CANNON BEACH - Shuttles, speeding and street signs added to a multifaceted Cannon Beach City Council meeting Tuesday.

Following studies and public testimony, city officials made a controversial decision to transfer the operation of the Cannon Beach shuttle operation to the Sunset Empire Transportation District, effective last July. After reviewing the first quarter of operations, the Cannon Beach Shuttle Task Force issued its a progress report to councilors Tuesday.

Frequently voiced concerns of loss of local control and fear that the city would lose the friendly and welcoming aspects associated with its shuttle remain unfounded, according to the task force. Any issues raised have been handled by the district in satisfactory ways.

City Manager Helen Westbrook said among other things the group commended the provision of large Haystack Rock decals identifying the shuttle as a Cannon Beach vehicle, the timely supply of comment cards, constant service without a lunch break, and praise for friendly drivers.

"The task force finds SETD has provided a consistent and acceptable level of service for our community," the report added. "In some ways, it is a greater level of service than we provided ourselves.

"We look forward to ongoing growth of service and cooperation as part of the county transportation district."

Councilors said they were pleased to see positive results and thanked the task force, which is expected to continue to monitor the operation and make quarterly reports.

Also on Tuesday, Joy Gannon, public works director, explained that the city's 15 mph speed limit signs on residential streets are not authorized by the state and cannot be enforced by the city. The 30 to 50 signs were posted over the years in response to the safety concerns of residents, but they violate the standards of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, she said.

"It's my recommendation that we take them down," Gannon said.

Residential streets are typically 25 mph, and tests in Cannon Beach indicate most drivers travel that speed. After engineering studies, some requests for advisory, yellow and black 15 mph signs may be warranted, Gannon said.

In the end, councilors voted 4-0 in favor of a motion to remove the signs (Councilor Betsy Ayres was absent).

In other action, councilors:

• Postponed a resolution establishing a mission statement for the Weyerhaeuser and City of Cannon Beach Liaison Committee, pending more information about possible public meeting requirements;

• Directed the staff to look for ways to retain wooden street signs instead of newly state-required signs with reflective paint and white lettering on green;

• Scheduled Dec. 3 for a public hearing regarding plans to involve home owners to install a sidewalk on East Hemlock St.;

• Approved a recommendation by the Parks and Community Services Committee to pursue public art to display the names of people commemorated on a plaque.


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