By Shannon Munz, RTC Communications Specialist
Anyone that has driven in Santa Cruz County is familiar with how heavily traveled our roads are. Not only does this bring congestion and safety concerns for drivers, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are also a concern. At the RTC, these are all things that we think about and work toward finding solutions for. Our staff is committed to finding ways to maximize the efficiency of the county transportation system while improving mobility, access and air quality.
The RTC has been working on the Unified Corridor Investment Study (UCS) for nearly the past two years. The objective of this study is to evaluate how Highway 1, Soquel Avenue/Drive and Freedom Boulevard, and the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line can work together most effectively to serve people using a range of modes including: driving cars, taking transit, riding bicycles and walking. The study’s goals focus on developing a sustainable and well-integrated transportation system while maximizing benefits in terms of efficient mobility, health and equity, the natural environment, and economic vitality.
The draft results of the different scenarios studied in the UCS were recently released and can be viewed at www.sccrtc.org.
Community input on how best to improve the economic vitality, natural environment, and health and equity goals of our region through investments in transportation services is vital to the success of this study. The RTC will be holding two public meetings to get feedback on these draft results. All members of the community are invited to attend these meetings. Input can also be provided to email@example.com or mailed to the RTC at 1523 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz 95062.
- Monday, Oct. 15, 6-7:30 p.m., Live Oak Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room, 1916 Capitola Road, Santa Cruz
- Tuesday, Oct. 16, 6-7:30 p.m., Civic Plaza Community Room, 4th floor, 275 Main St., Watsonville
Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail
On Sept. 18, the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved a new 10-foot-wide multi-use path on the San Lorenzo Trestle Bridge. This new path is a part of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail, a network that merges plans for a bicycle/pedestrian trail along the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line with coastal access and neighborhood spurs that will eventually form a 50-mile connected network that will overlap and converge to provide safe and convenient car-free route choices.
This trail will provide a wider pedestrian and bicycle path between the Seabright neighborhood and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, replacing the current four-foot wide path. This exciting project is another step forward in the process to build the Coastal Rail Trail for our community to enjoy. The public should be able to take advantage of this great community resource by next summer as the City of Santa Cruz hopes to bid, build and open the trail before Memorial Day 2019.
Along with the San Lorenzo Trestle Bridge section, 13 total miles of Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail projects have been either fully or partially funded. Different segments are in different stages of the design, engineering and environmental permitting process, and construction will begin as these processes are completed. The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network will be a valuable asset to the community for transportation, recreation, education, coastal access and economic vitality.
More information on the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail can be found at www.sccrtc.org/trail.
If you have questions for the RTC or there are transportation-related issues you would like to see us cover, feel free to contact Shannon Munz, RTC Communications Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the RTC, visit sccrtc.org.