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Rail & Trail Within the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail NetworkNow that the Santa Cruz Branch Line is publicly owned (by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission), students, commuters, and visitors are eager for a rail trail and passenger rail service in the coastal rail corridor. The proposed Coastal Rail Trail will be a paved, multi-use path set within the 32-mile coastal rail corridor, spanning Santa Cruz County from Davenport to Watsonville and form an important part of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network. It will provide a scenic, car-free, and convenient path for walking, biking, and wheelchair use — just about any form of active travel by people of all ages. The trail will be adjacent to and separated from train service to maximize sustainable transportation in this corridor.
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A Coastal Rail Trail Will Connect Our CommunitiesThe Coastal Rail Trail will be a public asset that will improve the quality of life for Santa Cruz County residents and visitors alike. The Trail runs within one mile of 42 local schools, 88 parks and 50% of our county’s population, connecting many key destinations. Separate from car traffic and nearly level, the Trail will provide an accessible way for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the Monterey Bay. By giving people a safe, attractive and fun place to walk and bike, we will improve community health, boost our local economy, and enhance our environment. The Coastal Rail Trail will make our county a more sustainable and livable community. The Coastal Rail Trail: let’s build it!
Monthly Archives: July 2011
10/12/2012 – Santa Cruz – The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission has announced the close of escrow on the purchase of the Santa Cruz Branch Line from Union Pacific Railroad today, opening the door to passenger rail service, tourist trains, and a coastal rail trail. “We see this as a new era in the County’s history” said Bruce Sawhill of SCC Friends of the Rail & Trail (FORT). FORT has rallied public support for this project for over 10 years. Now, with public ownership of the line, we can work together to raise the funds and community support to build a 32-mile coastal bike and pedestrian path. RTC Releases MBSST Master Plan The SCC Regional Transportation Commission has released the draft Monterey Bay Scenic Sanctuary Trail Master Plan The public is now invited to comment on this important plan. Read more. SCCRTC Contracts Independent Rail Operator. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission has selected Iowa Pacific Holdings as the independent rail operator. Learn more about the deal by visiting the SCCRTC web site.
On January 19, 2011, the California Transportation Commission approved a request for funding by Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission to purchase the SC Branch Line. Read more about this historic development. Our local SCC RTC did an outstanding job meeting all CTC requirements for funding approval. Now, we have a chance at passenger rail and a coastal rail trail serving students, commuters, and visitors travelling along the scenic Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary
Corridor Width Engineering studies show that the Santa Cruz Banch line is plenty wide for both rail and trail Locals Want Rail Do Santa Cruz County residents want passenger rail service? The facts show that they most certainly do. Read a recent transportation survey conducted by the Santa Cruz RTC, and check the Proposition 116 results. Cost of Rail Service The cost of rail service is usually about the same, per passenger mile, as bus service. Read the studies from Monterey County. Property Values Go Up The coastal rail trail will increase property values. Various studies show the results. For more information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Broad Community Support for Local Ownership of the Coastal Rail Line Business and environmental organizations have endorsed the purchase of the SC Branch Line from Union Pacific using Prop 116 funds (click here for SCC Prop 116 Results). Prominent elected officials of all political stripes support the purchase, including Sam Farr, John Laird, and Bruce McPherson. Here’s a partial list of the many business, environmental, and transportation groups that support local ownership of our coastal rail line: Business Community City of Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency Downtown Business Association of Santa Cruz Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant & Inn Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council O’Neill Wetsuits, LLC Beckmann’s Bakery Santa Cruz Bicycle Industry Coalition Barry Swenson Builder The Holcomb Corporation SEIU 521 Santa Cruz County Chapter Kelly’s Bakery-Swift Street Courtyard Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Comstock, Thompson, Kontz & Brenner Think Local First Hilary Bryant, Broker Associate, Karon Properties Transportation Community Groups United Transportation Union California Rail Foundation The Transit Coalition Train Riders Association of California Transportation Agency for Monterey County Community Traffic Safety Coalition of Santa Cruz County Pajaro Valley Transportation Management Association Environmental Community Organizations Friends … Continue reading
A small levy was washed out from under the tracks this past Thursday, 3/24, in Aptos near the Porter Sesnon property (south of New Brighton State Park). Within about three weeks of the washout, Sierra Railroad crews had cleaned out the bottom of the ravine, imported tons of soil and rock, and completely repaired the damaged levy.
The rail trail will benefit local residents as well as visitors. Here are a few examples: Children – There are 14 local schools within walking distance from the rail line. The rail trail will allow young people to travel through their neighborhoods away from traffic. Coupled with a “Safe Routes to School” program, the rail trail can help get kids back on their bikes. Seniors – The railroad trestles eliminate steep hills making it easier to travel long distances. Rail trails in other communities are also a common place to socialize with neighbors. Tourists – Visitors intent on experiencing the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary will be able to see much of it, via bike or on foot, from the rail trail. This type of infrastructure supports tourism in an eco-friendly way. Commuters – Since most trips we make are under five miles, it is likely that many of us will choose to avoid crowded Highway 1 and simply cycle or walk on a flat, scenic trail without automobile traffic. It will make getting to and from work much easier and faster than riding a bike on surface streets. Santa Cruz County is fortunate to have weather that supports cycling during … Continue reading
Dog cleanup stations like these are appearing all along the coastal rail line (on private property, of course with the permission of the property owners).