EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- A group of West Eugene neighbors teamed up to build a sidewalk, making their neighborhood a safer place to walk. Volunteers from the Acorn Park Neighbors and the Churchill Walkability Collaborative joined forces Saturday, July 14, 2012, to create a new sidewalk from Acorn Park Street into Acorn Park.
While there are many single-family homes and as many as six or seven apartment complexes in the neighborhood, there are no sidewalks along Acorn Park Street. Part of the problem is that large ditches line both sides of thoroughfare and there is no shoulder.
The street is popular to walk, as it links West 11th and 18th Avenues and is close to the Seneca Station shopping center, Fred Meyer and other retail locations. Acorn Park Street is in the City of Eugene’s Pedestrian Bicycle Master Plan for new sidewalks; however, there’s no money in the budget to build them. Due to the lack of sidewalks, residents are forced to walk in the street.
“There's developers that are already building, buying blocks of property along here because they know there's a station close to here. They're building a Starbucks at the end of the street here being built right now, and that's, you know, it's happening,” said Tom Schneider with the Churchill Walkability Collaborative. "We need to be able to walk down to the street safely."
In response, the two groups raised $2,500 in donations to help build the sidewalk. The City of Eugene doubled those funds with a Neighborhood Matching Grant. The crew dug up grass, laid down gravel, and sectioned off an area for new concrete to be poured to make the sidewalk. A contractor will complete the sidewalk in the next few days.
The goal is to link the Acorn Park sidewalk to a nearby bus stop on West 15th Avenue. The sidewalk has been placed at the intersection.