The public will not be allowed to park on a portion of S.W. Third Street following action taken Monday night by the Hermiston City Council.
The council voted unanimously to prohibit public parking on the street between Orchard Avenue and Locust Avenue. On the west side of the street, the no-parking zone would go from the intersection with Orchard, 155 feet to the north, roughly equating to the frontage of the Food Pod on to S.W. Third Street. On the east side of the street, the zone would be 40 feet between the driveways to the city-owned parking lot.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation through its Kayak Public Transit department made the request to the city. Since 2018, the area at Third and Orchard has been a meet-up location for KAYAK’s “Hermiston Hopper” and “Hermiston HART” buses, where riders of the two separate routes have the opportunity to transfer.
The HART Bus, which operates within the city, stops at this location up to 12 times per day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The Hopper Bus, which operates between Hermiston and Pendleton, stops at this location up to three times per day. Since the development of the Food Pod the bus has had issues from time to time with customers parking where the bus needs to park. Although the bus can sometimes make due by parking further to the north, it can be challenging at those times when both buses need to meet up at that location.
Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan said another complicating factor is the city had to remove the bus shelter near the food pod due to repeated vandalism.
“That removed an ancillary environmental indicator that this isn’t really a spot for you to park,” Morgan said. The shelter, Morgan said, will be replaced but no date for its return has been set.
Councilor Jackie Linton said she occasionally eats at the food pod and has seen people park at the bus stop area.
“I’ve seen buses have to stop in the middle of the street to let passengers on,” Linton said. “It’s not safe.”