What do we want and how do we get it?

In the January RRCO general meeting participants brainstormed goals for the neighborhood in 2021. We surveyed neighbors to rank these goals and associated action items and to suggest additional items. If you would like to contribute your comments to the survey click here https://forms.gle/TG18XvrLLoWaHXZq7

As of January 31, there were 38 responses to the survey that scored each goal from 1 to 10 in importance. The list below shows the goals in ranked order of importance.

  1. Protect our nature spaces.
  2. Create a culture of inclusion where all residents feel safe.
  3. Increase road safety.
  4. Reduce ecological footprints in River Road food, energy, transportation.
  5. Recover from COVID!
  6. Prepare for emergencies.
  7. Seek ways to compassionately assist the houseless/homeless in our community.
  8. Take care of more basic needs here in the neighborhood.
  9. Complete the RRCO/SCCO Neighborhood Plan.
  10. Coordinate with other neighborhood and community organizations on shared problems.
  11. Increase River Road food production both at home and on public property.
  12. Improve community communications.
  13. Increase funding for neighborhood activities.
  14. Establish a dog park in the neighborhood.

The next step is to identify and delegate actions to achieve these goals. Some are suggestions for individual initiative and action. Some can guide committee work and included in the neighborhood plan, and some should be taken up by the RRCO board. The survey ranked suggested action items and respondents added their own thoughts. Below are action items for the top goal.

The top two suggestions to enact protection for our natural spaces are to increase awareness human impact on local wildlife, and to enhance effective Greenway Protection with clear and objective criteria for planning.  These two action items point to education initiatives of some sort that could possibly be taken up by the Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) and the West Bank Stewardship projects.  Creative individuals might join up with NET or Friends of Rasor Park to implement ideas to create awareness. One project might be to install art or signs along the path that inform users about their environment – for example, “Here is a filbert grove that is maintained by the community as a free food source” or a sign with monarch butterflies that tells people about the native plants in Rasor Park and the impact of night lighting on insects.  Nature walks could be offered to educate the community about the heron pond restoration, etc.  Would you like to lead a nature walk or offer an activity through the River Road Rec center?  Maybe we should have an RRCO meeting about Greenway protections in the current neighborhood plan.

The RRCO Social Justice Committee is tackling goal number two.  If you would like to contribute to this effort please contact or attend their meeting on Thursday at 5:30 to contribute to implementation.  Increasing Road safety has lots of good suggestions and implementation ideas that deserve more in-depth discussion in addition to the Neighborhood Planning focus on transportation.  Other newly formed RRCO committees are addressing emergency preparedness and the needs of the unhoused and they invite you to participate in their committee work.

Detailed Action Items

GOAL: Protect our nature spaces

  • Get all greenway properties covered under adoption plans with the City,. .,
  • Iris place not 24 hrs New bike path lights from dusk to 1am For protecting pollinators and wildlife
  • Awareness of protection of natural areas and local wildlife impact
  • Enhance effective Greenway Protection including clear and objective criteria

Other action items to protect natural spaces. What do YOU want to do?

  • Ride my bike
  • bike path lights on from dusk to 3 hours after, one hour before down in winter time
  • removal of invasive exotics (especially English Ivy, e.g.).
  • No bikepath lighting! Are you insane. It’s NATURE.
  • Allow small development in the greenway but not maximum density
  • Participate in the Neighborhood Planning meetings to be sure we get the best protections for the Greenway.
  • No extra lights on bike path, let nature sleep as it should!
  • Remove garbage from waterways and land areas.
  • Assist in trash pickup mobilization and tree planting
  • Participate in meetings.
  • Besides motion sensors some can be controlled by cell phone of runners or people walking on the path.

GOAL: Create a culture of inclusion where all residents feel safe

  • Research how to manage non-criminal related crises outside of police intervention
  • Be vigilant about racial discrimination and know what to do and who to go to when observed.
  • Information and learning opportunities with community,
  • Increase the diversity of the board.
  • Collaborate with social justice based organizations and other neighborhood organizations that share the same concerns such as a citywide campaigns for police policy,
  • Research ways to propose Citizens Oversight Committee for the Lane County Sheriff’s Office
  • Outreach and listening sessions to learn more about our neighbors’ experiences,
  • Talk to school admins about what they observe in school culture and curriculum,
  • to see everyone and realize that our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters much more

Other action items for inclusion? What do YOU want to do?

  • explain Eugene/non-Eugene emergency services in Eugene/Lane Co patchwork of homes
  • Good work is occurring at the city level to change policing policies and improve social service responses to non-police emergencies. Information needs to be shared with community as progress is made.
  • Attending meetings; outreach; attend trainings
  • An elected ombudsman, working in total transparency, should supervise police training and behavior, and report to the people.
  • I’m new so I’m curious what is already going on and who tends to be involved vs who tends to not be represented.

GOAL: Increase road safety

  • Increase ability for pedestrians and bicycles to safely and conveniently access services and recreation.,
  • Lower the speed limit and Increase enforcement
  • Development process to include traffic studies and/or pedestrian safety considerations,
  • Support Vision Zero goals and actions on all roadways in RR

Other action items for road safety? What do YOU want to do?

  • Slowing down car traffic will not make bikes safer. It will create more anxiety on the way home from work, and bunch cars together dangerously. What bikes need is dedicated space, perhaps elevated slightly off the roadway, and of course non-road bike paths are preferred.
  • More cross walks on River Road. Make the City follow their own regulations for development on the side streets.
  • I live in the housing behind the new ECCO apartments and usually cross RR to enter the bike path at Merry Lane. It would be very nice to have a safe way to cross the street similar to the ped crossing up past Maxwell.
  • These are all good approaches to increasing safety. I can promote specific activities to help neighbors be more informed.
  • 20 mph on residence roads, more pedestrian lights on River Rd
  • Produce a map and develop connecting routes for pedestrians to walk without having to use River Road or Northwest Expressway

GOAL: Reduce ecological footprints in River Road food, energy, transportation

  • Community education on food choices, transportation, external costs, footprint calculator, multiple benefits to downsizing footprints, rodent control, planting pollinator attractive gardens and bird sanctuary microsites of native plants throughout the neighborhood.
  • Ways to cooperate with neighbors to avoid repetition of buying, using city program to facilitate cooperation

Other action items for ecological footprints? What do YOU want to do?

  • Educate myself more
  • Education on alternative models to single family housing (regular column in RRCO newsletter; 2 x/year forums
  • How to receive some of the compost now that I am sending off my food scraps.
  • I want to promote recycling as Plastic Take Backs are scheduled. I will help communicate transportation plans for more energy efficiency and efficient modes of transport.
  • Inform people of the negative effects of herbicides and other toxic products people use at home.
  • More education about native plants, insect-plant relationships, and native bird-insect relationships
  • Reduce footprint by building less stuff.
  • Take Carbon Free Challenge on City Website

GOAL: Recover from Covid

  • Celebrate when we are free and clear
  • mask up,
  • Get the vaccination

Other action items for a covid free community? What do YOU want to do?

  • These actions require consistence and guidance from higher levels of organization, not from community groups
  • Advertise polite behavior for COVID in our neighborhoods, on River trails
  • A celebration would be nice, but I don’t see a clear moment when it will be safe for everyone.
  • Make masks required when around people. If a person has a medical condition, they can wear a face shield, better than nothing! Cite people who are going around coughing & spitting on others, deliberately causing problems for others.
  • Distribute masks and sanitizer to households.
  • Reinforce public health messages in our newsletters.
  • Publicize the need for support for specific local businesses struggling with pandemic.

GOAL: Prepare for emergencies

  • Increase training and spread awareness of the emergency water system at Howard.,
  • Organize a neighborhood wide emergency evacuation event that is coordinated with fire and other emergency agencies, schools

Other action items for emergency prep? What do YOU want to do?

  • Start grass roots outreach to encourage block to block E-preparedness planning. Training and neighborhood evacuation events need a grass roots base to stand on.
  • evacuate to where? For fire or flood or earthquake?
  • I think this is important. I need to have a more thorough understanding of the plan and know where to participate.
  • Map Your Neighborhood; Get training in emergency preparedness skills and actions to take in various emergency situations
  • Emergency water at Howard? Yeah, tell us about it.
  • If there was a toxic train accident, we need a plan, same with floods
  • Encourage folks to join EWEB’s free Pledge to Prepare program- it’s comprehensive and once done you are quite prepared!
  • Promote education re: emergency preparedness. Revisit ‘Map My Neighborhood’ efforts.
  • Workshop to get together emergency supplies for your home. Emergency pods in neighborhood with food, water, supplies.

GOAL: Assist the houseless/homeless in our community

  • Work with the City and County to have workable policies and procedures for siting Microsites and Pallet Shelter Pods within the RRCO neighborhood
  • Good Neighbor Agreement: Complete draft agreement for RRCO review,

Other action items to assist the houseless? What do YOU want to do?

  • Take neighbor leadership – ex: set a goal of 50 conestoga/pallet structure units in RRCO. Stop bowing away for responsibility saying we need to wait for the city/county to sanction. We are human beings. We know what is right.
  • I would be glad to communicate information to neighbors.
  • Advocate for homeless in our community to protect against abuse and neglect. Help the unhoused with existential needs that are not currently being met, such as trash pick-up
  • Sensitivity to existing homeowners should accompany any attempt to house the homeless here. We’re not the most convenient location for them anyway, and Hwy 99, W. 11th and Royal Ave. are better places to locate shelters.
  • quality permanent public housing.
  • what is the good neighbor agreement?

GOAL: Take care of more basic needs here in the neighborhood

  • Improve the “River and Garden District” branding,
  • workshops and e-news about passive solar, solar hot water, energy conservation, heat pumps, closing off unused room
  • Strengthen ties between neighbors and businesses

Other action items for basic needs? What do YOU want to do?

  • Housing for everyone. Housing security for all.
  • Communicate opportunities to others.
  • Participate in discussions and volunteer when I can
  • Workshops could be good, but why does the government have to be involved?

GOAL: Complete the RRCO/SCCO Neighborhood Plan

  • Schedule regular plan reviews for RRCO to lead into adoption package preparation.
  • More neighbor involvement in Neighborhood Planning Process
  • Support Land Use Code Amendments needed to implement the plan’s goals
  • Review  plans for equity lens

Other action items for completing the Neighborhood Plan? What do YOU want to do?

  • Consider how the neighbors most impacted feel and not just the opinions of the people with the loudest voices.
  • any new building permits should be review and approved by RRCO
  • Attend plan review meetings
  • Help with neighbor involvement with the RR CRG.
  • I need to familiarize myself/participate more
  • The planning process should include input from people from various cultures, ethnicities, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and genders.

GOAL: Coordinate with other neighborhood and community organizations on shared problems

Listed in order of priority

  • Housing
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Social justice/police accountability
  • Representation at city/county level
  • Outreach
  • Fundraising

Other action items for coordination? What do YOU want to do?

  • Track NLC discussions
  • I don’t think we need the City, in order to communicate with other neighborhoods.
  • Transportation safety. I keep in touch with the transportation community, and will try to communicate info to neighbors.
  • Residential parking issues. There are major issues with availability of parking at the complex on River Road and Hatton. Has parking availability been addressed for new construction beginning on River Road?
  • How to solve problem of neighbors not paying attn to info that’s ‘out there’ for them to see for all this info? I’m constantly telling people info they’re interested in but they don’t seek it out or ignore it.
  • Measures to increase the livability of our communities

GOAL: Increase food production both at home and on public property

  • Working with neighbors to transforming properties, grass to garden, edible landscaping, rain water catchment
  • Hold regular produce, seed, plant exchange,
  • Weeding & Mulching Parties in the pollinator gardens along bike path between Merry Bridge to Salmon restoration project
  • Community Garden at Maynard Park,  

Other action items for food production? What do YOU want to do?

  • 2 plus Community Gardens; not sure of best locations.
  • Dual zoning for production of baked goods for retail
  • Encourage local schools programs using locally grown produce for free lunches.
  • I assume neighors to = neighborhood stores
  • I’m interested in learning about what to grow in my yard
  • Increasingly transform my yard and help others to the degree I can.
  • Other action items for food production? What do YOU want to do?
  • Planting public fruit trees
  • We can do this stuff on our own. Microloans would help. This is a private citizen issue, not a government issue!

GOAL: Improve community communication

  • Neighborhood survey to reach out and connect to neighbors, 
  • Have discussions/listening sessions at Reality Kitchen on current
  • Update web page
  • Recruit a RRCO social media volunteer
  • Post activities in Kiosk,
  • Facilitate more ways for the community to communicate with the board.,  issues
  • Streamline a notification system platform for identifying and discussing upcoming land use decisions
  • Better communication of Neighborhood Enhancement Team activities in Park areas.

Other action items for improving communications? What do you want to do?

  • Establish more connection
  • Give people options to do surveys online. Not everyone has time to attend meetings.
  • I have some social media volunteer experience and would be willing to help with that and website updating.
  • Listening Sessions are very valuable, and once we are vaccinated, we can get back to person-to-person communications. Relationships are most important.
  • Add discussion/listening sessions at Countryside or alternate location (bagel and donut shop to the north). Listening sessions in schools and churches. Broad base of out reach to include more voices.
  • Communications team is doing great. Maybe want another annual postcard mailing to invite folks to join email list.
  • Attend online and Reality Kitchen meeting when it is safe to do so. Talk to my neighbors about RRCO activities.

GOAL: Increase Funding for neighborhood activities

  • Seek additional funding from the city & county to achieve these goals.
  • Neighborhood wide rummage sale as a fundraiser in the summer.

Other action items for funding? What do YOU want to do?

  • Hard to response to ideas above without knowing what the needs, interests and directions are for neighborhood activities.
  • either or both, but what will the money be spent on?
  • I believe we should annex so we could get full funding for neighborhood newsletters and events.

Other Goals suggested

  • Prepare for impacts of climate change; heat, drought, wildfire, food and water scarcity, migration, flood
  • traffic speed past River Road Elementary. We need to slow cars down; speed bumps please!
  • promote the arts
  • Focus on creating walkable neighborhood
  • Promoting alternative transportation to using vehicles.
  • Maybe a Visioneering team? A team to help other teams coordinate planning efforts and chart their timelines to give everyone a dynamic and fuller picture of the hopes and visions for what our neighborhood will become. The neighborhood is big enough for the board to focus on engagement, and a Visioneering team to keep us imagining where our collective efforts can lead. This is by no means a criticism of the boards or communication team. Everyone is doing a fantastic job; I just see the work doubling every year!
  • Have Master Recycler(s) explain the right way to properly recycle for Sanipac, explain the process of the sorting of recycleables behind the scenes, give examples for reducing waste, answer people’s questions, etc. /  (Good for adults, too!) /
  • More attn to kids & activities for them (Sunday Streets is great example: bike helmets, bike maintenance, games…), gardening, safety, self defense, yoga.
  • Have a neighborhood group yard sale in a park with affordable spaces/booths.
  • Dog park