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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.

 

3 comments

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  1. LTD keeps dreaming says:

    “More customers” is the same ‘ol recycled rhetoric LTD keeps repeating. Along with Brad’s Car Tunes, 95% of the businesses along the route feel they will not see a sales boost from this boondoggle. Emerald Locksmith is one of only about 4 businesses that favor the project.

    This is more about LTD’s shelf preservation than providing sensible transit. Hopefully OMOT’s lawsuit will shelve this project once and for all.

  2. Its all free money says:

    This project is not needed and not wanted by the majority of citizens of Eugene and the vast majority of the effected businesses along the route. Many of them will fight tooth and nail every inch of the way which of course will run up the costs which are already ridicules.
    When will our government masters get their collective heads back into the daylight and realize We The People are broke. Three cheers for OMOT!!

  3. Another Unheard Business Owner says:

    As another unheard West Eugene business owner, this LTD project is an enormous waste of money. It is all about growing LTD and the jobs there, not about doing the best thing for Lane County residents. For Ms. VanWinkle to blather the hackneyed nonsense about business owners seeing the benefit in the long run is ridiculous. What is the comparison of disposable income for bus riders vs. car drivers? I am pretty sure bus riders are riding the bus mostly because they cannot afford other means of transportation, so they are unlikely to have lots of money to spend elsewhere either. So while they do spend some money at our businesses, it is relatively small. Bus riders never, and I mean NEVER come in to my store. And I am certain they compose close to zero percent of the business for Brad’s Car Tunes. Add to that the confiscation of property which impairs our businesses and may necessitate an expensive move, the inevitable increase in congestion on West 11th this will cause, and the additional distance riders will have to walk due to fewer stops on an express bus and this entire project adds up to a boondoggle waste of $97 million dollars. It is horrible and evil!

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