April 2016

RTC Transportation Plan Endorsed by City Councils in Santa Cruz and Watsonville

TRIP Supporters

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission today announced that its 30-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TRIP) was endorsed by the Santa Cruz and Watsonville City Councils in near-unanimous votes taken simultaneously on Tuesday evening.

In voting to support the TRIP, the city councils join the Capitola City Council and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, as well as a broad range of local organizations that have endorsed the plan, some of which include:

  • United Way/Go For Health
  • Dominican Hospital/Dignity Health
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF)
  • Plantronics
  • Monterey Bay Labor Council
  • Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Ecology Action
  • Friends of the Rail & Trail
  • Democratic Women’s Club of SC County
  • Santa Cruz Business Council
  • Visit Santa Cruz County (formerly the Conference & Visitors Council)

For a list of additional supporters, visit www.sccrtc.org/move.

The 2014 Transportation Improvement Plan will benefit all residents, as well as visitors, through a balanced mix of projects across transportation modes and geographic areas of Santa Cruz County. The plan will provide traffic congestion relief; support and expand active transportation options; protect transportation for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities; preserve critical existing infrastructure; reduce reliance on Sacramento and Washington for transportation funds; create jobs; and stimulate economic vitality. The plan would be supported through a half-cent sales tax, should voters approve a proposed ballot measure in November 2016.

“The more people learn about the Transportation Improvement Plan, the more they understand that it is a thoughtful, well balanced approach to planning for our future in Santa Cruz County,” said George Dondero, executive director of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. “The 30-year plan benefits our community in many ways including: helping meet  greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, preventing cuts to Metro services for those most in need, funding street improvements and repairs in neighborhoods and rural areas, investing in new projects for cyclists and pedestrians, relieving Highway 1 congestion for South County commuters, continuing expansion of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail now underway, funding an open public process to evaluate the potential for future rail transit service, building the Highway 17 wildlife undercrossing and much more.

Summary of Key Benefits:

  • Local street repair: Improved neighborhoods and increased safety for cyclists and pedestrians by repairing local streets and roads countywide.
  • New bridges for cyclists and pedestrians: Cyclist- and pedestrian-only bridges to be built over Highway 1 at Chanticleer St. and Mar Vista Dr.
  • Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail: Continued expansion of the Coastal Rail Trail spine of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail for cyclists and pedestrians along the rail corridor in Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Capitola, and connecting to Monterey County.
  • Investigation of rail transit as a future option: Holding open the option of transit in the future by maintaining the tracks in the coastal rail corridor and researching future technologies through an open public process; the plan does not include funding for any new commuter or visitor rail service.
  • Improvements to Highways 1, 9 and 17:
    • HWY 1: Traffic relief for South County and Mid-County commuters, small businesses, transit buses and first responders through the addition of auxiliary lanes.
    • HWY 17: Protection for wildlife by building an undercrossing at Laurel Curve and funding the Safe-on-17 Freeway Service Patrol.
    • HWY 9: Safety improvements in the San Lorenzo Valley.
  • Safety for kids: New funding for Safe Routes to Schools.
  • Help for seniors, veterans and residents with disabilities: Sustain an effective paratransit system.

The 2016 Transportation Improvement Plan (TRIP) was approved by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) in December 2015. A decision about placing the TRIP on the November 2016 ballot is expected to be made by the RTC in June 2016. For more information about the TRIP, visit www.sccrtc.org/move or www.facebook.com/sccrtc.

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