Eugene candidates offer views on making streets safer

By Rob Zako
May 2, 2020

EUGENE (May 2, 2020) — Ten candidates running for city council and four for mayor offered their views on making streets safer in Eugene.

BEST invited all 20 candidates running in the May 19, 2020, Primary Election to respond to a transportation safety questionnaire. A local 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit, BEST does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office. BEST is sharing all responses received as a public service to inform voters.

Candidates for Ward 1

Five out of the six candidates running for Ward 1 City Councilor submitted responses to the questionnaire.

Eliza Kashinsky wrote, “In order for walking and biking to be appealing transportation options for residents, it must be safe. … Far too many people are dying and being seriously injured on our streets. We must fix this.”

Candice King wrote, “I think Vision Zero has a strong, clear vision and a robust implementation plan. However, progress on some plan elements appears to have stalled. An integral and low barrier piece of the plan concerns fostering local awareness, engagement, education, and a general culture of traffic safety.”

Tim Morris wrote, “Eugene must do more for all road users, including people walking, biking, taking public transit, and driving. … We have solutions … we just require a city council ready to fully fund and support these plans to secure the safety of Eugene’s pedestrians.”

Current City Councilor Emily Semple wrote, “I believe we need better mass transit, which, right now, is buses. Better coverage and more frequent trips would increase ridership and that would be good for the environment as well as keeping people safe. … Our road planning needs to make space for buses, both along main transit corridors and neighborhood feeder roads. I always want safer sidewalks, street crossings and more protected bike lanes.”

Daniel Liev Williams wrote, “I would like to see Lane Transit District services increased so stops are more frequently serviced and greater service coverage within Lane County. I would also want to pursue innovative programs such as bicycle ownership subsidies and car-free neighborhoods.”

Sean Dwyer did not respond to the questionnaire.

Candidates for Ward 2

Both candidates for Ward 2 City Councilor submitted responses to the questionnaire.

Kate Davidson wrote, “We need to be accountable to our transportation plans. The City generates a lot of plans. I think we can do better at following through on them. As your next Eugene City Councilor, I will do my best to ensure accountability.”

Matt Keating wrote, “Especially as an update to the Vision Zero Action Plan will occur in 2023, I will work collaboratively to ensure vital infrastructure investments are equitable and the transportation needs and safety of all travelers, including people of all ages, abilities, races, ethnicities, and incomes are addressed … ensuring we are viewing transportation safety with an equitable lens throughout our community is paramount.”

Candidates for Ward 7

Current City Councilor Claire Syrett wrote, “I believe we need to step up traffic enforcement in order to reduce speeding and the frequency of people running red lights as well as driving while intoxicated. In addition, we need to keep pursuing the smarter measures we have started to take with our street engineering that has helped improve safety at various intersections around the city.”

Douglas Barr and Charles “Cliff” Gray did not respond to the questionnaire.

Candidates for Ward 8

Both candidates for Ward 8 City Councilor submitted responses to the questionnaire.

Randy Groves wrote, “If elected I will continue to support Vision Zero and I believe I will provide a unique perspective that doesn’t currently exist on council—that as a responder who has experienced the results of a failed transportation system hundreds if not thousands of times.”

Ryan Moore wrote, “I will continue to push for expanded implementation of protected bike lanes, traffic calming in known problem areas, common sense changes to system design that improve visibility and overall safety, and more.”

Candidates for Mayor

Four out of the seven candidates running for Mayor of Eugene submitted responses to the questionnaire.

Thomas Hiura wrote, “I am an ardent environmentalist, and I believe deeply that a Mayor should lead by example, with consistent integrity. That is why I have not spent a dime on gas in years, and I drive a fully electric Nissan Leaf.”

Current Mayor Lucy Vinis wrote, “Crossing infrastructure is our most prevalent need. Neighborhoods across this city are bisected by busy corridors with widely spaced protected crossing. In the most benign sense, this disincentivizes walking; in the worst cases, it leads to fatalities as people try to cross busy streets without a cross walk or light.”

Stacey Westover wrote, “I truly appreciate the way much of the transportation system is designed in Eugene. We have excellent independent bike paths, and it’s easy to get around much of the town. My priority would be to continue with the Vision Zero goals and implementation.”

Matthew Yook wrote, “Transportation is made inequitable by the way we choose to fund it, putting so much into cars. What good does more electric charging stations do when folks have to walk a mile to a bus stop to commute for sometimes two hours to get to work? Looking at investments in bike infrastructure or bus routes we can see where the lens of ‘equity’ extends in Eugene, and what neighborhoods it excludes.”

Robert Patterson, Benjamin Ricker, and Zondie Zinke did not respond to the questionnaire.

About BEST

Founded in 2012, BEST is building a successful community by bringing people together to promote transportation options, safe streets, and walkable neighborhoods.

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