Friends of the Rail & Trail Statement on the SCCRTC’s Unified Corridor Investment Study – Step 2 Analysis Results
Rail with trail scenario is the clear choice for Santa Cruz County
Friends of the Rail & Trail today released the following statement by Mark Mesiti-Miller, board chair, related to the Unified Corridor Investment Study (UCS) Step 2 Analysis Results:
Friends of the Rail & Trail has reviewed the over two hundred pages, including five appendices, from the recently released report titled “Unified Corridor Investment Study – Step 2 Analysis Results and the Dashboard.” The study clearly confirms that using the rail corridor for both rail and trail is the best option for our community when taking into consideration public safety, reducing total vehicle miles traveled and increasing bicycle use.
Under the rail with trail scenario, there would be 118 fewer collisions every single year than under the trail only scenario. For most people, improving safety is the number one concern.
Environmentally, the rail with trail scenario will result in a reduction of 230,000 vehicle miles travelled (VMT) every single day, when compared to the trail only scenario. Reducing VMT is widely recognized by experts, including the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, as the number one consideration when evaluating transportation improvements.
Under the rail with trail scenario the share of people riding bicycles would be higher than under the trail only scenario. This prediction fits the common experience that people will use bikes more when they are part of a multi-modal transportation system.
Clearly, rail with trail is the best path forward for our community with regard to addressing climate change, providing equity for everyone, supporting economic vitality and developing a truly sustainable transportation system that best serves Santa Cruz County.
Based on the obvious care taken to develop the study, we are confident the study will prove helpful to the RTC and community as a critical tool in the process that will determine the future use of the publicly-owned rail corridor.
We look forward to the opportunity for further analysis of this important study.