The area around W. Broadway and Olive has routinely been the center of unsafe passage for intoxicated patrons standing in the street, off curbs, and in the median while they attempt to flag down taxis or while they wait for a taxi they have summoned. There has also been a problem with taxi cabs parking in the middle of the street while they wait for the fare to find them. Frequently, emergency vehicles and traffic is backed up while the taxi cab waits. This problem is especially noticeable on Friday and Saturday nights.
A Eugene Police Downtown Team officer researched the issue and found a proven program in another city that our city could deploy. The program reduces the congestion at W. Broadway and Olive St., as well as increases pedestrian safety and offers timely optional transportation to impaired drivers: Taxi Cab Staging Areas. When the team presented the idea to secure a couple of places near W. Broadway and Olive for people to go to get a safe ride home with a taxi, Eugene Parking and the Eugene Public Library immediately jumped in to support the program.
The idea is to allow taxi drivers to station in two predetermined locations:
- Eugene Public Library (with three staging stops) at 10th and Olive
- At the corner of 8th Avenue and Olive Street (with four staging spots). All pedestrians in search of Taxi service will be directed by EPD and local bar security to the two locations.
As the cabs line up in the locations, the customers will go to the taxi cab at the front of the line. When that taxi picks up a fare, he or she will leave and the next taxi will fill in the vacancy at the front. Once the taxi returns from the fare, he or she will pick up their spot at the end and wait his or her turn. This will create a safer environment to ensure the safety of pedestrian traffic. It will also ensure smoother vehicular traffic flow.