Citizens question City of Eugene’s plans to redesign Franklin Boulevard

By Rob Zako
June 5, 2024

A group of community leaders and key stakeholders assembled by BEST has questions about the City of Eugene’s plans to redesign Franklin Boulevard.

artistic rendering of Franklin Boulevard at Walnut Street
A rendering of the proposed Walnut Street EmX station design. Source: City of Eugene

Last year as part of the larger Better Streets for People and Businesses effort, BEST surveyed how Franklin Boulevard works today. In brief, three-quarters of over 600 respondents indicated that the street today is fair, poor, or worst and in need of changes. But the $64-million question is: What kinds of changes?

This year, BEST has pulled together a group of community leaders and key stakeholders—an unofficial design review team—to review the City of Eugene’s plans to transform Franklin Boulevard. Starting in April, the group has already met three times, including to receive a presentation from the City of Eugene.

With the support of BEST staff, the design review team has developed a partial understanding of what the City is recommending and how they arrived there. The team recently sent the City a memo (also see below) summarizing the City’s work and asking questions.

Categories of users

While waiting for responses from the City, the design review team is looking more closely at the needs of different categories of users, including:

  • People / Equity
    • People walking
    • People biking
    • People rolling / using mobility assistive devices
    • People riding public transit
    • People driving
  • Prosperity / Economy / Quality of Life
    • Freight
    • Businesses
    • Developers
    • Neighbors
    • Community
  • Planet / Environment
    • Air
    • Land
    • Water

The design review team is also looking at best practices for redesigning streets similar to Franklin.

This summer, the team is hoping to share findings and recommendations with the City of Eugene, Lane Transit District, stakeholders, and the larger community.

Design review team

To participate in the review of Franklin Boulevard, BEST assembled a group of community leaders and key stakeholders reflecting a diversity of experiences and perspectives:

  • Alex Do, Laurel Hill Valley Citizens
  • Kathy Dusing, Lane Independent Living Alliance (LILA)
  • Tiffany Edwards, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Emily Eng, UO Campus Planning & Facilities Management
  • Philip Farrington, CDC Management Corp. (Crosswood Apartments)
  • Lianne Gaunt, Laurel Hill Valley Citizens
  • Allen Hancock, Eugene Active Transportation Committee
  • Mike Harwood, UO Campus Planning & Facilities Management
  • Daniel Klute, architect, Fairmount resident
  • Kaarin Knudson, Better Housing Together, now Eugene’s mayor-elect
  • Aaron Olsen, UO Campus Planning & Facilities Management
  • Jeff Philpot, Fairmount Neighbors Association
  • Annie Price, UO School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management grad student
  • David Reesor, UO Transportation Services
  • George Rode, Euro-Asian Automotive and Stadium Automotive
  • Kay Rose, Fairmount Neighbors Association
  • Marc Schlossberg, UO School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management professor
  • Carmel Snyder, AARP Oregon
  • Joshua Skov, UO Center for Sustainable Business Practices
  • Kari Turner, retired architect
  • Jenny Ulum, business leader
  • Katelyn Wells, UO LiveMove student group

The group is supported by BEST staff:

  • Rosemary Betros, BEST intern
  • Caitlin Donnelly, BEST intern
  • Claire Roth, BEST program manager
  • Rob Zako, BEST executive director

See also

Memo to City of Eugene