot com.

River Road Community Update #176

August 8, 2018

By Carleen Reilly

Summer’s here!!! No doubt about it. Hope you are employing all the techniques you know to stay cool. It’s time to pick up that summer reading.

Affordable Housing Tour: About 20 neighbors and city staff toured three affordable housing projects around the community. The first was in our River Road Neighborhood: Turtle Creek near Northwest Expressway. The second was Bascom Village I, and the third was Willakenzie Crossing. To say the least, it was a very hot evening. In a couple of places, we spent time in their well-used community buildings. That took some of the edge off of the heat.

Turtle Creek is a Lane County ‘Homes for Good’ project, located just off of North Park Avenue. It was built in 2008 with 27 units and includes resident services. As an older development, it has fewer energy efficient amenities. Newer projects include solar panels and heat pumps. The community garden is better utilized this year than in other years, but it is still ‘rustic’–in the words of our guide.

Many questions from River Road neighbors circled around environmental topics: community gardens, edible landscaping, water catchment, energy-efficient architectural levels, solar energy production, and efficient heating/cooling equipment. Other questions related to building community and social fabric.

Bascom Village I is run by St. Vincent de Paul and was built in 2016. It is located north of Beltline to the west of Coburg Road. It contains 53 units (at 20 units per acre) and includes a community room, playground, and resident services program. It, too, had a community garden.

Willakenzie Crossing is a Cornerstone Community Housing development. Completed in 2013, it contains 56 units on 2 acres including 16 for disabled adults. This is the only project with extra care for people with mental disabilities. Amenities include community center, resident services, garden plot, and children’s play area. It is also located next to a large open park. Neighbors to the south can meander through Willakenzie Crossing to the park, and they feel welcomed. Adjacent to the project is the Mckenzie Mohawk Grange. Staff emphasized the quality partnerships they have with the Grange and Harlow Neighborhood association had a welcoming party at the Grange when Willakenzie Crossing opened. The Grange continues to hold ice cream socials and holiday parties with the residents. The project feels welcomed to the community in a mutually beneficial relationship.

I was particularly struck by how attractive the housing was in all locations. Nice designs with porches on the front, attractive paint jobs, and beautiful landscaping–lots of open spaces. I didn’t see a weed anywhere, and I know how hard Pat and I have to work to get half-way around our yard each year. All projects have community garden spaces. The garden at Willakenzie has 8 plots, and the residents didn’t step up in the number needed to fill it out; so they handed it over to the children as a growing/learning activity. It was flourishing beautifully!

The amount of green spaces, well landscaped, was awesome. As one of our guides said, these spaces are needed ‘as people spill out of their homes.’ We saw lots of residents on the streets or meandering the sidewalks–finding a breath of fresh air and camaraderie with their neighbors and visiting friends.

The other aspect that I consider central to a thriving community are programs that support the people who live there. The community centers seem to be a busy hub of activities with participation from Food For Lane County, community farmers’ markets–including produce from their community gardens, classes by Extension Services, children’s play areas during classes for parents, homework helpers for children, and a Rising Star program to encourage children to accomplish their goals.

The really touching image that stays with me was when we were standing outside Willakenzie, trying to listen to our guide and feeling very hot, a young girl with her scooter went by on the sidewalk and waved at us. It was such a friendly moment. I understand that residents have been surveyed as to how satisfied they are in living there, its safety, affordability, access to jobs and schools, and sense of it being a healthy environment for their families. We don’t have to take the word of those who build and manage the properties. Reports are available with that resident info. Here is the link: https://www.eugene-or.gov/871/HUD-Consolidated-Plan.

This is all in preparation for the new affordable housing project to be built East of River Road, North of Dari Mart, near Maynard. First hand information about how projects are planned, designed, built, managed, and maintained is valuable in understanding accurately what will occur. A community meeting will be held on WEDNESDAY, August 22, 7:00 p.m. Dayspring Fellowship Church, 1580 River Road.

Beltline Highway paving and road work continues
Two weekends down – Three to go

Calendar:

SATURDAY, August 18, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. RRCO Potluck Picnic at Emerald Park, Structure #2 north of restrooms.) Biodegradable plates and utensils provided.
MONDAY, August 20, 7:00 p.m. RRCO Board meeting. River Road Annex.
TUESDAY, August 21, 6:00 p.m. Neighborhood Planning Community Advisory Committee, North Eugene High School. Planning for our next Neighborhood Planning work groups and Fall public event.
WEDNESDAY, August 22, 7:00 p.m. Dayspring Fellowship Church, 1580 River Road. Neighborhood meeting for property planned for affordable housing, north of River Road Dari Mart.
TUESDAY, August 21, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30, Party in the Parks, Arrowhead Park. Using seven marimbas, singing, drums, and other percussion, Kudana Marimba engages audiences throughout the Pacific Northwest with traditional Zimbabwean music.

Disclaimer: The RR CRG weekly messages are my personal views and interpretation of community events and neighborhood planning efforts. I am not a Board member of RRCO (River Road Community Organization); SCRRIPT (Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team) has transitioned leadership to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); and I have never been a City employee.


Carleen Reilly has lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. She served on the RRCO board of directors from 2007-2013, and has been involved over the years with the Joint Strategy Team (JuST), the Santa Clara-River Road Outreach and Learning project (SCRROL), and the Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team (SCRRIPT)

She publishes a weekly e-newsletter called “River Road Community Resource Group Newsletter” that focuses on land use, transportation, parks and open spaces, economic development, and Community interests as they are related to our Neighborhood Planning activities in conjunction with the Santa Clara neighborhood. If you would like to subscribe you can contact Carleen at: carleenr |at| gmail dot com.