Unified Corridor Investment Study (UCS)
Project Map and Description
Highway 1, Soquel Avenue/Drive, and the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line are parallel transportation routes in Santa Cruz County between downtown Santa Cruz and Freedom Boulevard. Highway 1 and Soquel Avenue/Drive are two of the most heavily traveled and congested roadways in Santa Cruz County. Recent acquisition of the rail line provides a unique opportunity to create a corridor investment study that best utilizes these facilities. The Unified Corridor Study will identify transportation projects that make the most effective use of these three parallel routes as one unified corridor to provide vehicle, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian transportation services for Santa Cruz County residents and visitors. Using a performance based approach, the Unified Corridor Study will prioritize projects for each transportation route based on sustainability targets, the community’s transportation needs, characteristics of each route, and cost of transportation improvements. The area south of Freedom Boulevard, where the three corridors diverge, is not included in this study.
Unified Corridor Investment Study – Phase 1. Phase 1 to develop Santa Cruz County multimodal transportation modeling tools has been completed. Transportation modeling tools support a performance based approach to transportation decision making. The transportation modeling tools will allow for analysis of future project impacts on the local roadway network, and of sustainable transportation projects identified in the 2014 RTP. Development of the model was a cooperative effort with the County of Santa Cruz Planning Department and Caltrans.
Unified Corridor Investment Study – Phase 2. Phase 2 will evaluate how transportation projects located within the project area perform using a scenario analysis. Phase 2 will utilize the modeling tools developed in Phase 1 to evaluate project impacts. RTC staff along with input from the Commission, RTC advisory committees, stakeholders, and public will establish the project goals, performance measures, scenario themes and draft list of projects to consider for implementation on this corridor. A scenario analysis will be performed to identify a package of transportation projects that will provide the greatest benefit based on the project goals.
This planning effort is funded through a Caltrans’ Sustainable Communities Transportation Planning Grant (FTA 5304) and local funds.