EmX expansion protest plasters West 11th with signs

EmX expansion protest plasters West 11th with signs

EUGENE, Ore. - A battle over bus service is brewing in West Eugene.

Lane Transit District is considering three options for the EmX expansion. One of them is along West 11th Avenue.

The option isn't sitting well with business owners. They're taking their protests public. A half a dozen business owners put up fourteen signs along the road. They say "No Build".

George Cole has owned Cole's Furniture for more than 50 years. He's helping pay for the signs.
"I want them not to expand the EmX any place," Cole said. "I'm for no build period. It's going to be a net loss because people don't shop for furniture or automobile related businesses in the bus."

To be fair, KVAL News wanted to get LTD's reaction to the signs.

Spokesperson Andy Vobora said they understand the concern.

"We just want to make sure that people have the right information," Vobora said. "That's been the biggest frustration I think with some of the signs, some of the fliers that have been passed around, is that it's not good information."

KVAL News asked Vobora what about the signs is inaccurate.

"A lot of it is just over-dramatized and out there to create fear, that all businesses on West 11th will be destroyed, that access will be affected and people won't be able to get in your businesses," he said.

According to Vobora, the routes can also be changed and adjusted to accommodate different business needs.

George Cole said that's not good enough. The best plan he said, is no EmX at all.

To be clear, W. 11th is just one of three options LTD is considering for the expansion. They will make their final decision next March. Construction won't begin until 2015.