The RTC celebrated the opening of the San Lorenzo Trestle path on May 22nd as the opening of the rail trail. There’s just one problem—it’s not a rail trail!
Greg Becker contemplates the RTC.
Why does the dog wag its tail?
Because a dog is smarter than its tail.
If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.
Over 1,000 Santa Cruz County residents submitted comments supporting Greenway’s vision for a wide, safe, environmentally friendly, and economically feasible trail through the county. Read the comments here.
Santa Cruz County Greenway presented a petition with over 10,000 signatures of county residents to Guy Preston, Executive Director of the RTC. The petition says, “I agree with the conclusions of the Santa Cruz County Greenway Study that a multi-use path for pedestrians, bikes and electric bikes is the best use of the rail corridor and that a train does NOT deliver the ridership, safety, or other benefits to justify its enormous cost.”
Members of the Santa Cruz County community are proposing a realistic, effective and affordable set of projects from the Unified Corridors Study called Scenario R. Scenario R provides congestion relief and public transit options on Hwy 1, Soquel/Freedom and the Coastal Corridor less capital and about half the annual operating expense.
When Greenway examined all the benefits, including; total collisions, mean auto speed, person trips, economic vitality, tax revenue, cost associated with collisions, vehicle miles traveled, criteria pollutants, CO2 emissions, household transportation costs, and equity considerations, the benefits do not vary much from Scenario to Scenario. In fact, there isn’t much difference from the Baseline or No Build Scenarios.
A number of real facts have emerged in the last few weeks which shed a harsh light on the plans advocated by the RTC and FORT, which have long been considered "serious" by Commissioners and rail with trail advocates. We are now seeing the truth emerge as the RTC, FORT and their supporters like the Land Trust, Ecology Action, and Bike Santa Cruz must actually implement what they have been advocating for years.
Several speakers at the Silicon Valley Bike Summit on August 22nd challenged local leaders to make brave choices. It’s time to create equitable communities that encourage people of all ages and abilities to bike, walk, and use other healthy non-auto modes by making these options truly safe and convenient.
During a meeting this past June in the Watsonville City Council Chambers, I witnessed something that really rattled my cage. In a packed house, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) voted on whether to agree to a 10-year contract with a Minnesota freight company called Progressive Rail.
The Capitola City Council voted 5-0 at its meeting last night [Aug. 9, 2018] to add the Greenway Capitola Corridor Initiative to the November 2018 ballot. The initiative aims to empower the City to do everything within its power to advocate for an entirely off-street bicycle and pedestrian route that continues across the Capitola trestle.
Santa Cruz County Greenway, a local non-profit organization, filed a lawsuit against the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. The complaint details concerns over the Commission’s June 14th decision to enter into a ten-year contract with a new operator for its Santa Cruz Branch Railroad line, which runs from Watsonville to Davenport.
Although Greenway believes using most of the 32-mile rail corridor that stretches from Watsonville to Davenport as a wide separated pathway makes sense, it’s only one aspect of our vision for the county. We also care about other meaningful transportation improvements including safe, connected routes for people biking and walking; serious improvements to the Metro bus system; and achievable solutions to address the gridlock nightmare.