Everett Street Corridor plans move ahead with shared-use paths

Following outcry over possible property acquisitions, city of Camas nixes separated bike lane south of 43rd Avenue to stay within public right-of-way

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Long-range plans to improve safety along Camas’ Everett Street Corridor continued to move forward this month when the Camas City Council’s approved a plan to begin preliminary engineering design for a segment of Northeast Everett Street spanning from Northeast 35th Avenue near the bridge separating Lacamas and Round lakes to Northeast 43rd Avenue, where a signal helps control traffic heading toward Camas High School. 

During the Camas City Council’s April 15 workshop, Camas Public Works Director Steve Wall and Camas Engineering Manager James Carothers told Council members the preliminary engineering cost for the 35th to 43rd segment of Everett Street would cost $1.6 million and could use $375,000 from grant money as well as possible traffic impact fee funds to help pay for this part of the project. 

The entire Everett Street Corridor improvement project will eventually create a multi-modal traffic corridor and improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists along the 1.5-mile, two-lane state highway (state Route 500) known as the Everett Street Corridor that leads from the Lake Road-Everett Street roundabout to the city’s northern limits near Northeast Third Street and connects much of Camas to recreational points along Lacamas and Round lakes, and leads to the city’s North Shore area, Camas High School and a cluster of small businesses — including the Acorn & the Oak, Lakeside Market and L&L Autobody — located between Northeast 35th and Northeast 38th avenues.

Wall said this month that the entire project will likely cost between $45 million to $60 million, including $13 million to $18 million to improve the segment of road between 35th and 43rd avenues and $18 million to $23 million to replace the bridge that crosses Lacamas Lake near the Lake-Everett roundabout. 

City staff are still seeking funding sources for the extensive road improvement project, and Wall has warned that the entire Everett Street Corridor project could take two to three decades to finalize. 

“There is currently no funding for the bridge,” Carothers told Council members this month. “And most phases will probably take seven to eight years from start to finish.” 

After Everett Street Corridor business and property owners flooded a Camas City Council meeting in November 2023, to voice concerns that the road improvements would negatively impact their businesses or homes, Camas officials asked city staff to revise their original “preferred alternative,” which called for public acquisition of about five feet on either side of the corridor in its narrowest space — between 35th and 43rd avenues. 

During the Council’s Nov. 20, 2023, workshop, 19 out of 20 speakers were concerned about the Everett Street project’s impacts to businesses like the Acorn & the Oak, which already have limited parking spaces. 

“If you take our parking lot, we don’t have a place for our food distributors to even bring us food,” Chuck Stoltz, co-owner of the Acorn & the Oak, a restaurant that sits along Lacamas Lake in the former Lakeside Chalet building, told city officials in November. “I’m not saying nix the project, but think about who it’s affecting. There are so many red flags in this. I don’t see any pros … The project needs major reconsideration.” 

A special Council meeting in December addressed many of the public speakers’ concerns. 

“The Council took comments from the public and told us to come back and try to get the roadway, with bike lanes, to fit within the existing right-of-way,” Carothers said. “The original recommendation extended just past the right-of-way and it looked like we’d have to purchase five feet on both sides to make this fit.”
Instead, staff and consultants went back to the drawing board and reconfigured improvements that will stay within the City’s right-of-way by removing plans for two separated bike lanes and, instead, configuring shared-use bike and pedestrian paths on both sides of the road along the 35th to 43rd segment of the road, with the possibility of a different configuration after Everett Street widens north of Northeast 43rd Avenue. 

The current design for Everett Street between 35th and 43rd avenues calls for two 14-foot traffic lanes, and two 10-foot shared-use paths on either side of the road, separated by two 4.5-foot planter strips. The plan also calls for five small roundabouts along the corridor to help guide traffic coming onto Everett and to provide a place for people to turn around in the more congested, southern part of the road, since the planned road configuration between 35th and 43rd will not allow left-hand turns. 

Many business owners and members of the public have told City staff and officials they also worry about parking along Everett Street, especially on the southern end near the business corridor and the lakes. 

“One of the primary concerns was that some business will be impacted, potentially, from a parking standpoint,” Wall told Council members April 15. “We have heard that we need additional parking.”

Wall asked Council members if they wanted to approve a small contract for consultants to find out if additional parking in the corridor is a possibility. 

“It would mean a smaller contract with someone to find sites, find out if it’s feasible,” Wall said. “It (parking) could be along the corridor, near the corridor or down one of the side streets. We would just be looking at all the opportunities for additional parking.”
Councilman John Svilarich asked how much parking the road improvements will take away. 

“There are some spots along the road currently where folks park their vehicles, but I don’t have a number for that,” Carothers said, adding that the narrow area along Everett Street near Lacamas Lake, south of the Acorn and the Oak, where many lake-goers park during the warmer months will definitely be impacted by the road improvement project. 

“There is that little bit of City right-of-way on Everett north of the bridge that transitions into private (parking) for Acorn and the Oak that will be impacted because access will be different,” Wall explained, adding that some business owners had been using city right-of-way property for private parking on their sites and may not have realized it until the Everett Street Corridor meetings and open houses. 

“That land down there, close to the bridge, is a choke point and busy for parking,” Councilman Tim Hein said. “It’s only going to get worse … I definitely think we should be looking at parking.” 

Councilman John Nohr agreed, saying the lakes draw people to that area of Camas and that parking is already a problem during the summer months. 

“People come here for recreation opportunities,” Nohr said. “We know people are going to come. They’re going to park on people’s lawns and we should at least come up with some sort of plan (for parking) there.” 

Councilwoman Jennifer Senescu had a different opinion when it came to expanding parking in the area. 

“I feel like, with the improvements we’re making, this (area) will be walkable and accessible by bike and will be a lot more accessible than it is now,” Senescu said. “This may take away some parking spots but there will be more access for walking and biking.”

Senescu added that, if the private businesses in the Everett Street Corridor desired more parking, she thought the businesses — not the City — should be responsible for the additional costs. 

“I think we’re doing a great service using our tax dollars wisely to bring in multi-modal (transportation),” Senescu added. “I don’t know that it’s incumbent on the City to buy private property (for parking). I don’t know that it’s something we should look into.”
Svilarich said he also “bristles at” paying for public parking for private businesses. 

“I”m not saying we shouldn’t look at alternatives because there might be benefits,” Svilarich said, but he questioned if City officials were basing their decision on the parking solely on the people who showed up to the November 2023 Council workshop and urged his peers to base their parking decisions on possible benefits to the general public and “not because we had a room full of people saying they can’t park there anymore.”

Camas Mayor Steve Hogan asked about the possibility of partnering with Clark County, which oversees the parking off Northeast 35th Avenue. 

“There are potentials there to look for opportunities with the county to improve that (parking lot),” Wall said. “To get better surfacing, lighting and a little better access and potentially an expansion if possible. There may be partnership opportunities.” 

Wall added that the City is still trying to find funding sources, including possible state grants, for the safety improvements, bridge replacement and roundabout construction. 

“We’re looking for construction dollars,” Wall said when asked when the first corridor-improvement segment between 35th and 43rd avenues might be finished. “We started in 2023, and — from starting to design a roadway section to getting all the permits and actually getting it constructed — it takes seven to eight years from start to finish, so somewhere in the 2030 range.”

To learn more about the Everett Street Corridor Analysis, visit