Nexus for Eugene Sustainable Transportation (NEST)
BEST owns and manages the commercial building located at 455 West 1st Avenue in Eugene. Named the Nexus for Eugene Sustainable Transportation (NEST), it is a collaborative space for local nonprofits and businesses to promote sustainable transportation options.
As of June 2023, the NEST is home to these nonprofits, businesses, and projects:
- Cascadia Mobility is a nonprofit that operates equitable shared and active transportation programs in the Pacific Northwest. They operate the PeaceHealth Rides bike share program. They also offer the Valet Bike Parking service that CAT had operated.
- Pedalers Express is an affordable pedal-powered courier and delivery service.
- Whiteaker Street Library is a bike library supplying revolutionary and BIPOC literature to Whiteaker neighborhood that believe in giving space to lesser know writers—and is a fiscally sponsored project of BEST.
- Eugene Bike Polo is a club that plays every Thursday under the Washington-Jefferson Bridge—and is a fiscally sponsored project of BEST.
For almost 30 years, the building was the home to the Center for Appropriate Transport (CAT).
According to a story in Eugene Weekly, Jan “VanderTuin opened CAT in October of 1992 with the idea that, if he could make it easier for people to access affordable biking options and spark a DIY ethic at the same time, he could help foster growth in Eugene’s cycling community. In other words, for VanderTuin, it’s about culture—and if Eugene’s bike culture is going to grow, it needs more people on bikes. ‘The thing that’s important to me is the connection,’ VanderTuin said. ‘You’re not just one person out there riding, but you’re connecting with the community, and that’s just a huge piece of it for me.’ ”
After CAT sadly shut down, BEST acquired the NEST on November 1, 2021.
According to BEST executive director Rob Zako, “Our vision is to continue the culture of CAT, building on the good work of Jan VanderTuin and many others, but passing the torch to the next generation. In this, BEST sees ourselves as caretakers, stewards, facilitators, and fosterers, managing the space in the public interest. BEST intends to lease space to local nonprofits and programs on a sliding scale below market rates, including possibly very low rates to promising start ups. BEST aims to bring together different complementary efforts around bicycle and sustainable transportation education, service, innovation, and advocacy.”
During the transition to NEST, BEST acquired the assets of CAT’s Eugene Bicycle Works. Now BEST is looking to help reopen a comparable community bike shop.
- What’s new at the NEST? (BEST, 12/7/21)
- Introducing the Nexus for Eugene Sustainable Transportation (media release, BEST, 10/28/21)
- Announcing the NEST: Nexus for Eugene Sustainable Transportation (BEST, 10/27/21)
- Two Wheels Good: A New Generation of Bike Enthusiasts Chart a Course for Eugene’s Future (Eugene Weekly, 4/19/18)
- “In 1992, in Eugene, Oregon, Jan VanderTuin established a place for all things bicycle…” (Ted White, The BEST Blog, c. 1998)
- Center for Appropriate Transport (RAIN Magazine, Spring 1993)