City Council opens parking during event hours to ease congestion on adjacent street

GedllichThe Scappoose City Council voted Monday, Nov. 4, to allow parking on the eastern portion of High School Way from Highway 30 to Southeast Sixth Street during non-school hours.

City Councilor Donna Gedlich, who lives on Southeast Fifth Street just north of Highway School Way, brought the issue to the council. She said at an Oct. 7 meeting she had been hearing complaints from her neighbors on Southeast Fifth Street about too many cars parking on both sides of the street during school events. Gedlich also complained during that meeting that she was unable to clean her RV on Southeast Fifth Street because of the amount of cars parked on her street and requested that “no parking” signs or “no event parking” signs be installed.

As of now, parking will be allowed on Fifth Street. Council made the decision to allow parking on High School Way to keep cars away from Southeast Fifth Street during events held at the Scappoose High School athletic fields.

Inititally, the City Council planned to allow parking on the street during all hours.

Parking will be allowed seven days a week with an exception of the hours between 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, in an effort to prevent students from parking on the road during school hours.

Stephen Jupe, superintendent of the Scappoose School District, said he had concerns about removing the “no parking” signs along High School Way. Jupe said that if cars were parked along the road, students’ presence might be obscured, causing safety issues.

Jupe said there are also security concerns with students parking along High School Way since the district cannot apply school rules to the off-school parking zone.

He added that the public parking zone could also cause security issues.

“In a world that has become more and more vulnerable, especially for pubic buildings... it’s one more vulnerability we would have been needlessly creating,” Jupe said after the meeting.

Hearing Jupe’s initial opposition, Gedlich took a stern tone and lectured the superintendent.

“I can tell you for a fact that for 44 years, people have parked on High School Way to attend public events, forever,” Gedlich exclaimed. “There were no accidents, there were no problems, there was nothing. And how many students do you know that walk further than they absolutely have to — they’re all up in the parking lot smoking or they’re in my yard everyday smoking. You haven’t lived here long enough. It’s wide enough. The buses speed up and down the road, the kids are high-tailing it up and down the road, and you’re worried, maybe, that you might get in trouble with a student because he leaves campus early? Maybe you should close campus.”

Jupe told the Spotlight Tuesday that the school has plenty of space in its western parking lot to accommodate the school’s students.

Jupe said he was happy with the compromise council made to allow parking on the road, including the exclusion for school hours.

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