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City of Eugene makes safety improvements to Pre’s Rock

PresRock_with sidewalk.jpg
Emily Proudfoot
City of Eugene
City crews added a sidewalk for safety along the narrow residential street.

Safety improvements to what has been an informal memorial to running star Steve Prefontaine in Eugene are almost complete.

Prefontaine died at age 24 in a car crash on a blind corner near Hendricks’ Park. The spot, dubbed Pre’s Rock, became a pilgrimage site for fans. City of Eugene Principal Landscape Architect, Emily Proudfoot told KLCC they added a four-foot sidewalk to keep visitors off the narrow street.

Emily Proudfoot
City of Eugene
Crews added a temporary railing to the new sidewalk Friday. They plan to add a more permanent one in the net week or so.

“It already feels, I think, significantly safer just to be up 6 inches out of the driving lane,” she said. “And, it just kind of establishes it as more of just, a little bit more of a place, without being overly intrusive, and sort of overly fancy or anything. It’s just a really basic improvement that I think is really nice actually.”

Proudfoot said they’ve added a temporary safety railing. It will be made permanent in the coming weeks. Steve Prefontaine’s 71st birthday was last Tuesday, January 25th.

Copyright 2022 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.