Cloth Masks Are Still Available

Handmade cloth masks are still available if you are living in River Road and could use one. A special thanks to the mask makers who stepped up, Carol W. and Yoko B, for donating masks to the neighborhood! If you would like to pick one up you can let us know by emailing masks (at) riverroadco (dot) org.

River Road Community Update #255

By Carleen Reilly

Coronavirus, Neighborhood Planning, and meeting cancellation. Well, dear friends, a lot has changed on the health front since my last message to you. Info about how to take care of yourself, family, friends, neighbors, and the larger community abound. Thus, I will not repeat it here. This crisis makes us particularly aware that building community connectedness is critical to health, well-being, and survival. This crisis thoroughly reveals ‘why’ ‘Community’ has been built permanently into our neighborhood planning efforts.

This link isn’t the most recent version of the draft plan, but it covers all categories. Most changes are to combine, wordsmith, and move actions from one category to the other. Please look at the Community goals, policies, and actions. Some of the critical work supports our vital services, like fire protection, water delivery, law enforcement, and emergency preparedness. https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/48190/November-2019-Draft-of-Goals-Policies-and-Actions

As a result of the virus, most community meetings have been cancelled, including our Land Use Conversations. 🙁 If you were planning to attend something, you may want to check to see if it has been cancelled.

RRCO Board meeting. Monday evening, the RRCO Board met virtually. Joshua Kielas set things up on Zoom, and members carried on! Here’s an iteration of meetings cancelled that are known:

  • Land Use Conversations
  • Affordable Housing Meeting
  • Coffee with the Chief at Black Rock
  • Mulch-a-Palooza (rescheduling uncertain)
  • Community Advisory Committee meeting was not scheduled for Spring Vacation.
  • River Road Park and Recreation District classes and activities are closed from March 14 through March 31. Reassessment will be made later. Scheduling for Spring classes continues by phone at 541-688-4052 or message through their Facebook page.

The March General meeting was discussed. Contact will be made with candidates to see if they would submit information about their qualifications and proposals for their races that could be distributed to neighbors. Another option is to hold a ‘virtual’ meeting with the neighborhood, just as the RRCO Board had, if the candidates are also willing to participate. It is time to employ 21st century technology to keep ourselves connected and make progress on our projects.

  • WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2020, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations. Cancelled.
  • FRIDAY, March 20, 2020, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Police Chief Skinner.  Cancelled. 
  • SATURDAY, March 21, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00. Mulch-A-Palooza 2020.  Cancelled.
  • TUESDAY, April 7, 2020, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations.  Cancelled.
  • SATURDAY, April 18, 2020, 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. Annual Awbrey Park Wildflower Walk and Santa Clara Community Celebration. 

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 #248

By Carleen Reilly

I was remiss last week in not providing Andy Kading’s email address to you. Andy works at Eugene’s Traffic Operations and informed neighbors at the River Road Community Organization (RRCO) January meeting about traffic signal lights and how they are synchronized. I didn’t have his email available a couple of weeks ago, but members of the RR CRG sent it to me. AKading@eugene-or.gov Our members are a fount of wisdom.

Land Use Conversations. Pat and I attended the first Conversation, held at Countryside Pizza, Monday at Noon. We had a full house and a lively discussion about the draft proposals for zoning along the River Road Corridor for housing and commercial activities. The best thing you can do is sign up to attend a Conversation (See Calendar), listen to others, and provide your views. We received a postcard in the mail yesterday, so you have a hard copy to square with your calendar. What I have to say here are my personal views, and other Conversations may center on different areas of the neighborhoods than ours did.

My first observation was that nearly all land use questions morphed into transportation questions. As we add new housing, new people in our neighborhoods will need to get to school or work, need to buy groceries, go to doctor’s appointments, attend lectures and meetings, and travel to visit friends and family. When new dwellings are added to current parcels–one at a time, no traffic impact analysis would be conducted. Is there a way we could conduct annual traffic analyses to give us indicators about traffic trends and implement more incentives for people to use public transit, or bike and walk? Employers might give employees a bonus if they use public transit, bike, or walk to work. I think it might be seen as vindictive if employers charged their employees for driving and the use of a parking lot. There are times an employee needs to drive in order to get to a doctor or dentist appointment or go to an event after work.

Then, a question arises as to whether our neighborhood plan would require parking be provided on the property for each dwelling. River Road and Santa Clara have a particular problem in that our lanes are narrow, often just two vehicle lanes and fog lines on either side. When neighbors park their cars in the rights-of-way, it makes walking or biking dangerous. Pat and I sometimes see a woman in her wheelchair early mornings, ‘walking’ her dog. She has to go quite a ways out into the traffic lane to go around parked cars. This puts her in the line of fire as she is unable to maneuver quickly when vehicles come around the corner.

Another area of discussion was about agricultural land within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). I see this as a trade off. Some are adamant about protecting this ag land, but, I am adamant about protecting the large agricultural area beyond the UGB and the City Limits. I would love it if every parcel had its own garden, but if we do not provide sufficient parcels for housing within the UGB, then we will have to extend the UGB to bring in additional land for housing, encroaching on ag land. One thing we learned in Envision Eugene, some 9+ years ago, was that when you take in more territory, you would want to build single-family housing, because it would produce fewer vehicles commuting for jobs and school than large apartment complexes.

A related topic is to provide adequate land to add sufficient housing for new residents, both within our neighborhoods and the larger community. One comment was that this concept extends zoning too far out into the neighborhood (1/4 mile). First of all, House Bill 2001 only allows (not mandates) an owner to add another dwelling unit to their parcel, if they choose to. My fear is that if we plan to add most new dwelling units closer to the corridor, then we would have to build such tall apartment houses–close together–along the corridor that it would feel like a canyon when you walk or ride along River Road. I would rather have people have the opportunity to build further out into the neighborhood, scattering the new dwellings, and providing a variety of housing (rather than big blocks of housing going up all at once).

A powerful comment was made about how to provide housing for the unhoused. I am very proud of our neighborhoods’ welcome of affordable housing. We are lucky that our affordable housing is currently very well managed and great community assets. Many people and groups are working toward providing dwellings for unhoused and underhoused people, and the City and County are cooperating to locate parcels and finding funds to underwrite this effort. The state has recently provided additional funds for housing the unhoused for out community and around Oregon. But, as long as people have private property rights, we do not have mechanisms to require that dwellings built be affordable. We can set zoning across an area, but setbacks, heights, and  limits won’t keep someone from choosing to build a McMansion. Incentives like MUPTI (Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemptions) could be used to encourage more affordable dwelling units or even ADA units for seniors and physically impaired people.

I heard a piece of transportation-related data that affordable housing groups have fewer cars and utilize public transit to a greater extent than other market-rate apartment or single-family residents. This bodes well in our efforts to transition from single-vehicle trips to public transit or walking and biking.

I hope you will attend a Conversation and get your copy of the Corridor map that shows proposed housing and commercial concepts with specifics about zoning setbacks, heights, buffering, and details. Make your own educated conclusion of how these concepts will work on your street and in your life, then provide information to help make the best decisions for our community overall.

Calendar

  • THURSDAY, January 30, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations. Santa Clara. RSVP for meeting location. cepddrrscplan@ci.eugene.or.us
  • THURSDAY, February 6, 2020, 7:00 p.m. Santa Clara Community Organization. Messiah Lutheran Church.
  • THURSDAY, February 6, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations. River Road. RSVP for meeting location. cepddrrscplan@ci.eugene.or.us
  • MONDAY, February 10, 2020, 7:00 p.m. River Road Community Organization General Membership meeting.  River Road Annex, 1055 River Road.
  • WEDNESDAY, February 12, 2020, Noon to 1:30 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations. River Road. RSVP for meeting location. cepddrrscplan@ci.eugene.or.us
  • THURSDAY, February 13, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations. River Road. RSVP for meeting location. cepddrrscplan@ci.eugene.or.us
  • MONDAY, February 17, 2020. River Road Community Organization Board meeting. River Road Annex, 1055 River Road.
  • MONDAY, February 24, 2020, 11:30 a.m. Eugene Planning Commission. Work Session on River Road/Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan. Atrium, Sloat Room, 99 West 10th Avenue.
  • MONDAY, February 24, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations. Santa Clara. RSVP for meeting location. cepddrrscplan@ci.eugene.or.us
  • WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Let’s Talk Land: Neighborhood Plan Community Conversations. River Road. RSVP for meeting location. cepddrrscplan@ci.eugene.or.us

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.

RRCO Lawn Signs Are Now Available!

RRCO Lawn Sign

Now you can help strengthen our local community and make a statement in support of River Road being a welcoming and inclusive neighborhood….right from the comfort of your own front yard! The sign has two sides, one in English and the other Spanish. They are available for $12 each, which is our cost.

There are now two ways for you to get your own lawn sign:

Pushing Back on Cars Presentation

Presentation by Jan Spencer
Tuesday, Dec 3, 6:30
River Road Recreation Center, 1400 Lake Drive, River Road Neighborhood

A growing number of cities and towns all over the world are pushing back on cars. Parklets, Intersection Repair, community plazas, congestion pricing, redesign of streets and limiting cars and trucks from city centers are only a few push back approaches. Nijmegen and Groningen, Holland; Copenhagen, Oslo and Madrid can boast of impressive strategies – and results – for encouraging bike, walking or transit trips rather than cars. Barcelona, Spain’s Super Block Program is perhaps the world’s most ambitious effort at car push back to reclaim streets for people, public health and livability. Even New York City is active in pushing back on cars.

Pushing back on cars can happen at home as well – take out the driveway and replace with food production, turn a garage into living space.

The Dec 3 slide show/presentation will touch on the history of pushing back on cars in the US, describing highways in the US that have been removed such as the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco and highways prevented such as the Southwest Corridor in Boston. Critical Mass bike rides and Parking Day are grass roots examples of pushing back on cars. Eugene’s Sunday Streets is a mild push back on cars.

Times Square in NYC is only the most well known example of dozens of Community Plazas in New York City. The Vauban Neighborhood in Freiberg, Germany is a vacated and repurposed French military base that was purposefully designed to dramatically reduce the presence and use of cars. In Eugene, turning River Road into an EmX corridor would also include new bike lane design that would give bike riders much greater protection from car traffic.

Jan will also show a new proposed bike map of Eugene that would take lanes of traffic from various streets and turn them into a city wide network of protected bike ways.

Finally, a review – the benefits of pushing back on cars.

Please join us for a fascinating presentation and Please forward this message.

More info at http://suburbanpermaculture.org and related podcasts at https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/creating-a-resilient-future

This image from Groningen, Holland. A small city with a population about the same as Eugene and Springfield. The scene show part of the bike park at the railway station.

Another town in Holland. Car free center of the city. You cannot drive across town.You have to go out to the ring road and drive in. Its faster and easier to ride a bike for trips between neighborhoods.

Resilience Festival Followup and Video

Over 300 people enjoyed the Community Resilience Festival on Aug 24th! They browsed, tabled, heard about solutions for resilience from speakers, and collaborated on ideas for community action such as a local food system network. A banner was created to represent River Road in the Eugene Parade. Thanks to all who participated and made this event such a success!

There are pictures and comments on https://www.facebook.com/River-Road-Community-Organization

If you weren’t able to make it but are interested in seeing some of what happened you can watch video that has graciously been taken and made available by Todd Boyle.

Plenary Talks:
Jan Spencer – “Towards A Green and Resilient Culture and Economy”
https://youtu.be/YSaLrs7iFjs?t=325
Terry McDonald, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul – “St. Vinnies Builds Community Economic Resilience”
https://youtu.be/YSaLrs7iFjs?t=1032
Charlie Tilt and Kate Perle – “Local Food Systems Build Regional Resilience”
https://youtu.be/YSaLrs7iFjs?t=1622
Clare Strawn – “Creating a Regenerative and Resilient Local Economy”
https://youtu.be/YSaLrs7iFjs?t=3377

Residential Coops:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8cjoEIy9v0&t=1449s
Skeeter Duke – East Blair Housing Cooperative
Rob Bolman – Maitreya Eco Village
Tom Atlee – Walnut Street Co-op
Joanne Fox – PDX Commons, Portland

Two Weeks Until Showtime!

We are only 2 weeks from the Community Resilience Festival. One of the most rewarding parts of helping to create an event is seeing it come into focus.  And another great part is working with friends and neighbors for the good of the neighborhood and good of the planet.  Its awesome to see people becoming involved, to see the creative ideas turn into plans and then, of course, the day of the event.

The event will have a lot of moving pieces – the round table conversations, the fishbowls, skill shares out at the pavilion along with the Kid Zone.  We look forward to the key note presentations and seeing all the community groups tabling, sharing their passion for all kinds of actions and ideals that are all part of a more green and resilient home, neighborhood, economy and culture.

The Resilience Festival now has a food truck. Not only does The Peaceful Palette have a great menu of eco-friendly vegan food, you can bring your own dinnerware and totally avoid the throw away plate, cup and plastic.  Bring your own!

Did someone say site tours?  We have an exciting month following the ‘fest of site tours [Aug 17, 31, Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28, Oct TBA] all over Eugene to see in real life what much of the discussion at the Resilience Festival will talk about – people living with smaller eco-footprints.  Tours will visit residential properties in River Road, Amazon, Whiteaker, Friendly and Jefferson Neighborhoods. 

We will visit East Blair Housing Co-op and Maitreya Eco Village and the Neighborhood Assembly of God’s market garden and outreach project.  Our final tour will be the Willamette Greenway in River Road where neighbors collaborate with the city for low/no use of herbicides, removal of invasive species and restoration of habitat, along with the wonderful 65 tree filbert grove.

So please join us!  Share your story about how you are living more green and resilient!

River Road Community Update #228

By Carleen Reilly

I wasn’t expecting cloudy weather in early August. I’m not complaining. I like being a little cooler.

Hawthorne area Block Party/Public Safety. Last night’s event was more Block Party and less public safety. However, neighbors commented that it was good to get acquainted with one another and be able to recognize who belonged in the ‘hood. I did hear a story of a burglary in that area. I also noticed on Facebook that a Cherry/Park Ave home was robbed in the middle of the night, even though a house sitter was sleeping there. They broke in through a window that had a fan in it. Do be careful to keep things locked up. No use in giving burglars easy entry.

I must say that the Block Party was a Walk of Guilty Pleasures. I had allotted us an hour to make our rounds, but it was closer to two hours for our jaunt. We thoroughly enjoyed stopping here and there, introducing ourselves, meeting people who were born in the neighborhood and neighbors who are new, chatting and hearing stories about walnut and peach orchards and gruff Mr. Goddard who chastised the children for picking ripe peaches. We listened to some good guitar music and ‘perused’ a few ‘Monster’ books hand drawn by children with wild and wacky names for each monster.

But you can only eat so much watermelon; drink so much juice, water, or wine; and munch chips, dip, and cookies. I can’t tell you how fabulous the people were, both the hosts and the walkers. But I had multiple pangs of guilt as we walked right by three out of four neighbors who had set up chairs in their driveways or backyards to welcome visitors. I particularly felt guilty when we had to turn down two little girls with their free lemonade. I regret not being able to see the lovely backyards and gardens that were opened and made welcoming. We passed right by the man who was handing out free plants. And I am really sad that we didn’t get to see the steam engine train that was out on a run with passengers. I would never have guessed that we had a train in our River Road neighborhood. We are so lucky to have so many friendly, open people here.

If someone has a Block Party in our neighborhood again, I encourage you to participate and allow enough time so your don’t go away feeling guilty.

RRCO meeting. Our elected State legislators, City, County, EWEB, and other government officials will be on hand to share with neighbors and listen to our questions. The meeting is on August 12, 7:00 River Road Annex, 1055 River Road.

Neighborhood Planning CAC meeting. Don’t forget the Community Advisory Committee meeting on August 13, 6:00 p.m. at the 2nd & Chamber Fire Station. A River Road Corridor Study survey will be ready mid-August. The survey will include templates with options for styles of housing and commercial development. A public comment time is available at the beginning of the CAC meeting. Your thoughts are important on land use, transportation, economic development, parks and open spaces, and community (delivery of services, governance, building of social fabric, etc.).

Community Resilience Festival.Saturday, August 24, 10:00 to 5:00, Emerald Park, 1400 Lake Dr. This free and family-friendly event will be an opportunity to learn how to reduce your eco-footprint and survive a crisis with home grown food, water, and energy. Make some art and meet neighbors. Discussions will be held on the topics of housing and density, transportation projects, and parks. Check out the official page for more info.

Plastics Recycling. Kelly Bell at Lane County sent me tons of information about plastics recycling. If you are interested in what you can or cannot recycle or want to register to be neighborhood collector of plastics, please send me a note, and I will forward detailed accurate information. No more wondering what is permitted and what just has to be thrown out–even if it breaks your heart.

Transportation funding. When I listen to neighbors talk about transportation projects, knowledge about funding is limited. People don’t realize that bike/ped projects cannot be funded by gas taxes wholly dedicated to roads for vehicles. Even though the bike/ped path runs alongside the road, they are funded separately. You can learn more about funding transportation projects at https://keeporegonconnected.org/
As people drive more efficient hybrid and electric vehicles, we are paying fewer taxes. That creates a shortfall in funding for maintenance and preservation of roads, including seismic upgrades. Here are a few facts.

“Oregon has about 74,000 miles of roads and more than 8,000 bridges, connecting residents and visitors to their favorite places,” … most people who drive those highways and crossings don’t pause to think about their future maintenance and preservation.”

“Oregon raises money to take care of roads and bridges through a gas tax paid at the pump and vehicle fees. With more vehicles getting much better fuel efficiency, many people are paying less in gas taxes while using the road just as much. OReGO was designed to ensure drivers pay for what they use – miles of road – instead of what they consume – gallons of fuel. But most people don’t know a lot about how they pay for roads.”

“…to help Oregonians understand the transportation funding problem, what it means for them and how OReGO works to solve it,… ODOT will be at community events around the state now through 2020, beginning with the Oregon State Fair in Salem, August 23-25. Follow ODOT on Facebook or on Twitter @OregonDOT to learn about future Keep Oregon Connected events.”

I am encouraged also by the transportation bill passed by the legislature a couple of years ago that included mechanisms other than gas taxes to fund bike and pedestrian projects. Another stream of funding is the only way we will get to the multi-modal future that we want to live in. 

Calendar 

  • July 1 to August 29. Working Groups, CAC, and Individuals fine tune final draft of goals, policies, and actions.
  • MONDAY, August 12, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. River Road Community Organization. Evening with our elected officials: legislators, City Councilor, County Commissioner, EWEB Commissioner, and Water and Park District members. River Road Annex, 1055 River Road.
  • TUESDAY, August 13, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Neighborhood Planning Community Advisory Committee. Your public comments are welcomed. Firestation at 2nd and Chambers. Come to the south side door to get in.
  • THURSDAY, August 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. <AStuart@eugene-or.gov>
  • SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Community Resilience Festival. Emerald Park. Contact Jan Spencer for details. <janrspencer@gmail.com>
  • SATURDAY, August 31, 8:00 to 2:00 & September 1, 10:00 to 1:00. Fundraiser for River Road Santa Clara Volunteer Library. Huge book sale. Free Pancake Breakfast on Saturday. Irving Grange, 1011 Irvington Drive.
  • September 2019. Next NP Community Event.
  • THURSDAY, September 2, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. <AStuart@eugene-or.gov>

Useful Links:

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 #225

By Carleen Reilly

It’s strange to wake up to so many cloudy days in July, but it does keep us a little cooler. That’s okay with me.

River Road Neighborhood Walk with the Mayor! We finally have specific details for our walk with Mayor Lucy Vinis on Saturday, July 27. We’ve done some finessing to accommodate Mayor Vinis’s schedule. Reality Kitchen expects us to trickle in between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. if you want to purchase coffee and/or a goodie. Lucy will join us about 9:30, along with the City’s Sustainability Manager Chelsea Clinton. We’ll round ourselves up by 9:45 to head out on the Rasor Ave. path to the West Bank Trail. We’ll be walking about 1.2 miles. We’re planning to arrive about 10:30 at the Kittleson’s on Elkay for some cool refreshments and share insights from our walk. Lucy has to leave by 11:00.

This is a chance to get our feet on the ground and eyes on the built and natural environment to be informed neighbors as we draw our Neighborhood Plan. Some obvious conversations will circle around protections for the Willamette Greenway, parks, bike and pedestrian paths, economic development, traffic safety along River Road and the Lanes, housing including lot sizes and styles of homes and what’s needed to accommodate new neighbors, trees, gardens, landscaping, stormwater drainage, schools and Safe Routes to Schools, public transit/bus services, and whatever else is on our neighbors’ minds.

Let me know if you are planning to participate. We have about a dozen people signed up, and we can accommodate about eight more.

Wear your sunhat, bring your water bottle, and put on sunscreen. We’ll stash some cars at the Kittleson’s to ferry you back to Reality Kitchen if you left your car or bicycle there. This should be a child and pet-friendly walk, as long as your dog interacts well with other dogs. We assume the people will act equally appropriate. This is a special opportunity for us to learn from our environment and from one another.

National Night Out. Neighbors in the Hawthorne Ave., Hardy, Dorris, Merieu and possibly Park Ave. are hosting a neighborhood block party to celebrate community with a NNO event on August 6.

NNO is a public safety event held across the nation on the first Tuesday of August. It is an opportunity for you to learn some safety prevention information.

National Night Out is a community-building campaign that promotes police-public partnerships to make our communities safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between residents and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. 

Neighborhood Planning update. Our NP Community Advisory Committee (CAC) met last night, and lots of work has been done by Goal Tenders and Working Groups. It is encouraging to learn that duplications are being eliminated, and actions are being moved to relevant goals. Streamlining the document will make it easier to comprehend. I appreciate their hard work in fine-combing policies and actions.

Summer outreach at each event yields a dozen signups for the NP e-news and some in-depth conversations. The fear is that 50% to 75% of our neighbors aren’t aware of our project that will affect every neighbor, renter or property owner, and business.

What are creative ways we can inform more neighbors? It seems that neighbors throw out postcards with announcements. We’ve considered billboards, putting a big vehicle out on a vacant lot with a giant banner announcing our events, door-to-door canvassing, lawn signs, postcards with children’s artwork showing their ideas for neighborhood, and others. Your ideas for outreach are needed, and your efforts to distribute flyers or posters are very valuable.

We had an update on the River Road Corridor study and saw new maps, conceptual ideas for commercial and residential housing, and written descriptions. It was exciting to discuss these concepts and understand how they would work in our neighborhoods. We gave suggestions to make them better understood by neighbors. A questionnaire will be worked up to go along with these materials so neighbors can make their preferences known. This activity will start in late summer.

HB 2001 passed by legislature. A new bill was passed by the legislature to encourage more housing in single-family zoned areas in cities. We will be talking about the implications of this as we draw out our neighborhood plan. The City of Eugene has a Frequently Asked Question link that is under development. Check it out to see if your question is answered. If not, we can ask additional questions that might be included.  https://www.eugene-or.gov/4244/Single-Family-Zoning

Property Tax estimator. I often speak with neighbors who have an outsized-estimate of how much their taxes would go up if they were to annex to the City of Eugene. Our tax estimator calculator has been updated with the most recent levies. I have used it many times over the years, and it would cost me about $400 more if I annexed (if state law would permit me to–but that’s another story). At $130 a year for a library card and the public safety services I would receive, $400 would be well spent. Check out this website to get an estimate of what your taxes would be.

https://pdd.eugene-or.gov/Home/PropertyTaxEstimator

The next update should occur towards the end of 2019 after the taxes are certified in October.

Calendar

  • TUESDAY, July 20, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Arrowhead Park Movie. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov
  • THURSDAY, July 25, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov
  • SATURDAY, July 27, 9:00 to 9:30 for coffee. Walk with the Mayor. Leave Reality Kitchen about 9:45 and end at 11:00. Refreshments about 10:30 at the Kittleson’s on Elkay. Contact Carleen to participate: <carleenr [at] gmail [dot] com>.
  • July 1 to August 29. Working Groups, CAC, and Individuals fine tune final draft of goals, policies, and actions.
  • TUESDAY, August 6, evening. National Night Out in Hawthorne Ave. area. Contact me for more details.
  • MONDAY, August 12, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. River Road Community Organization. Evening with our elected officials. Invites have gone out to legislators, City Councilor, County Commissioner, and Water and Park District members. It should be informative.
  • THURSDAY, August 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov
  • SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Community Resilience Festival. Emerald Park. Contact Jan Spencer for details. <janrspencer [at] gmail [dot] com>
  • September 2019. Next NP Community Event.
  • THURSDAY, September 2, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov

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.