Regional Projects


The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is responsible for regional projects funded by Measure D. Click a tab to see specific project plans for the first five years, as approved by the Regional Transportation commission on 6/1/17:

Santa Cruz County Highways 1 and 17 are the region’s main thoroughfares. Measure D will provide approximately $125,000,000 in funding to improve safety and traffic flow, fund car-free highway overcrossings, and other safety programs.

On Highway 1, extending three mid-county on-ramps to create full merge lanes down to Aptos (State Park Drive) between exits would allow more time for motorists to merge and exit safely.

Measure D will provide an estimated $97,000,000 for auxiliary merge lanes between:

  • Soquel Drive and 41st Avenue
  • Bay Ave/Porter St and Park Avenue
  • Park Avenue and State Park Drive

Improving the traffic flow and safety of merging on Highway 1 would benefit:

  • Mid- and south-county commuters with commutes too long to bike or walk
  • Response times for medical, fire and law enforcement
  • Bus riders on cross-county routes
  • Neighborhoods which currently experience cut-through traffic during commute times

Measure D will also provide an estimated $7,000,000 for 2 new bicycle and pedestrian bridges over Highway 1

  • In Live Oak at Chanticleer Avenue
  • In Seacliff/Aptos at Mar Vista Drive

Other safety and system efficiency programs will receive an estimated $21,000,000, including:

  • Cruz 511 County traveler information service
  • Safe on 17: law enforcement, drainage, warning devices, tree trimming and other safety efforts on Highway 17
  • Freeway Service Patrol tow trucks helping disabled vehicles and removing debris from Highway 1 and Highway 17

Questions about Highway 1 Corridor Projects in Measure D?

View Project 5-Year Plan

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail / Coastal Rail Trail will be a paved bicycle and pedestrian pathway to be built within the 32-mile Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line corridor. The rail trail forms the spine of the 50-mile Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network.  Additional trail projects will connect the rail trail to key destinations and activity centers.

This level, car-free transportation alternative will provide kids, commuters and recreational bicyclists and walkers a safe and enjoyable way to travel.

Measure D would provide an estimated additional $85,000,000 towards the Coastal Rail Trail, including:

  • Construction of bicycle and pedestrian trail sections connecting Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, and Watsonville
  • New bike and pedestrian bridges
  • Adding lighting and security features
  • Keeping the trail safe and clean for active use
  • Storm and drainage management
  • Leveraging matching state and federal grants for full Coastal Rail Trail network completion

The first three segments  of the rail trail –in the City of Santa Cruz, the City of Watsonville and on the North Coast, will result in close to 11 miles of trails that will be 12 to 16 feet wide. The first segment will be under construction in 6 months and the other two segments are scheduled to be under construction later in 2018.

View Project 5-Year Plan

After many years of diligent work and negotiations, the SCCRTC purchased the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line to expand transportation options and alternatives to driving, and plan for future mobility needs. Uses of this continuous transportation corridor could include:

  • Transit
  • Freight/goods movement
  • Excursion services
  • Bicycle/pedestrian path

Given the few cross-county travel options and the condition cost of projects on Highway 1, use of this established transportation corridor must carefully consider not only today’s transportation needs, but also those of future generations. Over half the county’s population lives within ½ mile of the corridor.

The mobility needs for all community members must be taken into account including people of all ages, physical abilities, and commute distances.

The Unified Corridor Investment Study is analyzing a range of transportation uses of the rail corridor including transit (rail or bus) and a bicycle/pedestrian trail. Future transit service on the corridor could provide a low stress, environmentally friendly and travel time reliable alternative to driving on Highway 1.

Measure D will provide $40,000,000 in funding for the Rail Corridor, to:

  • Protect and maintain the right-of-way including existing infrastructure
  • Perform in-depth environmental and economic analysis of future transit and other transportation options on the right-of-way through an open, transparent public process
  • See the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail/Coastal Rail Trail section for more on that project

View Project 5-Year Plan

$10 million from Measure D revenues are specifically designated for projects in the San Lorenzo Valley/Highway 9 corridor that will improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists; access to schools, businesses, and bus stops; traffic operations, pavement conditions, drainage and other important travel needs.

View Project 5-Year Plan

$5 million from Measure D revenues are specifically designated to construct a safe passage for wildlife to cross under Highway 17 near Laurel Curve. This project is jointly funded by Caltrans and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. More information on the project available here.

View Project 5-Year Plan

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