Eugene Councilors Consider Ways To Increase Downtown Safety

Feb 8, 2017

The Eugene City Council is considering restricting smoking and dogs downtown in an attempt to make the neighborhood safer. The council will hear from the public on the two proposals at its February 27th meeting.

Map of Eugene's downtown core where the proposed ordinances banning smoking and dogs would apply.
Credit City of Eugene

Eugene’s downtown business owners and residents have been asking the city to do something about the dangerous environment in their neighborhood. For many, walking along the sidewalk includes the risk of being catcalled, asked for money, and harassed by the people who hang out downtown.  Some city councilors called for an increased police presence. Councilor Mike Clark pointed out that there needs to be enforcement of existing city ordinances.

Clark: “I’d like to hear solutions that talk about the wisdom of bringing 5 new officers and a new sergeant and, you know, 15 new beds that we’re renting from Lane County, so we can actually decide, are we going to enforce the laws downtown or not.”

Mayor Lucy Vinis said that’s something to bring to budget discussions in the spring. Councilors were hesitant about calling for bans on smoking and dogs downtown, but a majority agreed to bring the ideas to the public for discussion.