LTD has informed the Jefferson Westside Neighbors (JWN) that LTD is considering running EmX down W. 11th and 13th Avenues, through the neighborhood’s residential area.
Flash! At the February 9, 2016 Jefferson Westside Neighbors General Meeting the members voted overwhelmingly (43 to 24) in favor of the following motion:
Section 1. Until amendments to the Westside Neighborhood Plan that address the implementation of non-conventional mass transit (i.e., not regular buses) have been developed by a community-based planning process, approved by the City Council and acknowledged by the State, the Jefferson Westside Neighbors (JWN) opposes any future segment of EmX or other non-conventional mass transit being located on a street, excepting W. 7th Ave., within or adjacent to the area encompassed by the JWN boundaries.
Section 2. The JWN Chair is directed to inform Lane Transit District (LTD) in writing of this motion.
Section 3. The current and future Executive Board is to represent this motion as the position of the neighborhood in any discussions with LTD or City of Eugene officials until such time as the plan amendments described in Section 1 are acknowledged by the State.
NEWS! At the January 12,2016 JWN General Meeting, representatives from LTD and City of Eugene sprung the news that LTD was considering running EmX out W. 11th and back on W. 13th through the residential sections of the JWN.
LTD provided this reason in writing:
“[A]dding two new EmX lines (both Highway 99 and River Road) to 6th and 7th Avenues would result in a bus every three minutes or so, providing more service than is needed along those streets. …[A] routing alternative that has the Highway 99 Corridor connecting to and from downtown Eugene on 11th and 13th avenues would enable us to bring a higher level of transit service to more people (including people further south of 11th and 13th avenues).”
During the January 12 JWN meeting, LTD and City representatives also said that if EmX routes on Highway 99 and on River Road were implemented, having three EmX routes (including the West Eugene EmX under construction) all running on W. 6th & 7th Avenues would be “inequitable.” The explanation was that W. 6th and 7th would get more than a fair share of EmX service and running EmX down W. 11th & 13th would proved the “benefits” of EmX service to another area of the city.”
There is an assumption in LTD’s reasoning that running EmX on W. 11th and 13th Aves would provide a “higher level of transit service” and net “benefits” to residents around that alignment. In the past, substantial testimony from residents has argued that removing the current service would create a lower level of transit service, as well as substantial detriments.
It should be noted that the position stated above is inconsistent with LTD’s previous maps that showed the River Road route using 1st Avenue and Railroad Avenue to get from the city center to River Road.
LTD provided a written response (see below) that said:
“The most limiting factor for running EmX or Enhanced Corridor service on Railroad Avenue is having to cross railroad tracks. Those crossings create unpredictable delays that would disrupt EmX scheduling and on time performance.”
During the recent “public engagement” process, LTD presented the solution to that problem as running all three routes (West Eugene, River Road and Highway 99) out W. 6th/7th Ave. This was how LTD represented EmX planning in the public information that was provided to neighborhood groups. For example, the map to the right and below is from the River Road Community Organization website (posted August 6, 2013). Note that this map does not show any EmX running on W. 11th/13th through JWN residential areas.
What LTD and City of Eugene staff presented to the JWN is substantially different and never was subject to broad public review.
This proposal also conflicts with the JWN membership’s previous overwhelming vote in March 2011 to oppose EmX on W. 11th and 13th Aves. because of the potential negative impacts. Click here to read the resolution.
When LTD was pushing to get the West Eugene EmX (WEE) routed on W. 11th and 13th Aves., an independent analysis demonstrated that the W. 6th/7th Aves. alignment was better in all respects. Click here to view the slides from a presentation to the JWN.
HEY! CAN YOU HEAR US? Hybrid EmX buses can be very LOUD, especially during acceleration and deceleration. Here are some alarming facts about busses running under diesel power:
- One diesel bus or heavy truck produces the noise equivalent of over 32 automobiles.
- The noise levels generated by a diesel bus pulling away from a stop may exceed 90 db, the threshold level for hearing loss.
- The sound “power” of the noise from a diesel bus or heavy truck is on the order of some 300 times greater than that of ambient street noise or that produce by an electric trolleybus.
“Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.” — William H. Stewart, former U.S. Surgeon General
Click here to learn much more about the potential noise impacts of running EmX busses through residential neighborhoods.
INFORMATION: LTD was requested to provide answers to the following questions prior to the JWN vote.
LTD provided substantive answers to Questions 1, 2, 4, 5, 13, 14, 19 & 20. Click here to read LTD’s responses.
The following questions apply to the future possibility in which both the Highway 99 and River Road EmX alignments were built (in addition to the West Eugene alignment under construction) and one EmX alignment included W. 11th & 13th Aves.
- Which of the three alignments (WEE, Hwy99 or RR) would use W 11th/13th?
- What are the current routes and bus stops on W 11th and 13th Aves. between Olive and Garfield Streets?
- What would be the routes and bus stops on W 11th and 13th Aves. between Olive and Garfield Streets after the three EmX alignments were in operation?
- What is the current frequency of a standard bus at each of the above stops?
- What would be the current frequency of a standard and/or EmX bus at each of the future stops after the three EmX alignments were in operation?
- What construction would be required on W. 11th & 13th Aves., e.g., rebuilding lanes with concrete to support EmX busses, EmX loading stops, etc.
- What changes to traffic signals, flow, etc. would be required on W. 11th & 13th Aves. to support EmX busses and loading stations.
- Can you guarantee that none of the current parking between Olive and Garfield Streets would need to be removed? If not, what (if any) guarantee can LTD provide with respect to preserving current on-street parking?
- Can you guarantee that none of the existing street trees between Olive and Garfield Streets would need to be removed? If not, what (if any) guarantee can LTD provide with respect to preserving existing street trees?
- Can you guarantee that the current pavement widths (including travel and parking lanes) between Olive and Garfield Streets would not need to be increased? If not, what (if any) guarantee can LTD provide with respect to not increasing current pavement widths?
- What are the decibel levels and sound frequency distributions for current busses during travel, decelerating and accelerating?
- What would be the decibel levels and sound frequency distributions for EmX busses during travel, decelerating and accelerating?
- In today’s dollars, what are the current fares for typical rides to/from a bus stop on W. 11th or 13th Aves?
- In today’s dollars, what are the projected fares for typical rides to/from a bus stop on W. 11th or 13th Aves?
- In today’s dollars, what is the projected additional cost from today until completed implementation for implementing a W 11th/13th EmX alignment? Include all projected costs that would otherwise not be incurred if W 11th/13th alignment were eliminated from consideration today. E.g., public engagement, legal costs, design, construction, etc.
- What are all the “benefits” identified by LTD for implementing an EmX alignment on W. 11th/13th?
- What are all the “detriments” identified by LTD for implementing an EmX alignment on W 11th/13th?
- What are all the “risks” identified by LTD associated with a decision to implement an EmX alignment on W 11th/13th?
- What are all the reasons identified by LTD for implementing an EmX alignment on W. 11th/13th? Instead of using W 6th/7th Aves. for all three alignments?
- What are all the reasons identified by LTD for implementing an EmX alignment on W. 11th/13th nstead of using Railroad Avenue for the River Road alignment, as previously planned?
Current bus service: Here are two maps that show the current bus routes serving the JWN on W. 11th and 13th Aves. Note that four bus lines serve W. 11th and 13th Aves (#32, #41/#43, #76 and #93).
Possible loss of current bus service. The map below shows how LTD projected changing bus lines #32, #41/#43 and #93 so they no longer ran on W. 11th and 13th Aves. Bus line #76 was apparently to be eliminated altogether. LTD has been asked (see above) to update this map so JWN members can understand what current services and bus stops would be lost if EmX ran down W. 11th and 13th Aves.