The Trail Network Master Plan was developed over a three year period to include multiple public workshops to identify opportunities and constraints, to present a draft plan showing trail segment proposals, and to seek community priorities and preferences. The RTC adopted a Trail Network Final Master Plan in the fall of 2013 and a revision in February 2014 after an extensive public and stakeholder engagement process. Click here to view the Master Plan. The Plan includes:
- The network divided into 20 trail segments that can be constructed as funds become available
- Trail types and design options- look and feel
- Prioritization criteria and proposed segment phasing
- Interface with rail and agricultural operations
- Potential implementing entities
- Trail management, maintenance and operations
- Construction cost estimates per segment and component
Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR)
The RTC certified a FEIR for the Trail Network Master Plan on November 7, 2013. The RTC certified consideration of an Addendum to the FEIR on February 6, 2014. The FEIR contains a detailed description of the environmental issues relative to the proposed project, identified environmental impacts, proposed mitigation measures, and addressed residual impacts associated with implementation of the proposed project. The Final EIR will be used to streamline the environmental review process as each segment is implemented. Click here to view the Final EIR.
Project Selection and Funding
The first three Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network were selected for funding by the RTC on December 5, 2013 from $5.3 million in federal Transportation Enhancement program as well as from federal earmarks and appropriations secured through Congressman Sam Farr. The City of Santa Cruz received approximately $4 million for a rail trail project, the City of Watsonville received approximately $1 million for a rail trail project, and $200,000 was also allocated to on-road bicycle and pedestrian improvements as part of the Twin Lakes Beachfront project.
Funding will continue to be sought through all applicable sources including transportation, parks and environmental grants to move other segments to implementation. FORT along with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County are funding partners with the RTC and are working hard to seek private donations to leverage state and federal funds.