PORTLAND, Ore. – Neighbors and businesses said a TriMet bus route change is wreaking havoc on their way of life.
TriMet says they changed the route of the Line 8 bus to help close a budget shortfall. The buses used to stop at the Jubitz Travel Center on North Vancouver Way, but now it stops next to Woodlawn Park on Northeast Dekum.
Neighbors are upset about where the buses now park and turn around. The owner of Firehouse Restaurant says the buses are affecting his customers and business.
“The buses will use this triangle where Firehouse sits as a turnaround spot, so up to 16 buses an hour will come rumbling by, affecting the dining experience for our guests here on the patio,” said restaurant owner Matthew Busetto.
The buses park one after another, blocking Woodlawn Park during their layovers. Some are worried about pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
“The buses don’t just park there for a short time. They stay there for some duration,” said Busetto.
“When the bus is sitting here laid over and the 75 [bus] has to come into our parking zone and it’s awkward for passengers too,” said Mark Hoskins, who owns the nearby business Up Cycles.
TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said officials met with neighbors last week about the concerns, and plan to meet again soon. They asked bus drivers to stop idling near the park, Fetsch said.
"We took all the list of things, tried to address as many as possible, which is turning buses off, park them back from the bus stop so 75 can board riders there,” Fetsch said. “We look at all the issues and see where we can address them right away and what are longer-term issues may take time to evaluate and see what alternative there is.”
Neighbors said they are worried the idling will start again this winter when the buses stay on to keep the heat running. They plan to call the city and commissioners to complain.