[WEC] [FoE-D] transportgroup: Eugene City Council ... and West Eugene EmX
bonbet at comcast.net
Wed Oct 13 12:21:38 PDT 2010
To put it simply, those of us who are long time mass transit advocates
think LTD gives transit a bad name. The value for dollar is not there.
They have not achieved promised goals (like neighborhood shuttles and
dedicated lanes for a short list.) We have watched while BRT sucks up
all the money and transit service deteriorates. Mostly, they only
want to do what their bureaucrats are trained to do (buses, plans,
pushing paper) and they want to keep the cash pipeline flowing for
their REAL objective - the continuation of their bureaucracy and the
funding for their bloated admin salaries and PERS.
Enhancing service for alternate modes is not their priority.
Obviously. They give transit a bad name. Bonny
On Oct 13, 2010, at 10:10 AM, Kevin Matthews wrote:
> Dear Friends,
> I've gotten some feedback that this viewpoint on one corner of the
> West Eugene EmX snafu was helpful, so I'll share it a little
> - K
> ----- Begin forwarded message -----
> From: Kevin Matthews <matthews at artifice.com>
> Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 14:36:12 -0700
> To: transportgroup at lists.uoregon.edu
> Subject: Re: transportgroup: Eugene City Council Public Comment and
> West Eugene EmX
> [slightly revised]
> Dear Friends,
> The board president at LTD wrote to me yesterday and asked me, among
> other things, why I though there hadn't been more support for the
> West Eugene EmX Extension from the "sustainability community".
> The response I've been working up for him includes three main points:
> 1) LTD insisted, despite advice both public and private, on
> pursuing the environmentally-devastating Amazon Channel design
> option for years, intensifying that effort along the way, until it
> finally came off the table just late this summer.
> (That approach initially blocked much progressive/sustainability
> support, and spurred neighborhood opposition to organize in response.)
> 2) LTD has declined to date to even present an analysis of an
> electric streetcar option during the NEPA process, which by law
> requires consideration of all reasonable alternatives. After
> several requests, what they produced was an obsolete 1995 report.
> Meanwhile, LTD routinely quotes exaggerated cost-per-mile figures
> for non-comparable systems (probably just out of institutional
> habit), to suggest there is no point in doing the analysis. And at
> the same time, in Portland, a NEPA analysis directly comparing an
> enhanced bus line with a streetcar line or a now route extension has
> recently found the streetcar to be the more cost-effective option,
> in addition to its environmental benefits.
> 3) LTD has also declined, to date, to engage in community
> partnerships to seriously explore, as part of their NEPA
> alternatives analysis, the West Eugene Collaborative "New Vision for
> West Eugene" - even though LTD helped reach consensus on that
> vision! This integrated land use, transportation, and environmental
> plan, created as a positive consensus response to the defeat of the
> West Eugene Parkway through wetlands, recommends incorporation of
> dedicated transit lanes in a multiway boulevard redevelopment of
> West 11th Avenue.
> West Eugene EmX as part of a multiway boulevard makes a long term
> win-win proposition for impacted businesses, the community, and
> LTD. The current plan - widening West 11th Avenue without creating
> a boulevard - creates a win for LTD, but makes impacted businesses
> into long term losers.
> As I see it, these are three roadblocks which LTD could easily
> surmount. The first is finally dealt with, after a large amount of
> community goodwill was squandered along the way. (This painful
> diversion essentially created the opposition movement we see today.)
> The second is simply a matter of staff direction and follow through
> - with probably less planning cost involved than was already wasted
> trying to force buses down the Amazon Greenway habitat corridor.
> And with LTD needing to rebuild community support, we very well
> could be on the cusp of reaching the third point - working together
> on an integrated upgrade of West 11th that would eventually make it
> a dense, walkable, bikeable, new active main street for West Eugene,
> instead of two miles of auto-centric, bike/ped-hostile commercial
> strip sprawl.
> Some people think the approach to LTD's West Eugene project is
> simply "transit-good", so support LTD, no questions asked.
> However, with two dedicated transit lanes that would actually carry
> fewer passengers per lane mile than regular Eugene auto traffic, at
> quite a substantial construction cost, with a relatively marginal
> reduction in carbon footprint... BRT is understandably a big
> transportation project, one that deserves just the same kind of
> close, thoughtful, probing scrutiny as does any other proposed big
> infrastructure project.
> It would be lovely if people could keep this perspective in mind
> while addressing the Council on West Eugene EmX. Thoughtful,
> critical, intelligent and ultimately vigorous support for dedicated
> transit in West Eugene is very much needed - but nothing like a free
> rubber stamp for the institutional momentum of LTD.
> with all best wishes,
> Kevin Matthews
> President, Friends of Eugene
> Editor in Chief, ArchitectureWeek
> On Mon, 11 Oct 2010 13:47:44 -0700, Kevin M Belanger wrote:
>> Several of us decided to go to this at the advocacy meeting on
>> Thursday. I plan on coming up with a little something to say this
>> afternoon and would welcome anyone else who would like to do so as
>> well. I will say that I am a member of LiveMove, though others have
>> said that they will speak simply as interested citizens.
>> It would be great to have a group attend. Hope to see you there,
>> On Mon, 11 Oct 2010 09:50:28 -0700, Price Armstrong
>> <pricearmstrong at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I spoke to your group a couple of weeks back about the West Eugene
>>> EmX project, and specifically about ways to have your voice heard on
>>> this transit project. The Eugene City Council is having a meeting
>>> tonight, and this is a prime opportunity to engage with policymakers
>>> on this very important issue. Tonight at 7:30 pm in the Council
>>> Chamber is the public comment period, and this would be an excellent
>>> way to voice your opinion on the project. The Eugene City Council's
>>> support will be crucial in moving this project forward.
>>> If you would like to learn more about the project, you can do so
>>> Lastly, if you arrive at 7:15 or so and sign up then, you will be
>>> able to comment earlier and not have to wait as long.
>>> Thanks so much,
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