OTREC-funded student group presents roadway redesign in forum

Thousands of University of Oregon students use the 13th Avenue corridor in Eugene reach campus largely by bus, bike and foot, yet the return journey from campus to downtown cannot be made along the same route. The land uses adjacent to 13th Avenue are transforming to support an improving downtown and a growing campus, but the roadway is not adapting to these changes, but the roadway has not yet adapted to these changes, causing concerns about safety and undermining economic potential that should be of major interest to the City of Eugene and the University of Oregon given its policies to support sustainable transportation, urban revitalization.

University of Oregon students, as part of an interdisciplinary organization called LiveMove ByDesign, have spent the 2012-2013 academic year conducting a study for the 13th Avenue corridor. Through extensive observation of transportation behavior, parking utilization, and of case studies across the globe, the group developed a preferred roadway re-design that improves safety and access for all modes of transportation. LiveMove, the OTREC-funded student transportation group, is hosting an open house today to unveil its findings and innovative designs.

Attendees will have an opportunity to give feedback and input, and initiate community discussion on improving the corridor’s safety, accessibility and livability, while also stimulating economic activity and achieving city and university sustainability goals.  “This is not an academic exercise on our part – we really want to see some fresh ideas put into action,“ says Molly Bacon, a student member of LiveMove. “We have put in our own time and realize that many of us will never see the fruits of our labor as we will graduate and move on.  But we passionately want to leave something behind for those students who come after us and for the greater Eugene community as a whole.”

“A major demographic shift is taking place whereby fewer vehicle miles are being driven, rates of driver’s licenses are going down, and the next generation increasingly prefers places where many daily trips can be made by foot, bike, or bus,” says Joe McAndrew, President of LiveMove, the OTREC-funded student transportation group. “Our generation wants to see a different mix of uses on the street than were originally designed. Of course we still value automobile access, but we also want the same level of safety, directness, and comfort for people on bike and foot. 13th is a major connector between campus and downtown and our effort is to create a signature corridor to spur additional economic development, create safe and direct two-way bicycle access, and to catalyze a renaissance that can help meet many community and university goals.”

13th Street Renaissance Open House:

Connecting Campus and Downtown Eugene

Date:              Tuesday, May 28

Location:        Room 206 Lawrence Hall

Time:              5:30-7:30 pm

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