Residents in south-central Eugene are the focus of this year’s SmartTrips Eugene program. SmartTrips Eugene is designed to reduce drive-alone trips and increase biking, walking, rolling with a mobility device, using public transit, carpooling, and combining trips in targeted geographic areas of the city. The program is funded by State Transportation Planning (Urban) money administered through the local regional Metropolitan Planning Organization.
SmartTrips Eugene incorporates an innovative and individualized marketing program that hand-delivers packets of customized information to residents who wish to learn more about transportation options. Key components feature biking and walking maps and organized activities that get people out in their neighborhoods or places of employment to discover how many trips they can easily, conveniently, and safely make without using a car.
“Our goal is to provide community members in the target area with the materials and tools they need to get around Eugene in a variety of ways,” says SmartTrips Coordinator Jessica Kessinger. “A wide range of transportation options allows people to save money, improve their health, and improve the health of their community.” There are over 6,300 households in the south-central program area, and they are served with good transit coverage, well-connected streets, and many bike lanes and paths. This area is also well served by amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping within good walking and biking distance - as well as lots of parks, pools and recreational opportunities. Transportation options such as transit can help participants overcome challenges like hilly terrain and summer heat.
The south-central area of the city includes portions of council wards 1 and 2 and is roughly bound by Chambers Street on the west, 18th Avenue on the south, Hilyard and Emerald streets on the east, and 46th Avenue on the south. This is the fourth SmartTrips Eugene program. Previous neighborhoods that were served by the program include Harlow, Cal Young, Trainsong, Whiteaker, Jefferson-Westside and East Bethel.
“Based on before and after transportation surveys, our SmartTrips programs have routinely seen at least a relative seven percent reduction in drive-alone trips each year,” says the City’s Active Transportation Coordinator Lindsay Selser. “These programs are very effective, an extremely efficient use of funds for reducing vehicle miles traveled, and they are popular and fun!”
Residents in the target area will get an order form in the mail or they can order online at www.smarttripseugene.com. While people out of the target area cannot order a toolkit, most of the materials are available as free downloads on the program website. For more information, contact Lindsay Selser at 541-682-5094.