Typically, development and zoning practices separate housing from work, shopping, schooling and other services. These patterns guarantee that trips between these activities are common. And the automobile's range encourages development at greater distances. The consequence is ever-increasing resources dedicated to parking and roads.
But if a number of people could work, live and shop within a walkable neighborhood, they would only need a car occasionally. We believe the West End could be just this sort of neighborhood. It could be made more personal, and less automobile-dependent, than any other urban development in the United States.
We propose to require that tenants of the West End own no private automobile. All tenants of the 140 units will be expected to commute by foot, bike or public transport.
Tenants may, however belong to a car-sharing organization. In Europe, over one hundred thousand city-dwellers belong to these professionally run, not-for-profit, hourly car rental co-ops. This motor pool only needs one vehicle for every 10 to 20 people. Driving has been dramatically reduced by these groups. We are already in contact with the oldest of these groups in Berlin and Zurich. We will develop and manage this organization for the tenants and the surrounding neighborhood.
Parking normally needed for West End's 140 housing units
Residential parking needed under our proposal.
The West End will also contain office space and workshop/ showrooms. We will require that no worker commutes by automobile.
To make this easier, we will begin a flexible-route minibus commuting service for downtown employees. We believe that this service can be self-supporting, and dramatically reduce demand on parking downtown. During non-commute times, the minbuses can be available for large deliveries made by West End and Downtown businesses.
We plan to develop necessary services, such as childcare, so those who live and work downtown will not need a car.
Bicyclists will find a permanent bike valet parking operation in the West End. In this way cyclists can come downtown and check-in their bikes and gear without worry, and go to work or shop. Bike commuters can use showers and lockers here.
To help create an easier life for the auto-free Eugenean, such as the residents of the West End, we will organize the Transport Card, another successful idea from Europe. With one convenient card you can: get the keys to the shared car, ride the bus, pay for taxis, pay for deliveries, pay for your friends to ride the bus, rent bikes, rent boats, buy train tickets, etc. You then get a monthy "Transport Bill".
Berlin car sharing members hold up their Transport Cards.
Around the West End we plan to use inexpensive, state-of-the-art bike, pedestrian and auto separation strategies. A fundamental element in these is the bollard.
A bollard, along with a change in pavement texture, height and color, lets you know that you are moving into a different transport zone. For example, when walking past the ingress/egress to the West End parking structure you cross two lines of bollards. Lines of bollards also are found between the sidewalk and bike lane, and between the bike lane and the auto lane.
We plan to begin organizing many of our transportation projects as soon as possible. We believe parking demand downtown can be significantly reduced by the time the buildings are complete.
Eugene's car-sharing organization, the first in the U.S., is incorporated and has tested its procedures. The Eugene Car Co-op could have several hundred members by the West End's opening. We would start the flexible-route minibus commuter service for downtown employees as soon as construction begins. But we must also reduce construction impact. By building fully one-half of the underground parking at a time, we can make sure that at least half the current spots on the site are always available.