Letter: Trail-only option less safe and more costly
According to the Regional Transportation Commission’s just-released Unified Corridor Investment Study, tearing up the tracks and using our rail corridor for a trail-only will result in 118 more motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian collisions every year, when compared to using the corridor for a combined rail and trail. The study also predicts those extra collisions will cost us $26 million every year. Tearing up the tracks and using our rail corridor for a trail-only leaves us with widening Highway 1 to solve our ever-worsening transportation problem. Even Caltrans sees highway widening as a dead-end and railway expansion as the future. Caltrans’ brand-new State Rail Plan calls for passenger rail in Santa Cruz County, connecting to the rest of the state, and they’ve budgeted $1.5 billion for rail projects in our region. Rail and Trail connects us to the future. Trail-only is a step backwards.
— Mark Mesiti-Miller, Santa Cruz (Published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/20/18)