Watsonville has an opportunity to build another important segment of rail trail, connecting their amazing trail network and giving students better access to the coastal side of Highway 1. The red segment on the map to the right shows a potential rail trail connecting Walker St. with the approved segment that goes to Lee Rd.
Click here for a Google map: Walker Street Rail Trail section
They need our help! Matching funds are required, so we’re starting a campaign to help them get the green. The Campaign Goal is $75,000 for a total of $60k going to Watsonville. Let’s help them get that money and build this trail!
Take a virtual trip of the segment by viewing the video, below, and imagine how great it will be when Walker St. and Lee Rd. have a rail trail! Then, help us out by clicking here to make a tax deductible donation that will kickstart this legacy project.
Milepost 2 to 3 – leaving Watsonille into surrounding ag lands:
City of Watsonville’s Proposed Walker Street Rail Trail Section
(from the City’s RTC application, December 2013)
This Rail Trail section would provide a car-free, flat paved path for cyclists and walkers along the existing rail corridor in the southern part of Watsonville. The 2,400 foot long trail will be built of base rock and have an eight foot wide travel surface and two foot shoulders on each side. It will extend from the intersection of Walker Street and West Beach Street to a trail along Struve Slough where it will connect to the existing seven mile network of trails along Watsonville’s numerous sloughs. It will also connect to the Lee Road Rail Trail segment which was recently funded by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. When combined, the two trails would create 1.2 miles of continuous trail from the City limits at Lee Road to downtown Watsonville. The trail would cross Ohlone Parkway and connect pedestrians and bicyclists with 700 homes, Landmark School and the Overlook Shopping Center. There is potential for a bridge over Struve Slough from Lee Road that would provide a safe bike and walking route for Pajaro Valley High School students. Both Trail sections are part of the recently approved RTC Monterey Bay Scenic Sanctuary Trail Network Master Plan championed by US Congressman Sam Farr and embraced by the community of Santa Cruz County. The RTC is the lead public agency and owner of the Santa Cruz County coastal rail corridor.
The City of Watsonville is being proactive in applying for Federal and State Active Transportation Program funds to design, permit and build this section of the Rail Trail. Individuals and businesses can strengthen Watsonville’s public funding request by donating matching private funds. Matching funds will help the City meet its match obligation and also illustrate to the State and Federal government (the funders) that this project has very strong community support. The City’s Rail Trail application is due by mid May. We are looking to secure some $75,000 in matching funds by this fast approaching deadline. Donations to Friends of the Rail & Trail (FORT) are tax deductible. 80% of your donation will go directly to the City of Watsonville matching contribution and 20% will go to FORT to fund advocacy and outreach to help speed the completion of the Rail Trail.
Key Walker Street Rail Trail Data:
• 2,400 feet long
• Car-free, safe, and flat path for people to bike and walk on
• Project total cost of $750,000 to design, permit and build
• Connects to recently funded Lee Road Rail Trail section and would create a total 1.2 mile Rail Trail path.
• Would serve children, families, students, seniors, disabled, low income, residents and visitors.
• Significant health, economic, community, and environmental benefits