We’re closing out a big week.
Monday’s work session discussed the challenges of finding stable sites for Rest Stops, particularly a permanent site for the Nightingale Health Sanctuary. As of today, the site will remain near the Eugene Mission for another two months while staff continue to seek an alternative.
We also heard about the progress on the Wayfinding Project - to improve signage and accessibility downtown. Consistency, bright colors, graphics and the possibility of local art will make our city core simpler to navigate.
This complements the report we heard on Wednesday, which featured a presentation from the Project for Public Spaces about our opportunities to improve downtown. Although newspaper coverage focused on the challenges of homeless adults and travelers occupying our public spaces, the report actually centered on the specific opportunities for structural changes and programming to improve the accessibility, attractiveness and versatility of our public areas. Read the findings, observations, and community engagement done here: https://www.eugene-or.gov/3368/Places-for-People---Downtown. Their ideas include turning the four corners at Olive and 10th Avenue each into seating areas, including features like swinging chairs; and establishing eateries with a retractable roof at Kesey Square.
We had another big turnout for the public forum on Monday night. Of the 51 people who testified, about half expressed support for Eugene becoming a sanctuary city. The next most common concern was homelessness and the need for services and shelter.
This morning, representatives of tea producers from our Sister City, Kakegawa, Japan, treated me to a tea ceremony featuring their rich, aromatic green tea. Find them at this weekend’s Asian Celebration, Booth 57.