Measure D Five-Year Project Deliverables Ready for Review

Measure D, the transportation improvement ballot measure for five transportation investment categories, passed by over 2/3 of Santa Cruz County voters in November 2016. Each year recipient agencies are required to prepare a plan looking out five years into the future to identify what they will deliver to the public.

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is the lead agency for the regional projects in Measure D including the highway corridor, active transportation or the Coastal Rail Trail, and the rail corridor, in addition to the San Lorenzo Valley Highway 9 Corridor Improvement projects and the Highway 17 Wildlife Crossing.  In addition, because Measure D recipient Community Bridges Lift Line does not have a public board, the ordinance specifies that the RTC take action on Community Bridges’ Lift Line five year plan at their public hearing to provide an opportunity for the public input.

The draft five-year plans for these Measure D projects are currently available for review on the RTC’s Measure D website (www.sccrtc.org/move). A public hearing will be held at 9:30 am at the RTC’s June 1st meeting at the Watsonville City Council Chambers to adopt the final regional project five-year plans.

Highlights from the anticipated deliverables from the first five years of Measure D funds for regional projects include:

  • Highway 1: Begin construction of three projects as early as Spring 2021– a pair of auxiliary lanes between 41st to Soquel, a bicycle/pedestrian bridge at Chanticleer, and a bicycle/pedestrian overcrossing at Mar Vista in Aptos — following completion of environmental documents, final design, right of way and utility work.
  • Coastal Rail Trail: Provide supplemental funding to complete construction of bicycle/pedestrian trail sections in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and the San Lorenzo River bridge. For the north coast trail, begin construction following completion of an environmental analysis of possible alignments and final design.
  • Rail Corridor: Completion of the analysis of transportation options for the rail corridor (and two parallel routes), and conduct maintenance.
  • San Lorenzo Valley/Highway 9: Begin work on a pathway, transit stop and other improvements in Felton between Fall Creek Road and the elementary/middle/high school complex, and move forward with projects identified through the Highway 9 corridor plan (underway).
  • Highway 17 Wildlife Crossing: Construct the undercrossing (in coordination with other project funding sources and partners).

The deadline for written comments on the RTC’s Measure D regional project five-year plans is noon on Wednesday, May 31st.  Oral comments may also be provided to the RTC board at the public hearing.

In addition to the regional projects, Measure D funding goes directly to the cities, county, transit district and Community Bridges according to the voter-approved formulas for the neighborhood and transit/paratransit project categories. Each recipient entity is also required to hold a hearing to provide an opportunity for the public to review their five year project plans.  The Measure D website includes a schedule of these public hearings.

Next year, the five-year plan approval process will also include review of an annual report describing actual expenditures, progress made to improve the transportation system, how maintenance of effort requirements have been met to ensure Measure D revenues are adding to (not substituting) other revenues and the degree to which Measure D funds were used to secure additional funding from other new or existing sources (leveraging local funds to attract state or federal other funds). The annual report of expenditures will be reviewed via an annual fiscal audit, as well as a taxpayer oversight committee, to ensure funds were expended consistent with the requirements of Measure D.

Measure D is a 30-year ½ cent local sales tax which began collection in April 2017.  Funds are expected to be available to projects in August 2017.  For more information about the Regional Transportation Commission or Measure D, please visit www.sccrtc.org . To receive regular information about implementation of Measure D, please sign up here: https://sccrtc.org/about/esubscriptions/ .

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