Watsonville – Santa Cruz Multimodal Program

Watsonville – Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program

The communities of Santa Cruz County value a transportation system that not only enables us to get around, but one that is also interlinked with our health and safety, the quality of the built natural environment, and the economic vitality of our region. Through the Watsonville – Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program (WSC-MCP), the RTC is working toward a sustainable, multimodal transportation system that will addresses some of Santa Cruz County’s transportation challenges now and into the future.

The WSC-MCP is composed of innovative projects on the three main north to south routes through Santa Cruz County – Highway 1, Soquel Avenue/Soquel Drive/Freedom Boulevard, and the Santa Cruz Branch Line – that will address vital transportation needs of the community.

The WSC-MCP is the Preferred Scenario that came out of the Unified Corridor Investment Study (UCS), which was adopted in 2019 as the RTC’s Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan. The RTC used Measure D to fund the UCS to identify transportation improvements for the three parallel routes that are included in the WSC-MCP:

View the WSC-MCP presentation given at the Feb. 3, 2022 RTC meeting.

The WSC-MCP Project will:

  • Reduce congestion for all modes of travel
  • Maximize the efficiency of the existing transportation infrastructure
  • Improve safety for all modes of travel
  • Increase multimodal options to increase corridor throughput
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improve access for emergency services
  • Promote business development and improve access to housing, jobs, schools, and medical facilities
  • Improve active transportation connectivity
  • Promote sustainable development and livable communities including complete streets

Soquel Drive Buffered Bike Lane & Congestion Project

The County of Santa Cruz will be hosting two virtual community workshops in January for residents and community members who want to learn more about the Soquel Drive Buffered Bike Lane & Congestion Project and upcoming construction schedule. Visit the project website for more information.

SCCP/LPP Cycle 2 Projects

The WSC-MCP is too large to be constructed as one stand-alone project. The RTC has carefully chosen a cost-effective project that can be efficiently delivered with Cycle 2 of the Senate Bill 1 programs – the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program and the Local Partnership Program, with maximum benefit and outputs for the end user. The Watsonville – Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program (WSC-MCP) Cycle 2 Project (Figure C-1) increases the throughput and safety of a regionally significant and congested corridor with an innovative solution to improve and integrate transit, active transportation, and highway/local roadway modes of travel.

Transit Modes:

Highway 1

  • 5.75 miles of a 7.5-mile long hybrid bus-on-shoulder/auxiliary lane facility between Morrissey Boulevard and State Park Drive

Soquel Avenue/Drive

  • Transit signal priority at 23 intersections between La Fonda Avenue and State Park Drive

Active Transportation (Bicycle and Pedestrian) Modes:

Highway 1

  • New bike/ped overcrossings at Chanticleer Avenue and Mar Vista Drive
  • New Capitola Avenue overcrossing with sidewalks and bike lanes

Soquel Avenue/Drive

  • 4 miles of protected bike lanes and 2.7 miles of buffered bike lanes
  • 46 green bike boxes for left turn movements
  • Sidewalk gap closures
  • 100 ADA ramps
  • 96 crosswalk upgrades
  • Crosswalk warning devices at 10 mid-block locations

Highway/Local Roadway Modes:

Highway 1

  • 3 new sets of Auxiliary Lanes – from Soquel Drive to State Park Drive
  • Remove the bottleneck by replacing Capitola Avenue bridge
  • Standard and continuous outside shoulders

Soquel Avenue/Drive

  • Adaptive signal control at 23 intersections
  • Pavement cape seal for 5.6-miles