FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EUGENE, OR (May 23, 2019)—Tuesday evening, Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation honored excellence improving the quality of transportation in our area.
nonprofit organization presented BEST Awards—affectionately known as “BESTies”—in
The award for transportation
options went to PeaceHealth Rides, for safe streets to the Mill Race
Path, and for walkable neighborhoods to Amazon Corner.
the special sauce for getting things done,” advised keynote speaker Mia Birk. For
27 years, Birk was at the forefront of promoting healthier forms of
transportation, including launching the nation’s first bike share system.
“We believe we
are better when we speak and act together,” added BEST executive director Rob
Zako. “BEST is pleased to honor three team efforts as some of the best in our
But a surprise
fourth award went to an individual. Former Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy was
recognized for her lifetime of bold transportation leadership with the Ruth
Bascom Award, named after another former mayor.
“I’m honored, but
the real kudos go to the visionary folks who see transportation as key to a
good life for us all,” Piercy said. “It’s one way we share community together.”
Launched a year
ago, PeaceHealth Rides is a shared bicycle service. It won the award for achievement
adding new or improving the availability, practicality or affordability of
existing transportation options.
“It’s such an
honor to be acknowledged for our work and partnership in the community,” said
Lindsey Hayward, general manager of PeaceHealth Rides. “We’re grateful to all
our wonderful members and encourage everyone to ride with us—to give bike share
a try. The true winners of bike share are the riders getting exercise as they
travel, the community experiencing less traffic congestion, and the environment
having fewer carbon emissions.”
The system is
managed by JUMP Bikes in partnership with the City of Eugene, University of
Oregon and Lane Transit District, with support from the Oregon Department of
Transportation and PeaceHealth.
Completed in January
2017, the Mill Race Path is a multi-use path from downtown Springfield to the
Middle Fork Willamette running along the restored historic waterway. It won the
award for achievement protecting lives on our streets, especially for more vulnerable
and Recreation District and its TEAM Springfield partners—City of Springfield,
Springfield Utility Board, and Springfield Public Schools—are proud to receive this
award,” said Eric Adams, Willamalane director of planning, parks and facilities.
“It is a perfect example of what can be accomplished through effective
community-focused collaboration, and wouldn’t have been possible without the
financial support provided by the 2012 bond measure.”
November, Amazon Corner is a five-story, mixed-use, bicycle-friendly
development on Hilyard Street in Eugene. It won the award for achievement designing
or building complete neighborhoods where many basic services are within walking
“We are honored
to receive this award from BEST, who has been a supporter of the project from
the beginning,” said Dan Straub, Tokatee Capital’s vice-president for property management
and development. “We hope Amazon Corner can be a model for future walkable and
alternative transportation neighborhood development.”
designed and Essex General Construction built Amazon Corner for Tokatee Capital.
“The First Annual
BEST Awards was a festive celebration of the years of work by local partners to
make our community better; that is, with safe, healthy, convenient and
affordable transportation options accessible from walkable neighborhoods,” said
BEST president Mike Eyster. “It was BEST’s pleasure to highlight the excellent
work of all the finalists.”
for the transportation options award were finalists EmX West, Free Bikes 4
Kidz, New Franklin Boulevard, and #YesRideChoice.
for the safe streets award were finalists Active Amazon Transportation Corridor
Project, Sun Automotive, Lane County’s Transportation Safety Action Plan and Fatal
Crash Investigation Team, and Eugene’s Vision Zero Action Plan.
Also recognized for the walkable neighborhoods award were finalists Blossom Cottages, LUCíA and Arcadia, and The Oaks at 14th.
people joined in the awards dinner celebration at the Downtown Athletic Club. Attending
were Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis and City Councilor Jennifer Yeh; Lane County
Commissioner Heather Buch; State Representative Marty Wilde and former state
legislators Phil Barnhart and Chris Edwards; Lane Transit District board
members Don Nordin, Kate Reid, Joshua Skov, Caitlin Vargas and Carl Yeh, and
former board member Gary Wildish; EWEB Commissioner Mindy Schlossberg; and Lane
Community College board members Mike Eyster and Matt Keating.
Hollywood’s Oscars, the second annual awards are planned for early 2020.
A local nonprofit
founded in 2012, BEST brings people together to promote transportation options,
safe streets, and walkable neighborhoods. It is led by 50 community leaders on
its boards of directors and advisors.
Mia Birk appeared
courtesy of LiveMove, the transportation and livability student group, and the
Sustainable Cities Institute at the University of Oregon.