We’ve been supporting efforts in Eugene-Springfield to explore “tactical urbanism” options for the region. In other words, we’re interested in quick, affordable solutions to make conditions for people walking and bicycling, safer and more convenient.
Following a tragic pedestrian fatality earlier this year, we joined partners in requesting a “fast-tracking” of funds to improve the dangerous walking and bicycling conditions in the neighborhood where Irene Ferguson was struck and killed. The MPO approved $600,000 to begin implementing short-term safety improvements sooner rather than later. We welcomed this advanced timeline, especially considering how long it usually takes to request and program federal funds, but it got us thinking: What if we had a rapid-response program for bike/ped safety projects in the region?
We’ve been supporting efforts with the Lane Council of Governments and University of Oregon students to start exploring what rapid-response, “tactical urbanism” solutions are out there. This month, we participated in two pop-up tactical urbanism events designed by local engineers and University of Oregon students. We observed how car traffic behavior and speeds changed, when students laid down zig-zag striping tape to alert drivers to bicyclists and pedestrians exiting a Springfield greenway. And in Eugene, we tested a temporary traffic circle to slow speeds through a wide neighborhood intersection, and had some fun creating chalk art with neighbors.
Stay tuned for more details on the feedback we heard from the community, and how you can support future tactical urbanism solutions in the region.