What are Open Streets?
Open Streets connects residents to their neighborhood's amenities and to one another by providing safe spaces for physically-distanced walking, biking and rolling on city streets. Open Streets are for exercise as well as for traveling to neighborhood restaurants, shops, parks, and more. The Open Streets pilot ran from August to September in Bethel this summer. More neighborhoods to come this fall!
Why Open Streets?
Outside Activities are Good for our Physical and Mental Health.
Many of us have been spending more time indoors than we’re used to, but spending time outside is necessary for our physical and mental health. Open Streets gives us more space right outside our front door to move our bodies and clear our heads.
Vehicle Trips are Down, Vehicle Speeds are Up.
As a result of Governor Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives order, Eugene’s seen a decrease in motor vehicle trips. People walking, running, and biking are using the extra space for exercise. At the same time, some people driving are responding to the low-traffic streets by speeding—putting the safety of recreating residents at risk.
Some Paths, Trails, and Sidewalks are Full.
As you might have noticed, some of our paths and trails are more full than usual right now, sometimes making it challenging to maintain a safe physical distance. Also, most of our sidewalks are not wide enough for people to stay physically-distanced, so residents in our densest neighborhoods are already walking in the streets.
How does it work?
Open Streets will limit motor vehicle through traffic on a small percentage of Eugene’s streets in order to create more space for people to walk, bike and roll for recreation and travel.
Barricades at the ends of Open Streets will discourage all but local motor vehicle traffic from using the street. Exceptions include: emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles, and garbage/recycling trucks.
Residents can use Open Streets throughout the summer to take walks and bike rides. Signage will share destinations residents can reach on or nearby the Open Street on foot or bike, including restaurants, parks, grocery stores, shops, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be able to get to my home using my vehicle if I live on an Open Street?
All residents living on Open Streets can access their homes using their vehicles. We ask that you drive especially cautiously and aware as you do so. Please invite any guests you may have to do the same.
Are the streets closed to people performing essential services (emergency vehicles, waste collection, street sweeping, essential construction activities, deliveries, etc.)?
No, people driving to final destinations on Open Streets may access their final destinations. We appreciate all of our essential workers and those providing deliveries from restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies, and everything in between.
Can I park on an Open Street?
If your destination is on an Open Street, you can park your car on it.
Will I be ticketed for driving on an Open Street?
Cars are permitted as long as they are traveling to or from a specific place along them and are moving at a safe speed.
How can I help ensure drivers slow down on my nearby Open Street?
If speeding is an ongoing issue on your Open Street, call/text 541-501-0390 or email us and Open Streets organizers will consider additional traffic control measures.
Will this result in a lot of people gathering on these streets? Is that safe?
Signage on Open Streets encourages physical distancing to keep users safe from COVID-19 transmission. Wearing a mask may also be helpful, particularly if you are not able to keep at least 6' of distance for any reason. As long as everyone keeps walking and rolling through the space, crowds should not be an issue. If you find it is, however, call/text 541-501-0390 or email Open Streets.
Can I nominate my street?
Definitely! You can nominate a street by emailing us here. We’re especially looking for those streets in dense neighborhoods, those in neighborhoods with fewer parks and paths, and those that link users to essential goods and services.
How can I stay in the loop on events and activities that might take place on Eugene’s Open Streets?
Have a question that’s not covered? Want to leave a comment about Open Streets or report an issue?
Call or text 541-501-0390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.