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. 


  • 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>

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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.