County transit officials seeking new rider facilities in Scappoose

Scappoose City Council on Monday denied a request by Columbia County Rider Transit Director Janet Wright to establish a bus stop on Havlik Drive, west of Highway 30.

The bus stop was proposed to meet the needs of Scappoose riders, Wright said. She said there is a “huge number of riders who want to use that area for a stop.”

The stop would provide CC Rider users with easier access to Fred Meyer, but the council denied the proposal because of parking and safety issues.

“From a police perspective, we think it’s a bad idea—a liability to put [a bus stop] right there,” said Scappoose Police Chief Douglas Greisen.

“I’m not going to support any bus stop on the west side of Havlik,” said Scott Burge, mayor of Scappoose.

City officials added that a park-and-ride bus stop on Havlik Drive could not support the parking needs of users without taking over a portion of the Fred Meyer parking lot, recommending instead for Wright to look into establishing a Havlik Drive bus stop on the less-traveled east side of Highway 30 or just south of Havlik Drive on Old Portland Road.

“When Fred Meyer was first proposed, they were supposed to have a public parking site,” Wright said. “I understand the concern about parking and congestion, but most Portland transit routes go to specific sites and stop, it’s not an issue as to where riders park.”

The CC Rider bus route that runs from St. Helens to Portland makes 10 round trips a day, beginning at Columbia Commons in St. Helens, then stopping at the St. Helens Rite Aid Pharmacy, Warren Baptist Church, the intersection of First Street and Prairie Street in Scappoose, then straight to Portland.

Wright said the First and Prairie stop in Scappoose is on railroad property. “The railroad doesn’t really want us there,” she said.

Wright is also trying to establish multiple bus amenities along Highway 30 through a 2015 enhancement grant with the Oregon Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The grant would outline a detailed plan for a park-and-ride station in Scappoose.

“We’ll continue to look for avenues to get a stop in the Fred Meyer area,” Wright said. “Lower Columbia Engineering is coming up with park-and-ride options for an enhancement plan, possibly in the First and Prairie area, but you still have the city of Scappoose moving south. Fred Meyer is where a lot of the business section is.”

CC Rider will hold a public meeting to discuss a Scappoose park-and-ride facility Monday, June 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Scappoose Public Library.

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