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Eugene, Oregon

The city of Eugene ("yoo-JEEN") is the county seat of Lane County, Oregon, United States. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about 60 miles (100 km) east of the Oregon Coast. According to the official 2007 population figures Eugene is the second largest city in the state of Oregon, with an estimated population of 153,690, and the second largest metropolitan population. Eugene has long been the state's second largest city after Portland, but was briefly overtaken by Salem in terms of population from around 2005 to 2007. Eugene has since overtaken Salem as Oregon's 2nd largest city.

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon. The city is also noted for its natural beauty, activist political leanings, alternative lifestyles, recreation opportunities (especially bicycling, rafting, and kayaking), and arts focus. Eugene's motto is "The World's Greatest City of the Arts and Outdoors." It is also referred to as "The Emerald Empire," "The Emerald City," "The People's Republic of Eugene," and "Track Town, USA". The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene.

History

Eugene is named after its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. In 1846, Skinner erected the first cabin in the area. It was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8, 1850. At this time the location was known as Skinner's Mudhole. Skinner founded Eugene in 1862 and later ran a ferry service across the Willamette River where the Ferry Street Bridge now stands.

The first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College. It was founded in the same general area as, and a few years earlier than, the University of Oregon. It fell victim to two different major fires over four years, and after the second fire it was decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location of Columbia College. There is no college there today.

The town raised the initial funding to start a public University, which later became the University of Oregon, with the hope of turning the small town into a cultural center of learning. In 1872, the Legislative Assembly passed a bill ratifying the University. The nearby town of Albany was Eugene's biggest competitor to provide a home for this institute. In 1873, community member J. H. D. Henderson donated the hilltop land for the campus, overlooking the city. The University first opened in 1876 with the regents electing the first faculty and naming John Wesley Johnson as president. The first students registered on 16 October, 1876. It would not be until 1877 that the first building would be completed; it would be later known as Deady Hall (for the first Board of Regents President and community leader Judge Matthew P. Deady.) The University of Oregon has been a leader in diversity since its very beginning; its inaugural class included two Japanese students.

Eugene is the home of Oregon's largest publicly owned water and power utility, the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB). This institution got its start in the first decade of the 20th century after a typhoid epidemic was traced to the groundwater supply. Eugene condemned the private utility and began treating river water (first the Willamette, but now the McKenzie) for domestic use. EWEB got into the electric business when power was needed for the water pumps and excess electricity was used for street lighting.

Geography and climate

Geography

Eugene is located at (44.057663, -123.110345) at an elevation of 426 feet.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.6 square miles (105.0 km²). 40.5 square miles (104.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 sq mi or 0.10%) of it is water.

To the north of downtown is Skinner Butte park. Hendricks Park, situated upon a knoll to the east of downtown, is known for its rhododendron garden and nearby memorial to Steve Prefontaine, known as Pre's Rock, where the legendary University of Oregon runner was killed in an auto accident. Alton Baker Park, next to the Willamette River, contains Pre's Trail. Also located next to the Willamette is the Owens Memorial Rose Garden, which is home to more than 4,500 roses of over 400 varieties, and the 150-year-old Black Tartarian Cherry tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree. A climb up Spencer Butte, south of the city, offers a look at Eugene and the headwaters of Amazon Creek, a waterway running from the butte to Fern Ridge Reservoir. Mount Pisgah Arboretum, part of Buford Park to the east, hosts annual mushroom and wildflower festivals.

Eugene contains urban forest. The University of Oregon campus is itself an arboretum, with over 500 species of trees. The city operates and maintains scenic hiking trails that pass through and across the ridges of a cluster of hills in the southern portion of the city, on the fringe of residential neighborhoods. Some trails allow biking and others are for hikers and runners only.

The Willamette and McKenzie rivers run through Eugene and neighboring city, Springfield.

Climate

Like the rest of the Willamette Valley, Eugene lies in the Marine west coast climate zone, with some characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. Temperatures are mild year round, with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Spring and fall are also moist seasons, with light rain falling for long periods of time. Winter snowfall does occur, but it is sporadic and rarely accumulates in large amounts. Eugene's average annual temperature is 52.1 °F (11.2 °C); its annual rainfall is 50.9 inches (1293 mm). Eugene is actually slightly colder on average than Portland, despite being located about 100 miles (approx. 160 km) south and having only a marginally higher elevation. Eugene's average July low temperature is 52.7 °F (11.5 °C), while Portland's average July low is 56.5 °F (13.6 °C). Average winter temperatures (and summer high temperatures) are similar for the two cities. This disparity may be largely caused by Portland's urban heat island, where the combination of black pavement and urban energy use can actually raise the temperature. A lesser heat island may also exist in the immediate downtown of Eugene.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 67 72 78 86 93 102 105 108 103 94 76 68
Norm High °F 46.5 50.7 55.9 60.6 66.8 73.3 81.5 81.9 76.6 64.6 52.1 45.7
Norm Low °F 33 34.9 36.7 38.9 42.7 47 50.8 50.8 46.7 40.5 37.2 33.3
Rec Low °F -4 -3 20 27 28 32 39 38 31 17 12 -12
Precip (in) 7.65 6.35 5.8 3.66 2.66 1.53 0.64 0.99 1.54 3.35 8.44 8.29
Source: USTravelWeather.com

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 137,893 people, 58,110 households, and 31,321 families residing in the city. As of July 1, 2003, the US Census Bureau estimated the population of Eugene to be 142,185. The city's population is expected to further grow to 228,400 within the next 10 years. The population density was 3,403.2 people per square mile (1,313.9/km²). There were 61,444 housing units at an average density of 1,516.4/sq mi (585.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.15% White, 3.57% Asian, 1.25% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 3.72% from two or more races. 4.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 58,110 households, of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city, the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 17.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,850, and the median income for a family was $48,527. Males had a median income of $35,549 versus $26,721 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,315. About 8.7% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government

In 1944, Eugene adopted a council-manager form of government, replacing the day-to-day management of city affairs by the part-time mayor and volunteer city council with a full-time professional city manager. The subsequent history of Eugene city government has largely been one of the dynamics—often contentious—between the city manager, the mayor and city council.

Ten people have held the city manager position. These include Deane Seeger (1945-49), Oren King (1949-53), Robert Finlayson (1953-59), Hugh McKinley (1959-75), Charles Henry (1975-80), Mike Gleason (1981-96), Vicki Elmer (1996-98), Jim Johnson (1998-2002), Dennis Taylor (2002-2007), Angel Jones (2007-2008), and Jon Ruiz (2008-present).

Recent mayors include Edwin Cone (1958-69), Les Anderson (1969-77) Gus Keller (1977-84), Brian Obie (1985-88), Jeff Miller (1989-92), Ruth Bascom (1993-96), Jim Torrey (1997-2004), and Kitty Piercy (2005-present).

Eugene City Council:

Mayor: Kitty Piercy

  • Ward 1 - Bonny Bettman
  • Ward 2 - Betty Taylor
  • Ward 3 - Alan Zelenka
  • Ward 4 - George Poling
  • Ward 5 - Mike Clark
  • Ward 6 - Jennifer Solomon
  • Ward 7 - Andrea Ortiz
  • Ward 8 - Chris Pryor

City Manager: Jon Ruiz (April 14, 2008)

Economy

The largest employers are the University of Oregon, local government, and Sacred Heart Medical Center. Eugene's largest industries are wood products manufacturing and recreational vehicle manufacturing.

Corporate headquarters for the employee-owned Bi-Mart corporation and family-owned Market of Choice are located in Eugene. The Monaco Coach Corporation and Marathon Coach have their headquarters in nearby Coburg, Oregon. Hynix Semiconductor America announced on July 23, 2008 that it will close its large semiconductor plant in west Eugene. Emporium Department Stores, which was founded in North Bend, Oregon, had its headquarters in Eugene, but closed all stores in 2002. Organically Grown Company, the largest distributor of organic fruits and vegetables in the northwest, started in Eugene in 1978 as a non-profit co-op for organic farmers. Several local food processors, many of whom manufacture certified organic products, are nationally successful. These companies include Golden Temple (Yogi Tea), Mountain Rose Herbs, Surata Tofu, Toby's Tofu, Emerald Valley Kitchen, Turtle Mountain Foods (Soy Delicious Ice Cream) and Springfield Creamery (Nancy's Yogurt).

Several locally-developed small businesses have formed a coalition called Unique Eugene, which coordinates advertising and promotion, and shares its pool of customers.

Many multinational businesses were launched in Eugene. Some of the most famous include Nike, Taco Time, Aldus Software (now part of Adobe Systems), and Broderbund Software.

Education

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon. Other institutions of higher learning include Northwest Christian University, Lane Community College, Eugene Bible College, Gutenberg College, and Pacific University's Eugene Campus. Magnet schools and alternative education are key elements of the Eugene School District. The city also has many private and alternative schools, including The Little French School, a Pre-K through kindergarten program that provides immersion in a second language and the Eugene Waldorf School, an anthroposophical K-8 school. The curriculum of the Network Charter School, in downtown Eugene, is drawn from an alliance of local businesses and non-profits, such as the Center for Appropriate Transport. There are also a few elementary schools that immerse the students in a foreign language for half of the day: Buena Vista Spanish immersion, Yujin Gakuen Japanese immersion, and Charlemagne French immersion Bethel School District serves children in the Bethel neighborhood of Eugene.

Culture

Eugene has a significant population of people in pursuit of alternative ideas, and a large, though aging, hippie population. There is also a significant population of outdoor enthusiasts and young retirees from California, the Northeast and elsewhere.

Beginning in the 1960s, the countercultural ideas and viewpoints espoused by Ken Kesey became established as the seminal elements of the vibrant social tapestry that continue to define Eugene. The Merry Prankster, as Kesey was known, has arguably left the most indelible imprint of any cultural icon in his hometown. He is best known as the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and as the male protagonist in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Performing arts

Eugene is home to numerous cultural organizations, including the Eugene Symphony, the Eugene Ballet, the Eugene Opera, the Eugene Concert Choir, the Northwest Christian University Community Choir, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Oregon Children's Choir, the Eugene Youth Symphony and Oregon Festival of American Music. Principal performing arts venues include the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts ("The Shedd"), Beall Concert Hall and the Erb Memorial Union ballroom on the University of Oregon campus, the McDonald Theatre, and W.O.W. Hall.

A large number of live theater groups thrive in Eugene: Lord Leebrick Theatre, The Very Little Theatre, Actors Cabaret, LCC Theatre, and University Theatre each has its own performance venue.

In addition, Eugene is home to the Bijou Art Cinemas, an independent movie theater.

Museums and libraries

Eugene museums include the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History; the Oregon Air and Space Museum at the airport, Conger Street Clock Museum in West Eugene, the Lane County Historical Museum, Maude Kerns Art Museum, Shelton McMurphy House, the Cascades Raptor Center, and the Science Factory Children's Museum & Planetarium.

The largest library in Oregon is the Knight Library, at the University of Oregon with collections totaling more than 2 million volumes and approximately 17,000 journals. The Eugene Public Library moved into a new, larger building downtown in 2002. The four-story library is an increase from to 130,000 square feet.

Visual arts

Eugene's visual arts community is supported by over 20 private art galleries and several organizations, including Maude Kerns Art Center, Lane Arts Council, DIVA (the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts), the Hult Center's Jacobs Gallery, and the Eugene Glass School.

Annual visual arts events include the Mayor's Art Show and Art and the Vineyard

Other cultural events and fairs

  • The annual non-profit Oregon Country Fair, which takes place in nearby Veneta, is one of the largest volunteer events in the U.S.
  • The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, an annual gathering of environmental advocates from around the world, happens in Eugene. It is similar in nature to the World Social Forum.
  • The annual Eugene Celebration is a three day block party that takes place in the downtown area. The SLUG (Society for the Legitimization of the Ubiquitous Gastropod) Queen coronation happens the month prior to the celebration at the coronation contest and ceremony. The SLUG Queen is the reigning monarch of the celebration festivities and the unofficial ambassador of Eugene. The annual coronation process takes place in August and is a little like a formal pageant but with a campy spin. The new SLUG Queen presides over the parade at the Eugene Celebration in September.
  • The Lane County Fair and Asian Celebration are two annual events that take place at the Eugene Fair Grounds.
  • Eugene's Saturday Market, founded in 1970, was the first "Saturday Market" in the United States.. All vendors must create or grow all of their own products.
  • The Oregon Bach Festival is a major international festival. It is hosted by the University of Oregon.
  • The Oregon Festival of American Music, or OFAM is held annually in the early summer.
  • First Night is Eugene's New Year's Eve celebration. It is considered to be an alcohol-free event
  • Eugene's Mount Pisgah Arboretum, which resides at the base of Mount Pisgah, holds an annual Mushroom Festival and Plant Sale.

Eugene music

Because of its status as a college town, Eugene has been home to many musicians and bands, ranging from mainstream garage rock, to hip hop, folk and heavy metal. Eugene also has a growing reggae and street-performing bluegrass and jug band scene. Multi-genre act the Cherry Poppin' Daddies became a prominent figure in Eugene's music scene and became the house band at Eugene's W.O.W. Hall. In the late 90s, their contributions to the swing revival movement rose them to national stardom.

Dick Hyman, noted jazz pianist and musical director for many of Woody Allen's films, designs and hosts the annual Now Hear This! jazz festival at the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM). OFAM and the Hult Center routinely draw major jazz talent for concerts.

Eugene is also home to a large Zimbabwean music community. Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center, which is "dedicated to the music and people of Zimbabwe," is based in Eugene.

Social dance

Downtown Eugene has three major dedicated partner-dance venues. The largest is The Tango Center, a collectively-run non-profit dedicated to Argentine Tango, which also hosts the ELLA Swing Dance Club Studio B is the oldest of the group, hosting Ballroom, Salsa, and Argentine Tango events and classes. Staver Dancesport, the newest facility, hosts Ballroom and Salsa, in a street-level dancehall like the Tango Center's. The University of Oregon and Lane Community College teach a full range of partner dancing classes as well as hosting the Oregon Ballroom Dance Club and student-run Swing and Argentine Tango events. Approximately 10 other venues in town host partner-dances. The oldest social dance group in town is the Eugene Folkore Society, which currently hosts Contra and Zydeco dances at various venues.

Media

The largest newspaper serving the area is The Register-Guard, a daily newspaper with a circulation of about 70,000, published independently by the Baker family of Eugene. Other newspapers serving the area include the Eugene Weekly, the Oregon Daily Emerald, the student-run independent newspaper at the University of Oregon;The Torch, the student-run newspaper at Lane Community College, and The Mishpat, the student-run newspaper at Northwest Christian University. Eugene Magazine, Lane County's Lifestyle Quarterly and Eugene Living, Sustainable Home and Garden magazine also serves the area. Local television stations include KMTR (NBC), KVAL (CBS), KLSR-TV (FOX), KEVU, and KEZI (ABC).

The local NPR affiliate is KLCC. The Pacifica Radio affiliate (airing Democracy Now! and FreeSpeech Radio News) is the University of Oregon student-run radio station, KWVA. Additionally, the community supports two other radio stations: KWAX (classical) and KRVM (alternative). Eugene has the distinction of having the most radio stations per capita of any other metropolitan area in the country, with 28 FM and AM stations serving approximately 300,000 people.

Community

Eugene is perhaps most noted for its "community inventiveness." Many U.S. trends in community development originated here. The University of Oregon's participatory planning process, known as The Oregon Experiment, was the result of student protests in the early 1970s. The book of the same name is a major document in modern enlightenment thinking in planning and architectural circles. The process, still used by the University in modified form, was created by Christopher Alexander, whose works also directly inspired the creation of the Wiki. Some of the research for the book A Pattern Language, which inspired the Design Patterns movement and Extreme Programming, was done by Alexander in Eugene. Not coincidentally, those engineering movements also had origins here. A Pattern Language is the best-selling book on architecture and planning of all time.

Eugene was the birthplace of the earliest incarnation of a psychoeducational model now known as Health Realization which has received accolades for its contributions to community mental health in low income communities around the United States. Started by Roger C. Mills and George Pransky working under a National Institute of Mental Health grant through the University of Oregon, Health Realization arose from these psychologists' attempts—beginning circa 1976—to turn the teachings of Sydney Banks, into a new psychology focusing on what makes mentally healthy people healthy.

In the 1970s, Eugene was packed with co-operative and community projects. It still has small natural food stores in many neighborhoods, some of the oldest student cooperatives in the country, and alternative schools have been part of the school district for years. The old Grower's Market, downtown near the train depot, is the only food co-operative in the U.S. with no employees. It is possible to see Eugene's trend-setting non-profit tendencies in much newer projects, such as the Tango Center and the Center for Appropriate Transport. In 2006, an initiative began to create a tenant-run development process for Downtown Eugene

Anarchism

During the late 1990s and early 2000s Eugene contained a community of anarchists situated in the Whiteaker neighborhood west of downtown, which gained international notoriety in 1999 due to its perceived role in the battle of Seattle. Following those protests, then-mayor Jim Torrey described the city as "the anarchist capital of the United States." The Eugene anarchist movement grew out of the treesits and forest defense camps of the 1990s and soon began staging demonstrations and riots in Eugene, notably during a Reclaim the Streets event on June 18, 1999, when protesters blocked downtown streets and smashed the windows of three stores, and a few threw stones and bottles at police. The anarcho-primitivist author John Zerzan, known for being a supporter and confidant of the Unabomber, lives in Eugene.

Some of the anarchist activity could be said to have had its start in a "mud people's" protest. On that day, the participants noticed two blocks of trees, in a parking lot near the downtown area, were slated for removal the Sunday following. The ensuing "treesit" protest a week later, on June 1, 1997 was reported widely as it involved a several-hours-long action that was forcibly ended by police using copious amounts of pepper spray. A lawsuit by protesters against police response to that protest was settled five years later.

Anarchist activity in Eugene has declined since September 11, 2001, but the ongoing trials of accused eco-terrorists continue to keep Eugene in the same spotlight.

Outdoor recreation

The nearest ski resort, Willamette Pass, is one hour from Eugene by car. On the way, along Oregon Route 58, are several reservoirs and lakes, the Oakridge mountain bike trails, hot springs, and Salt Creek Falls within Willamette National Forest. Eugene residents also frequent Hoodoo and Mount Bachelor ski resorts. The Three Sisters Wilderness, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Smith Rock are just a short drive away.

Sports


Club
Sport
Founded
League
Venue

Oregon Ducks

Football, Basketball, Track and Field, Softball, Volleyball, Golf, Tennis, Baseball, Ultimate, Lacrosse, Hockey, Soccer, Baseball
1876
National Collegiate Athletic Association: Pacific Ten Conference
Autzen Stadium, McArthur Court, Hayward Field

Northwest Christian University Beacons

Basketball, Cross Country, Distance Track, Golf, Soccer, Volleyball
1895
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics,  Cascade Collegiate Conference
Morse Event Center

Eugene Emeralds

Baseball
1955
Northwest League
Civic Stadium

Eugene Gentlemen

Rugby
1973
Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union

Eugene Chargers

Basketball
2006
International Basketball League
Morse Event Center

Eugene Generals

Hockey
2005
Junior A Tier III-League Hockey: Northern Pacific Hockey League
 Lane County Ice Center

Most of Eugene's interest in sports surrounds the Oregon Ducks, part of the Pacific 10 Conference (Pac 10). American football is especially popular, with intense rivalries between the Ducks and both the Oregon State University Beavers and the University of Washington Huskies. Autzen Stadium is home to Duck football, with a seating capacity of 59,000. It is often considered one of the toughest places to play in all of college football: “Autzen’s 59,000 strong make the Big House [Michigan] collectively sound like a pathetic whimper. It’s louder than ‘The Swamp’ at Florida, ‘The Shoe’ in Columbus and ‘Death Valley’ at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die.” — Michigan Daily, September 2003.

For nearly 40 years, Eugene has been the "Track Capital of the World." Oregon's most famous track alumnus is Steve Prefontaine, who was killed in a car crash in 1975. He has become a legendary figure among Eugene runners for his guts and lack of fear in races. Eugene's excellent jogging trails include Pre's Trail in Alton Baker Park, Rexius Trail, the Adidas Oregon Trail, and the Ridgeline Trail. Jogging was introduced to the U.S. through Eugene, brought from New Zealand by Bill Bowerman, who wrote the best-selling book "Jogging", and coached the champion University of Oregon track and cross country teams.During Bowerman's tenure Bowermans's "Track Men of Oregon" won 24 individual NCAA titles, which included titles in 15 out of the 19 events contested. During Bowerman's 24 years at Oregon, his track teams finished in the top ten at the NCAA Championships 16 times, including four team titles (1962,'64,'65,'70), and two runner-up finished. His teams also posted a dual meet record of 114-20.

Bowerman also invented the waffle sole for running shoes in Eugene (legend has it that he made the first soles with his wife's waffle iron), and with U of O alumnus Phil Knight founded shoe giant Nike, Inc. The Nike Store in Eugene includes a museum of this slice of track history. Eugene's miles of running trails, through its unusually large park system, are the most extensive in the US. The city has dozens of running clubs. The climate is cool and temperate, good both for jogging and record-setting. Eugene is home to the University of Oregon's Hayward Field track, which hosts numerous collegiate and amateur track and field meets throughout the year, most notably the Prefontaine Classic. Hayward Field was host to the 2004 AAU Junior Olympic Games, the 2006 Pacific 10 track and field championships, and the 1972, 1976, 1980, and 2008 US Olympic track and field trials, and will host the latter again in 2012. A few feet from Hayward Field, the earth's oldest pairs of running shoes are on display, at the Museum of Natural History.

Eugene is also home to the Eugene Emeralds, a Class A minor-league baseball team that plays home games in Civic Stadium, and the Eugene Generals, a tier III Junior A amateur hockey club.

The Nationwide Tour's golfing event Oregon Classic takes place at Shadow Hills Country Club, just north of Eugene. The event has been played every year since 1998, except in 2001 when it was slated to begin the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Oregon Classic alumni have well over 100 wins on the PGA Tour. The $450,000 dollar purse and attendance make it the second largest-sporting event in Eugene behind Duck football. The top 20 players from the Nationwide Tour are promoted to the PGA Tour for the following year.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Lane Transit District (LTD), a public transportation agency formed in 1970, covers 240 square miles (620 km²) of Lane County, including Creswell, Cottage Grove, Junction City and Veneta. Operating more than 90 buses during peak hours, LTD carries riders on 3.7 million trips every year. LTD's Eugene Station, downtown, covers nearly a city block, and is easily the busiest public plaza outside of the University. LTD recently opened a Bus Rapid Transit line between Eugene and Springfield, much of which runs in its own lane. The Emerald Express, as it is called, started running in January 2007.

Cycling is popular in Eugene. Summertime events and festivals frequently have bike parking "corrals" that many times are filled to capacity by three hundred or more bikes. Many people commute to work by bicycle every month of the year. Numerous bike shops provide the finest rain gear products, running lights and everything a biker needs to ride and stay comfortable in heavy rain. Bike trails take commuting and recreational bikers along the Willamette River past a scenic rose garden, along Amazon Creek, through the downtown, and through the University of Oregon campus.

The 1908 Amtrak depot downtown was restored in 2004; it is the southern terminus for two daily runs of the Amtrak Cascades, and a stop along the route in each direction for the daily Coast Starlight. Air traffic is served by the Eugene Airport, also known as Mahlon Sweet Field, which is the fifth largest airport in the Northwest.

Highways traveling within and through Eugene include:

  • Interstate 5: Interstate 5 forms much of the eastern city limits, forming a boundary between Eugene and Springfield. To the north, I-5 leads to the Willamette Valley and Portland. To the south, I-5 leads to Roseburg, Medford, and the southwestern portion of the state.
  • Interstate 105/Oregon Route 126: Oregon Route 126 is routed along the Eugene-Springfield Highway, a limited access freeway. The Eugene portion of this highway begins at an interchange with Interstate 5 and ends two miles (3 km) west at a freeway terminus. This portion of Oregon Route 126 is also signed Interstate 105, a spur route of Interstate 5. Oregon Route 126 continues west, a portion shared with Oregon Route 99, and continues west to Florence. Eastward, Oregon Route 126 crosses the Cascades and leads to central and eastern Oregon.
  • Belt Line Highway: Beltline Road is a limited-access freeway which runs along the northern and western edges of incorporated Eugene.
  • Delta Highway: The Delta Highway forms a connector of less than 2 miles (3 km) between Interstate 105 and Beltline Highway.
  • Oregon Route 99: Oregon Route 99 forks off Interstate 5 south of Eugene, and forms a major surface artery in Eugene. It continues north into the Willamette valley, parallel to I-5. It is sometimes called the "scenic route" since it has a great view of the Coast Range and also stretches through many scenic farmlands of the Willamette Valley.

Hospitals

The Eugene area is home to three hospitals: McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center and Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, and Sacred Heart Medical Center University District, in Eugene. The two Sacred Heart facilities are owned by PeaceHealth.

Notable people from Eugene

Athletes

Others

Eugene in film

Sister cities

Eugene has four sister cities:

References

External links

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