Transportation Improvement Plan Measure Moves Forward
We are one step closer to wide-spread improvements to our transportation network now that the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has secured approval for their “Safety, Pothole Repair, Traffic Relief, Transit Improvement Measure” from the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors and the cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola and Watsonville.
The Measure will fund a variety of needed projects through a one-half cent sales tax that will be on the November 8, 2016 ballot. A state 1/4 cent sales tax will be expiring at the end of the year, so the Measure would only increase current sales tax levels by 1/4 cent.
Safety for school children biking and walking: The measure funds safe routes to school improvement for kids biking and walking. With 44 county schools within a mile of the rail corridor, the rail trail will provide a car-free route for kids to safely walk and bike to school. Two bike/pedestrian bridges over Highway 1 will also provide much needed safe crossings of the highway that bisects much of our community.
Rail Trail: With 25% of the 32-mile Rail Trail miles funded, new funding will help get the majority of the Rail Trail built. This multi-use path will provide cyclists, walkers, seniors and disabled residents the opportunity to commute and recreate more safely. In addition, it will provide funding for ongoing maintenance of the trail and the corridor. It will be the single largest source of funding for building and maintaining the Rail Trail.
Passenger Rail Study: The coastal rail corridor may potentially offer a new sustainable option for traveling as passenger rail/transit choices will be further studied through a transparent, comprehensive analysis of ridership, green, clean, and quiet technology options and neighborhood compatibility.