Visualizing Sustainable Transportation


Current Activities

  • Download the latest Fact Sheet (revised August 2017)
  • First OWL kiosks planned for Fall 2017

Project Overview

The Visualizing Sustainable Transportation project utilizes state of the art technology to help the community envision potential future sustainable transportation and land use options at various high activity or transfer locations, what a walkable or car-free lifestyle might look like, and how expanding mobility options could affect housing, the economy, traffic, and the built landscape. The project complements the Unified Corridor Study by providing graphics to describe what sustainable transportation infrastructure scenarios might look like on Soquel Drive and the Rail Corridor


Sustainability is defined as maximizing benefits to healthy communities, economic vitality, and the natural environment.  Visualizations developed through this project will be shared via a variety of outreach techniques to consult, involve and collaborate with the diverse range of community members, including traditionally transportation-disadvantaged populations, about future sustainable multi-modal transportation system components, to inform decisions about system improvements.


This enhanced visualization tool for community engagement will give residents a new way to participate in conversation, decision making, and responsibility about near and long term transportation investments that serve the needs of all in the community. The goal is to engage the community in prioritizing transportation system projects that would accomplish the following:

  • Optimize use of the existing street system through enhanced bicycle, pedestrian and transit amenities
  • View use of transit, interregional connections, and a bicycle/pedestrian path in innovative ways that expand transportation choices using the existing rail and Soquel corridors
  • Reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and personal spending on transportation, thereby increasing the amount of money that can be reinvested into the local economy
  • Experience walk-friendly neighborhoods made possible by compact mixed use development, better transit service and streets designed for safer cycling and walking.
  • Expand safer mobility options for all members of the community

Public Participation

Following interviews, focus groups and a preliminary design charrette, visualizations are under development for near and long term transportation options at four key activity sites: west side Santa Cruz, Live Oak, medical center near Dominican Hospital, and Watsonville (see map).

The visualizations will be available via Owlized TM kiosks (Owls) or a pocket application that can be viewed on a smart phone, tablet, or other device. A simple survey will be included in the visualizations for feedback on the designs. Pop up events and presentations will showcase the pocket application of the visualizations.

Examples of how Owls have been used in other communities are shown below:

Unified Corridor Investment Study Coordination

The Unified Corridor Investment Study (UCS) is underway to identify multimodal transportation investments that provide the greatest benefit and most effective use of three parallel routes in Santa Cruz County: Highway 1, the rail line and Soquel Avenue-Drive/Freedom Boulevard.  The UCS is fulfilling the Measure D mandated analysis of various transportation uses of the rail right of way.  The visualizations will show near and long term options at four UCS locations in the three routes (see map).

RTC Contact

George Dondero
Executive Director
(831) 460-3200

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