EmX

West EMX Construction Wrap Up for 2016

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2016 CONSTRUCTION PLAN

The 2016 construction season already is under way as EmX crews add a right-turn lane on West 6th Avenue between Almaden and Chambers Streets. Adjacent businesses think it will help reduce rush-hour congestion in front of their driveways.

photo - Lane Transit District
photo – Lane Transit District

Road crews then will shift to widen Garfield Street between West 6th and 11th Avenues, and widen 11th Avenue between Bailey Hill Road and Beltline this year. Crews plan to alternate roadwork between Garfield and 11th Avenue to reduce traffic impacts and to complete sidewalks on one side of the road before working on the opposite side.

Road construction on 11th between Bailey Hill Road and Garfield Street is planned for 2017, allowing the West Eugene EmX service to begin in Fall 2017.

Eventually, more than half of the pavement on Garfield and 11th Avenue will be repaved, and new sidewalks and landscaping will line the roadway.

FINISHING TOUCHES ON WEST 6TH, 7TH

Have you see cement “planter boxes” next to the sidewalk at various places along the EmX route? They are new friends to fish and streams. Filled with sedges and rushes, their special design cleans stormwater before it reaches local rivers.

Click to see a video about stormwater filtration planters.

Meanwhile, carefully selected tree species are being planted in more space and better soil to lead to a healthy green future. Winter planting allows trees to establish their roots before putting energy into above-surface growth spurred on by the warm and sunny days ahead.

Also, electricians are wrapping up the installation of 58 new traffic signals and 119 audible pedestrian signals along 6th and 7th Avenues. City of Eugene traffic engineers will test the system before it becomes operational, then crews will remove the temporary wooden signal poles.

LTD suing property owners for land needed for EmX line extensions

Last week Lane Transit District filed a lawsuit in Lane County Circuit Court against four property owners along West 7th Avenue.

VIEWPOINT: LTD Attempts to Blindside Us……..Again

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VIEWPOINT: Erin Walters – Springfield, Oregon.

Lane Transit District (LTD) has already begun their relentless and focused pursuit of a new EmX line connecting LCC and Thurston. This is a project that will greatly impact Springfield and Eugene.

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I am 1 of 17 members of a Stakeholder’s Advisory Committee (SAC) for the City of Springfield’s McVay-Main Street Transit Study- or in other words, the development of mis-information in LTD’s attempt to ramrod in another ill-guided EmX line. Of course, the committee is stacked in LTD’s favor. The list of committee members can be located on the “study” website. What this list doesn’t show (because it doesn’t provide
a member’s employer) is the overwhelming influence of the public sector and LTD infiltrated non-profit groups. http://ourmainstreetspringfield.org/main-mcvay-transit-improvement-study/

The City of Springfield claims the SAC “is now exploring transit options to address and enhance all modes of travel along the corridor.” But we know this is a sole pursuit of EmX. So why not call it that? The City claims the SAC is a true representation of the citizens of Springfield. In September, Springfield Mayor Lundberg sent the SAC an email stating “The wide range of draft transit solutions that you recently recommended to the Governance Team clearly considered all of Springfield citizens’ interests and concerns.” The Mayor’s statement is unfounded, unless, of course, she is not considering those that will be most directly impacted by the project. But again, this is no surprise, as we all remember how well the City of Eugene listened to its citizens regarding the West Eugene EmX Extension (noted sarcasm).

One SAC member stands out- Mike Eyster, a previous President of the LTD Board of Directors. He is 1 of 38 on the Board of Advisors for Better Eugene-Springfield Transit (BEST). BEST is just another group LTD has infiltrated in an attempt to brainwash the public. Safe to say, BEST is propagating ideals to a non-informed public, much to their delight, BEST doesn’t hide the fact that their main purpose is to facilitate “extend(ing) EmX bus rapid transit to other parts of the Eugene-Springfield area”, yet they also claim they are here “to educate the public about and promote a regional transit system that fosters prosperity, social equity, and a healthy natural environment.” What a deceitful statement. BEST tries to give the appearance of neutrality, yet is just another arm of LTD. Of their 12 Board of Directors, five are previous members of the LTD Board of Directors. You will also notice, the SAC is comprised of 2 BEST Board of Directors, although you have to do a little research to find this out, because the “study’s” website won’t provide you with that.

If you did even more extensive research, you would notice the BEST Board of Advisors is compiled of not only former LTD employees and board members, but of those who qualify for contracts with LTD once a new EmX project has been approved. BEST isn’t hiding the fact it’s in cahoots with LTD, but is it fair to say the SAC is a balanced representation of the “stakeholders”? This study would be a little more believable if the City truly made an effort to inform the private businesses and citizens along the proposed corridor- those that pay the tax to LTD and actually have a legitimate stake in the outcome.

LTD will tell you this is a “high level study” to help determine if there is even a need to pursue the new EmX line. Assuredly, LTD is using this committee to check one of the boxes on their path to destruction. The information they are compiling will be used as the catalyst for LTD’s next attack. The Small Starts process consists of two primary steps: Project Planning and Project Development. For FTA approval to enter the Project Development Phase, the process must have a “description of corridor and transportation problem to be solved”. So, technically we are already in the “Project Planning” phase. This committee has already reviewed and recommended a Project Problem Statement, Purpose & Need Statement, Project Goals and Objectives (PNGO) and related evaluation criteria. And let me tell you, these pieces are all part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) that’s required. LTD is attempting to sneak this right through, disguised as a pre-study to see if “real” study should be completed. Folks, this study is the start of the EA.

After learning of the City of Springfield’s “Community Outreach” efforts, or lack of, I went door-to-door, talking with businesses. Most were unaware of the new EmX study. About 4% said they would support it. One thing this showed me- LTD was hoping to blindside the businesses. Well, they have another thing coming. A stacked committee is not surprising. Actually, it’s pretty smart. This new “high level study” is an attempt to speed up the process so opposition has less of a chance to gain traction. We all know what comes to light when a process takes longer- the truth is revealed. And if the truth of LTD’s intentions and actions were exposed, these new EmX locations would only be a figment of LTD’s imagination.

Here are some examples of truths that even LTD cannot dispute:

1) LTD admitted, during SAC Meeting #7, they are over-servicing the Gateway/Riverbend area with the current EmX line. This means LTD doesn’t have the ridership on that line to justify providing the current amount of EmX service. LTD would like to connect the new LCC EmX line with the existing Gateway line and operate based on a “reduced transit demand”.

So, basically LTD made a mistake when projecting the ridership to Gateway and would like to fix this mistake by providing a new EmX line to LCC that won’t run as often as the current EmX. I find this interesting because data provided by LTD that led to the approval of the West Eugene EmX was based on an assessment of the Gateway/Riverbend EmX. The assessment presented this line as successful. LTD couldn’t stop patting themselves on the back, even though all we could see were empty busses. LTD developed the West Eugene ridership projections with the same analytical process. And now they will be attempting to do the same with this new proposed line.

2) Supporting data was not yet available during the development of the “Needs” and
“Purpose” statements. It would be provided later.How do you develop a need for something if you don’t have proof there is a need- if the data doesn’t exist yet? This in entirety is absolutely backwards. And the examples LTD provided were deceiving. Example:

“During the past year, seven buses were overcrowded to the point that 78 riders were left behind at stop(s)”. LTD fails to mention where or when each of these occurred or what circumstances may have triggered it. LTD states Route 11 has an average of more than 3,500 boardings per weekday. Assuming 240 weekdays a year would mean 840,000 average boardings per year. Although I agree, leaving someone behind at the bus station is not ideal, is 78 of 840,000 boardings enough to create a need for EmX? I believe it’s merely a need for better management of existing transit service.

Erin Walters
Springfield, Oregon

New “No EmX” Sign Circulating Internet

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EUGENE, Ore. — LTD is launching a new bus pass program as construction for the West Eugene EmX line gets underway. And, it’s providing new material for businesses who plant signs along the corridor to protest it.

The sign reads “Will LTD give the meth dealers a bus pass?” and it’s hanging under another sign for Mac’s Radiator Service on West 11th Ave.

Business managers say they gave permission to an outside group to hang up the new slogan, and now, a picture of it is circulating the internet.

Some residents say it goes too far and is just another sign that’s adding to dozens of others they call a nuisance in west Eugene. There’s even a Facebook group called “The Unsigned” who says it’s not about the message anymore, that the signs are just an eyesore.

“They are all over, they’re tacky. They don’t represent me or anyone that i know,” said Eugene resident Brandy Collier.

Some employees on the corridor say the sign refers to LTD’s free bus pass program it’s launching in light of the construction. During that time, LTD will give vouchers to residents living within a certain distance from the West EmX construction and free passes to employees of businesses along the corridor who wish to participate.

Construction is slated to start for the project next month but businesses say those signs are there to stay through it.

Grant Goes to Three New Bridge

Bridge ProjectEUGENE, Ore. — Thanks to new funding approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission, the Lane Transit District will get $3.51 million.

The bulk of the money will go to build three new bike and pedestrian bridges over Amazon Creek. The bridges will be at Buck Street, Sam Reynolds Street, and between Commerce Street and Fern Ridge Path.

Both the west Eugene EmX project and the city of Eugene will oversee the projects.

EmX Construction Begins

EmX-BusEUGENE, Ore. – The Eugene Water and Electric Board began relocating water mains Sunday night in preparation of the west Eugene EmX extension project.

Construction started on west 7th Avenue from Madison Street to Charnelton Street. Crews will also be working on west 7th Avenue between Garfield Street and Chambers Street.

The work will take place from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays for the next four months.

EWEB crews warn the equipment could be noisy. Drivers should also expect partial lane closures of west 7th Avenue over the next few months.

Letter To The Editor – Detained LTD Riders

I am writing to tell you about my recent experience with Lane Transit District.
While I was riding the LTD EMX from Eugene, to Springfield at about 5:15 this evening(July 18, 2014), I was addressed by the bus driver, requesting that i “move away from the doors.”
Please bear in mind that I was standing outside of the marked “Do not stand” area, and was accompanied by my Fiancee, who has scoliosis. This causes her severe pain if she must stand in a moving bus without something to lean against, and as the bus was standing room only, she was leaning against the wall near the door.
After moving away from the doors, to the best of our ability, we were surprised to be greeted at the Springfield bus station by a security guard, who detained us on the platform, raising his voice, and threatening to fine us if we walked away.
This fine specimen of humanity kept us there for 20 minutes, standing in the sun on a 90 degree day, all the while talking about how we were wasting his time.
I have called the customer service line, and registered my complaint, requesting to speak to a supervisor, however I have the understanding that these things frequently go unheard.
I have several questions relating to this incident.
Is it legal for the security guard to detain me and my fiancee?
Can the platform security guards fine you?
How can I make my voice heard?
Any advice as to how I handle this incident is appreciated.
Sincerely,
      Charles

The post Letter To The Editor – Detained LTD Riders appeared first on Lane County Mugshots.

LTD Gets New Stop At RiverBend

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — LTD will begin service at its newest EmX station at RiverBend Hospital on Thursday. The new bus stop is on the north end of the RiverBend campus and will be called the Pavilion station.

LTD says that side of campus is developing fast with new buildings and services, so many people requested a new stop. They believe it will be a well-used station by visitors, staff and patients.

“These are outpatient and specialty clinics. There’s a lot of daily activity going on there so we know that a lot of customers like to go there, either to visit people, do checkups or do physical therapy,” says Andy Vabora with LTD.

Funding came through the Federal Transit Administration and through federal transportation funds. The total construction cost was $770,000.

Senator Ron Wyden will be in town for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. RiverBend Dr. will be closed to northbound traffic from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday morning, then service begins at 11 a.m.

West Eugene EmX Work Beginning Next Week

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EUGENE, Ore. — Lane Transit District is set to begin work on the west Eugene EmX route next week but not everyone in the area is looking forward to the new bus route.

EWEB crews are starting work on West 6th and 7th on Monday to move water utilities. Some businesses are excited to see this project move forward while others aren’t.

Along with LTD, Emerald City Locksmith on West 7th is looking forward to the nearly $97 million addition.

“I think it’s probably going to be a good thing in the long run for Eugene. I look forward to us moving towards a more sustainable transportation model,” said Ralph Forrest-Ball, manager of Emerald City Locksmith.

The new route, which starts in downtown and goes all the way down West 11th nearing the Beltline, doesn’t sit well with all businesses on that stretch of road.

“I would say I’m more against it than I am for it,” said Brad Scott, owner of Brad’s Car Tunes on West 7th and Blair.

He says he’s losing some of his property because of the route.

“I’m against it because I’m a business owner and a property owner along the route, first and foremost. They want to come in and take 14 percent of the property,” said Scott.

LTD officials say they’ll assess and compensate a fair market value for any land they take as part of the project.

In the long haul, Scott doesn’t believe the compensation is worth losing parking space and, potentially, customers. But, LTD officials and Forrest-Ball think differently.

“I bought the property to be here in the long haul. I can’t retire for another 25 years so, what’s three grand a month in business in 25 years? $750 thousand in your lifetime that you’re going to lose because they want to come in and take out some parking? That’s a huge impact,” said Scott.

“Property owners overtime see the value in having property that’s near a convenient, fast transit service,” said Lisa VanWinkle, west Eugene EmX communications coordinator.

“I think we may find that businesses along the EmX route end up getting more customers,” said Forrest-Ball.

LTD expects the new west Eugene EmX route to start running around 2017.

 

Mass Transit Ridership Up in US

ltdEUGENE, Ore. — Mass transit was more popular in 2013 than is has been in 57 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

In a report released Monday, APTA said 10.7 billion trips were taken using mass transportation last year.

Locally, LTD says their overall ridership numbers have stayed pretty flat the last few years, but they say EmX ridership has risen about two to three percent each year since its establishment.

They say cutbacks during the recession made numbers stagnant, but things are starting to look up.

“We are excited for the first time this year to be looking at adding some services back,” said Andy Vobora, LTD’s Director of Marketing. “Customers should be seeing some new service starting this summer and in the fall. So, that should help that ridership number getting back up in the positive direction,” said Vobora.

LTD says some of the new services will include running buses on four additional holidays, and extending evening hours on a few routes.

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