Though city denied CC Rider bus stop on Havlik Drive, county disregarded decision

by: FILE PHOTO - While CC Rider transit director Janet Wright said she was putting an end to the transit system's stops on Havlik Drive because Scappoose police had started to cite drivers, Scappoose Mayor and former interim City Manager Scott Burge said he was unaware of any citations handed out to CC Rider drivers.Following the threat of citations, a Columbia County public transportation official pulled the plug on the county’s use of a bus stop on Havlik Drive in Scappoose.

“Because the City has decided to stop and cite our bus drivers for using the stop we have no choice but to cease using the Havlik Road stop immediately,” wrote CC Rider Transit Director Janet Wright in a Thursday, Dec. 26, press release.

Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge, who was acting as the city’s interim manager until Jan. 1, said he is unaware of any citations issued to the county’s bus drivers.

“As far as I know, no CC Rider driver has been cited,” Burge said. “I know one has been warned.”

City officials at a June 17 meeting rejected the county’s proposal to place a bus stop on Havlik Drive, citing safety concerns for the high-traffic road. But despite that denial, the county installed a bus stop sign and added the stop to its online route schedule, Burge said.

“They have to have the city’s permission to put in a bus sign,” he said. “The police department, city planner and city engineer all had concerns.”

Burge pointed out that alternate bus stops were suggested to Wright, including stops on the east side of Highway 30 on Havlik Drive and on Old Portland Road, south of Havlik Drive.

Wright said the alternate stops would not have worked.

“They did propose other places for a stop,” Wright said. “But all wouldn’t have allowed for me to turn the buses around.”

Wright said she wasn’t angry with Scappoose officials, but argued the Havlik stop was not a park-and-ride and therefore did not necessitate lengthy stops.

“At a bus stop, you drive up, let people on and off and you leave,” she said.

Burge disagreed.

“It’s not a place where we’re expecting people to need a bunch of facilities.”

“They’re parking for a few minutes as they wait,” he said, noting that Havlik Drive is a no-parking zone. “And technically, stopping is parking.”

Wright pointed to a report from Portland engineering firm David Evans and Associates indicating to her the intersection with Havlik Drive and the Fred Meyer parking lot was wide enough to facilitate a stop, despite the city’s concerns.

As of Thursday, Jan. 2, CC Rider’s website displayed bus schedules updated in October with multiple stops at Fred Meyer, one noting “Havlik” on the schedule. Burge said at some point between June and October, the county’s transportation officials decided to “ignore the city’s authority.”

“The point is that the city said ‘no’ and suggested other viable spots and, instead of working with the city, they just went and did it against the city in a spot where we specifically said ‘no,’” Burge said.

For her part, Wright said she receives frequent calls from riders who want a stop close to Fred Meyer.

“We’ve gotten asked about getting on and off at Fred Meyer for a long time,” she said. “It brings people into the community, which is economically great. We’re going to continue to work with Scappoose to resolve issues to serve people.”

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