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50 Years of KEZI 9 News: Debate Over West Eugene Parkway

November 28, 2010

EUGENE, Ore. — For decades the cities of Eugene and Springfield have wrestled with the problem of growth and the traffic problems that go along with it.

Eugene in particular has tried several times to address growth on the west side, but one potential solution also proved to be highly divisive.

It was called the West Eugene Parkway (WEP).

Planners said the parkway was necessary to deal with expected growth.

But critics, including Mayor Kitty Piercy, said it would be environmentally destructive and would just dump more traffic into downtown.

In the end, opponents of the parkway prevailed.

Money was granted for other transportation projects, even as the parkway was stripped from the master list.

One of those other projects is the new I-5 interchange in the Gateway Mall area.

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