Eugene/Springfield - The Bad News (Beaver: condo, crime rate, student loans)
Eugene areaEugene - Springfield metro area
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Okay so we've finally gotten some answers more on the honest and negative side about Eugene and Springfield and being that many people would like to move there I think it's fair that we hear all sides of situation. So we've heard about the incredible property crime rate and some really terrible things that have happened to people. Would people please use this thread to share the reality of their experiences in Eugene? Not the good stuff, which we've heard all about already, but the stuff one might want to watch out for. Thanks to some of the honest responders I've realized that an anti-theft device (or 7) for my car is a good idea as well as having a garage to store it in! Is there anymore personal experiences, or insights that people could provide that would better prepare us for our experience in moving to these areas? Thanks to these boards I know that I need snow chains for coming into Oregon, the correct clothing options, some good safety advice etc. I'd love to hear from everyone (even the ones who've already posted about this) as to what bad things we should all prepare for upon either visiting or moving to Eugene. Thanks again for all your help everyone on the Oregon forum!
Although never having lived there, I have always liked Eugene. The only reason I donít live there is because the Willamette Valley is flat and wet. I prefer to live around the mountains. The second thing I donít like is the weather. The Willamette Valley gets more than its fair share of rain. I still have webfeet today because of all the rain. Donít get me wrong, I am proud of my webfeet. They donít call them Oregon Ducks for nothing. Des, there are pluses and minuses everywhere you go. Just about everything in life is a trade off. The people who live in Eugene are willing to put up with the rain in order to be an hour away from just about anything you want to do. Eugene is the heart of Oregon. It is not by accident that it is Oregonís second largest city. The people who live there are perfectly happy and so will you once you become a Duck fan.
well, i like it cuz its got a couple great malls, and several starbucks, plus my all time fav. resturant (applebys) but i DONT like it cuz I get thoughorly lost each and everytime I go there. Not to mention, now that Im getting older (32) I dont like all the skinny little college girls in their sports bras and spandex shorts that are everywhere there. cuz im fat and old now, and i dont want to be reminded of what i once was. lol - I dont like it cuz its the home of the Ducks and Im a Beaver fanatic, but if its gonna come down to the Ducks or some outta staters, GO DUCKS lol. I dont like it cuz you cant get fresh crab there, thats why i live at the beach. But mostly, i dont like it cuz it confuses me. One minute Im on the freeway, then the beltline, then a highway, then the beltline, then the freeway aaaaaaaawwwwwwwwww!!!!!!! last time i got lost there, just trying to turn the heck around, it took me almost 45 minutes to get turned back the right way. yipes!!
LoL thanks for the responses so far. To respond to Dan I know there are going to be good and bad but I'm kinda looking for the bad right now so that I know what to be prepared for. It's easy preparing for the good stuff because you don't really have to be prepared for it! It's things that might come up that I've learned on here like auto thefts, your webbed feet lol, and things like that. Like I would have totally pumped my own gas not knowing any better and I just stumbled on that post about how it's illegal! Those kinds of things are always helpful to an outsider. I just liked to be prepared for everything! It makes the adjustment period much much easier. Know what I mean? Any other insights about Eugene/Springfield to be prepared for?
Oh and Tiff I never get lost and I live in a very confusing area myself so I'm not too worried about that! Thanks for the insight though that could potentially help someone else who might have the same problem. From your posts though it sounds like that happens everywhere for you lol. You should get a GPS! Those things are lifesavers for the directionally challenged. My best friend is definitely one of those. I totally feel your pain on getting older. I may only be 25 but ever since I've gotten a "real" job I've gained a ton of weight and feel more sluggish! It sucks!
Also I've heard about Allergies and things like that as well so maybe to hear more about crime experiences, population (how crowded is it really?), allergies, weather - this is everyones chance to speak the truth and voice their concerns and complaints and I'd really like to hear it.
With regard to crime, I posted something on the NM forum that I think is very relevant to Eugene (http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-mexico/23366-crime-relocation.html).
Knowing the lay of the land and being someone who doesn't care to "take a walk on the wild side" will make Eugene quite safe for the average person with good basic life skills, IMO. I've never felt that it is either unsafe or particularly crowded (though I was often on my bike when I was there, so traffic was usually a non-issue). It is a "big city" only by local comparison. One of the things that many people will tell you that they like about Eugene is its size.
Allergies are very idiosynchratic, so don't buy the argument that a particular locale is "bad for people with allergies" unless you know that you, yourself, are susceptible to the prevailing allergens in that area. Grass pollen is a very common trigger and the Willamette Valley has plenty of it. I, myself, had far worse allergies in southern Arizona than I did in the WV.
Weather is glorious from mid-June to mid-Oct. straight through. How people respond to the weather from late November to late March depends on their individual psyches. Many love the rain and the cool. Some Oregonians will tell you that it is their favorite time of year. Others find the extended damp and the gloom too much to put up with year after year. Seasonal Affective Dysfunction is at the extreme end and affects maybe 5-10% of the people who move here. If you know or even suspect that you might be SAD-susceptible, I would not live anywhere north of the Vitamin D Deficiency Line (35 degrees north). Late March to mid-June and mid-Oct to late November are transitional...mostly cool, partly sunny days with occasional showers mixed in.
One of the things that I encourage people to examine when thinking about a move is what "payoffs" they think a target locale offers for them. A "payoff" is something that you value as an individual that makes enduring the negatives worthwhile. Bicycle-friendliness, enviro-consciousness, gardening potential, local and organic foods, political progressiveness, and cultural diversity are some of the potential payoffs that exist in Eugene. If these are among the things that you attach particular value to, then the payoff is there. If your own personal payoffs do not figure prominently in Eugene, you may not find that the ratio of positives to negatives is favorable enough to warrant the move.
Finally, processing data and the testimonials of others only goes so far. Just like finding a lifemate, finding a suitable city involves a certain Factor X that is very visceral and individual...how should I say this...okay, it concerns "the qi of place". That Chinese word is the only thing that comes to my mind right now. It's a place that sits well in your heart, that enhances your vital energy and produces a natural and social environment that you feel good about being a part of. No matter how many people swear up and down that Eugene is the best place to live in North America, if its qi doesn't dance with your own, then its just another mid-sized city with advantages and disadvantages.
A lot of places in town get a lot of traffic. Anywhere near the Gateway mall and you may be stuck in your traffic lane and not able to get out of it. I know we had to go by where we wanted to turn because of the traffic jam.
Going out on highway 126 towards west Eugene also gets crowded. If you are used to a large city this may not be new for you.
I just wanted you to know that they do have a lot of traffic in town. However there's lots of places for shoping.
I have seen on the news that there's a park in Eugene that has lots of homeless people but it looked like all homeless guys. I'd look around if I were living there before going into a park. It's just good to be careful.
Aw Steve... I always love your responses. Always so rational and well said. Thanks for the input. I completely agree with what you're saying. There are WAAAAAY more good things about Eugene than bad. I just wanted to hear some of the bad so I could be prepared for it and make it less... well, bad! Everything you said about potential payoffs are things that are definitely positives in my eyes. I cannot WAIT to partake in the organic foods in Oregon and do some gardening myself. Kinda hard to do that in a condo!
Okay, you asked....I moved to Eugene from Seattle 14 years ago. That would be 13 years 364 days too darn long. I'm relocating back to Washington this summer - can hardly wait! Many people who come to Eugene from otherwhere discover to their dismay that Eugene is pretty bad - details to follow - only the economy here is so dire that once here it is tough to make/save enough money to get back OUT again. I've had it described as a vortex, and that's not far off. First - weather - summers are glorious if you can stand heat indexes in August and September that rival Atlanta's (e.g., you will need prescription strength antiperspirants and a good drycleaners). There is A LOT of street crime, homelessness - Lane County has not figured out how to deal with the homeless problem and these people, mostly mental misfits of one type or other, are in horrible straits from the municipalities' failure to help them and the local churches can do only so much. Many "affordable" neighborhoods - well, first you'd have to question the term "affodable" and then look at what they are built on - in Bethel-Danebo for example there is groundwater contamination and soil contamination from previous decades of industrial development. The very air here is BAD - check the statistics on LRAPA (air pollution agency). Cars are not "smogged" here which means NOX, CO2, carbon monoxide, and particulates. Mills within city limits are somewhat controlled but factually most mills are outside city limits, and the particulate matter and ozone contamination rival Los Angeles. Temperature inversions here are frequent both summer and winter and if you have any inclination toward lung problems you will be guaranteed visits to the local hospital when the fifth...or eighth....or tenth day of freezing fog in december has trapped the filthy air right at breath level. The police here profile for race and the Eugene Police Department and Lane County Sheriff Department are well known for corruption and ignoring the more abusive types of police behavior (for example, please google the Juan Lara case--'ats what I'm talkin' about). It is very, very difficult to get a job here and when you do, you will not be paid anything close to (a) what you were making where you came from or (b) what you are worth. For example, I was making MORE THAN DOUBLE in Seattle in 1992 (15 years ago) than I am today in Eugene. True - we are just beginning to have traffic problems as far as congestion and there are some infamous albeit short corridors where you sit...and sit....and sit....and oh by the way the highest percentage of accidents are caused by substance-abusing drivers (Oregon being the meth capital of the US and Lane and Douglas Counties being the highest in Oregon). Plus here there is a strong, unshakeable belief in the right to (a) engage fully in road rage, (b) tailgate in the slow lane just for fun, (c) travel at speeds exceeding 85 if you're a triple hauler truck or oil tanker, (d) never, ever use turn signals, (e) run merging cars off the freeway at entrances just for giggles and grins. I could go on but no doubt you get my point. Now - do you have dogs? Do you have a horse or two? Well - prepare to shell out enormous dollars to have your pet treated by a vet. Oregon State University vet school has one of the highest tuition/fee structures in the country and Oregon thinks very pooly of higher education and has a decades long disinvestment in same, so vets coming out of OSU are over a hundred grand in debt for student loans so they charge pet owners accordingly. If you have a horse, be advised that according to their stated policy, the two main clinics in this area REFUSE to treat laminitis or founder and will ONLY euthanize the horse - if you have a laminitic horse or - perish the thought - a foundered one, you'd better be prepared to import your vet from somewhere else. Keep in mind - even the first people here, the native Americans, called this the Valley of Death. The chamber of commerce tries to spin that and admits to only "valley of sickness." Well - either way - if you were physically healthy before you won't be once you live here - the area has more than quintuple the number of asthma and allergy cases of almost any area of the country. And the local grass seed farmers (Lane, Linn and Benton counties are the world's larges producer of grass seed) still engage in the barbaric practice of field burning in August and September, guaranteed to fill the local emergency rooms; a newscast in 1999 detailed how during one 24-hour period at Sacred Heart the emergency room overflowed into the parking lot and they ran out of oxygen there were so many desperate patients! Well, I know that some forum posters will react with anger at me for spilling the ugly beans about Eugene and say "good riddance" moving back to Washington. But there are some very, very serious problems here that cut across all areas - financial, employment, taxes, political, health, neighborhoods and services. Please think very, very carefully before moving here, I can pretty well guarantee you will regret it. If you do move here be SURE to keep enough money in the bank to fund a move away - or you truly will be in "the vortex."
Seasonal Affective Dysfunction is at the extreme end and affects maybe 5-10% of the people who move here. If you know or even suspect that you might be SAD-susceptible, I would not live anywhere north of the Vitamin D Deficiency Line (35 degrees north).
I am very prone to SAD, and manage it easily by just standing in a light box, surrounded by 1200 watts of fluorescent light, for a half hour three times a week. I picked up a used light box from a tanning shop that was going out of business and fitted it with regular broad spectrum fluorescent tubes instead of the tanning tubes. Problem solved, and I don't have to put up with the hellish weather in the south.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.