City Council passes Eugene Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan

The Eugene City Council @@[email protected]@approved the Eugene Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan@@[email protected]@ by a vote of 6-0 Monday night, taking the next step toward installing more pedestrian paths in Eugene to make it more commuter-friendly.

The plan, which was initiated in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2013, will build more bike paths within Eugene city limits and the urban-growth boundary.

The EPBMP, which is part of the larger Transportation System Plan@@[email protected]@, will allow Eugene to promote the stated city and state goals, which include decreasing emissions, improving transportation options, improving safety and combating climate change.

“The city wants to improve our pedestrian and biking paths, and this is just one step on the way to a good decision,” said Councilor Pat Farr. @@[email protected]@ “We’re continuing to install bike paths all over the city.”

The council hopes to keep Eugene environmentally friendly by promoting green commuting. According to a 2007 American Community survey of Eugene, nearly 11 percent of Eugene residents use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. The study also found that almost 6.5 percent of residents also commute by walking.

These numbers have also increased in the past decade as the number of workers commuting without cars has increased by 39 percent since 2000, while the population has grown by 11 percent.

Councilor Alan Zelenka@@[email protected]@ is excited for the future of the plan but is aware it does not have a definite plan outlined.

“I want to complement everyone who has been working on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. I think it’s a really good piece of work and does survey all of the needs that are in our community around both pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure,” he said. “The one criticism I have about this plan is that it’s not really a plan, (but) more just a survey of all of our needs. That part of the plan isn’t here yet.”

Reed Dunbar, Associate Transportation Planner for Eugene@@[email protected]@, explained that the plan is flexible and passing the plan is the first step toward figuring out how to proceed forward.

“We will be initiating a process with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to prioritize the projects,” he said. “It will also help to prioritize our workload when payment preservation projects come up.”

Mayor Kitty Piercy @@ to successes the city has seen in the past with installing new bike lanes, specifically the bicycle buffer lane on Alder Street.

“One of the most innovative paths is happening close to campus,” Piercy said. “You can tell that people are enjoying it and, as I recall from hearing people talk about it, one of the biggest desires of the community is having people in lanes where they’re not competing with cars. So that’s really a good first step.”@@that is honestly my biggest desire right now. gets me [email protected]@

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