Local Agencies Team up to Improve Access to SLV Schools Complex

Building upon prior planning efforts, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) in partnership with several local agencies, is focusing efforts on improving circulation within and past the San Lorenzo Valley Schools Complex along Highway 9 in Felton.

The San Lorenzo Valley Schools Complex Circulation & Access Study (Study) seeks to improve access to the San Lorenzo Valley High School, Middle School, and Elementary School (SLV Schools Complex). The Study will build upon the 2019 Highway 9/San Lorenzo Valley Complete Streets Corridor Plan (SLV Plan) and aims to improve access by walking, bicycling, transit, and car. The Study will also look to improve traffic flow along Highway 9 for non-school traffic.

The public is invited to attend an online public workshop on June 8th from 6-7:30 p.m. and complete an online survey to evaluate traffic conditions and identify needs along Highway 9 and at the SLV Schools Complex. Input from the survey and workshop will inform the project team as they draft concepts for transportation solutions along Highway 9. Login information for the workshop and a link to the survey can be found on the RTC website at https://sccrtc.org/projects/streets-highways/hwy-9-plan/.

The Study covers three priority projects in the SLV Plan (#9, 10, and 11). The SLV Plan is a community-based plan that was developed based on evaluation of existing corridor conditions, physical and regulatory constraints, and public outreach efforts to identify the needs of the community. With extensive input from surveys, focus groups, and at public meetings from 2017 to 2019, the SLV Plan was adopted June 27, 2019 with the primary goal of increasing safety for users of Highway 9 and connecting county roads by improving facilities for all modes of transportation on the corridor.

The Study project area covers Highway 9 between the southern intersection of Glen Arbor Road and Graham Hill Road and will include site access and circulation at the three SLV schools. With three separate entrances to each school campus, the existing layout results in delays on Highway 9 during student pick-up and drop-off times, particularly when coinciding with the morning commute. Highway 9 lacks continuity of sidewalks for people walking and using bus stops causing people to walk in the shoulders, while narrow shoulders constrain bicycle travel along the corridor. The study will work with Caltrans staff already evaluating opportunities to improve walking and cycling along Highway 9 between Felton and the SLV Schools Complex to align improvements at the schools complex with any Caltrans-led improvements along Highway 9 to the south.

In partnership with San Lorenzo Valley community members, the RTC is leading the Study and will collaborate on it with representatives from the County of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO), and Caltrans. The Study is funded by state planning grants leveraged by Measure D, with additional funding support provided by the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District.

For more information or updates, visit https://sccrtc.org/projects/streets-highways/hwy-9-plan/ or contact Highway 9/SLV Complete Streets program manager Brianna Goodman at info@sccrtc.org.