By MELINDA OLIVER
This experience has felt like I’ve been bullied by Cherriots (Salem-Keizer Transit). A few days ago my husband noticed a flier on the table next to our front door. To our surprise, it was a letter informing us a bus stop would be placed in front of our house. Can you believe this was the way of notification where there was a possibility that the flier could have blown away?
I am very much against the bus going down Stone Hedge again, all I can remember is how my windows would rattle from the bus zooming down the road. Here are a few comments off of the “Nextdoor.com” website which is like a local Facebook, and I would recommend you joining if you live in neighborhood:
“I have given my ‘vote’ (negative) via the Cherriot website and this forum but it didn’t seem to matter. I think the reality is that ‘they’ did what they wanted no matter what we wanted. “
“I had the bus stop on my corner before and it was horrible. Noise, trash, people wanting to use our bathroom while waiting for the bus etc. Not looking forward to all of this ‘convenience’ again.”
“Yes, at the very least the stop in the middle of Stone Hedge should be changed to McLeod at Tepper Lane. That would eliminate the problem of losing parking, stopping right in front of anyone’s house, or the stop on the hill like it was before.”
“…we have the closest proximity to the new bus station of anyone in Keizer. The station offers park and ride options.”
I called Cherriots the next morning after receiving my notification, and I set up a meeting to discuss placement. I immediately texted my closest neighbors who were as surprised as I was that there is going to be a bus again down our street starting Sept. 3 and running from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
After meeting with Cherriots representatives, I believe my neighbors pointed out issues and missed opportunities.
1. Gubser kids that live to the east use Stone Hedge to walk to and home from school some as young as kindergartners (9:00 a.m., noon, and 3:30 p.m.); these kids tend to play chase and I have seen them dart into the road.
2. There are a lot of cars that park at the corner of Stone Hedge and 14th St. to drop off and pick up Gubser kids. If you live nearby, you avoid that intersection during school drop off or pickup times. I’m going to wish the bus driver luck on trying to turn left from Stone Hedge onto 14th.
3. The hill at McLeod Lane and Stone Hedge can be an issue during the winter when there is snow and ice.
Here are some better options and missed opportunities:
a. I would recommend Mistwood Drive (the street before Stone Hedge) which would eliminate the above issue;
b. My favorite would be to have the bus follow the natural flow and go thru the four-way stop and head all the way down McLeod Lane and turn left to go by Gubser. This would give service to people at the back of the subdivision and the families over the walking bridge by Gubser that connects with Country Glen. This route will not fight the Gubser traffic because the bus would be heading south.
Forty-nine neighbors on Stone Hedge have signed a petition to remove this bus stop. Once this goes through, the next step is to get the route changed as well.
The next meeting is Aug. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at 555 Liberty St. SE.
I’m hoping to bring attention to the above issues and would love any support.
(Melinda Oliver lives in Keizer.)