The Eugene Spring Home Show was a great place to talk to enthusiastic locals and folks from surrounding communities. Saturday, March 11, AARP staff asked visitors, “What would you do to build a community for people of all ages? People were hesitant at first, then often would come back and share their thoughts.
Residents shared things that they love about Oregon and the Willamette Valley, but shared the concerns most people have about the substantial influx of newcomers to the area and how that has impacted growth. One example, is the housing affordability issue. Prices in Eugene increased by 7 percent in the past year, and that is impacting smaller surrounding communities such as Veneta, Junction City and others.
Suggestions of possible improvements emerged:
- Curbside recycling
- Affordable housing
- Less traffic
- More civic participation
- More parks in neighborhoods
- Finding solultions to the homelessness problem in Eugene and Springfield
- Quit expanding the city boundary, and focus on building the city (Springfield & Eugene)
- Safer neighborhoods
- Safer bike lanes
- More listening from elected officials
- Increase visibility of seniors
- Transportation to the coast
- More affordable family-friendly events (surrounding communities)
- A more vital downtown with residences, more safety, and more things to do
Transportation came up several times as a need: better bus service and passenger train service. A few locals said they simply want more of what they already have: great art, music and local restaurants.
Let us know what you think would make your community even better for people of all ages– email us at oraarp.org. If you want to know about other AARP activities in the area, check us out online: www.aarp.org/OR