Bike and board industry leaders support the plan that will get more people out of traffic and into healthy lifestyles
Santa Cruz County, CA—October 25, 2017—A coalition of bike shop owners, manufacturers and distributors of bikes, e-bikes, boards, and e-boards have announced their support for the trail proposal advocated by the Santa Cruz County Greenway organization (SCCGreenway.org) as the safest and best design for Santa Cruz County’s Coastal Rail Trail.
By accommodating the width required for the higher speeds of commuting, recreational bicyclists and wheeled-board users and providing the space necessary for side-by-side groups of walkers, the Greenway approach draws from current best practices in bikeway and urban path design in the US and abroad.
The coalition is asking the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) to:
- Build separated pathways for those on foot and those on wheels to allow people to travel at different speeds while ensuring safety for all
Install a network of protected bicycle lanes connecting the corridor to major employers and other popular Santa Cruz County destinations
Modernize METRO to improve the speed, safety and predictability of bus transit on Soquel/Freedom and throughout the county
Measure D and Evolving e-Bike and e-Board Technologies are Game Changers
“The $85M in Measure D funds currently allocated to build a trail on the rail corridor from Davenport to Watsonville is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a healthier future for our community and allow many to escape the Highway 1 traffic jams,” said Aaron Jacobs, owner of Bicycle Trip. “The e-bike revolution is just beginning to take off locally. As e-bikes become more affordable, separating faster moving cyclists from slower foot traffic on Greenway and creating a network of protected bike lanes will encourage many to consider riding bicycles and e-bikes to get where they need to go on a daily basis.”
E-Boards are also growing in popularity and becoming yet another alternative to cars. Inboard and Onewheel, two popular e-board brands, are both based in Santa Cruz. “70% of people who own our M1 Inboard use it for commuting 5 days a week,” said Ryan Evans, CEO of Inboard. “It’s easy to imagine Inboard riders and cyclists moving together on Greenway.”
“Santa Cruz is becoming the center of the adventure tech movement—a protected active transportation network with Greenway as the backbone will support and encourage this movement,” said William Ow, Santa Cruz County Greenway board member and adventure tech advocate.
“With $85M allocated to build a trail on the rail corridor, we can afford to build the trail we’ll want tomorrow today,” said David Giannini, co-chair of Cyclists for Greenway. “Let’s learn from other communities that have already experienced a narrower trail as proposed by the MBSST plan. The City of Monterey Parks and Recreation Commission is already recommending that the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail be widened in heavily trafficked sections from its current 14-16’ width to 26’ to ‘accommodate the high density and variety of users.’ At 26’, it will be able to accommodate bikes and pedestrians separately.1 The same widening is being done on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail due to accidents and heavy use.”2
A Challenging Conversation For A Small Community Like Ours
“This has been a difficult conversation for the local cycling community,” said Joanne Thompson, owner of Bike Station. “Evidence is mounting for Greenway—concentrating our transportation thinking on realistic, cost-effective solutions designed to get residents to and from our major employers will have a significant impact on our traffic and community’s future health and well-being.”
“I am grateful to the RTC, Bike Santa Cruz County, Ecology Action, Friends of the Rail Trail, and the Land Trust,” said Ron Goodman, former Executive Director, People Power (now Bike Santa Cruz County). “These groups and Greenway put a ton of energy into promoting the Rail Trail and passing Measure D. But I support Greenway’s proposal to consider a wider trail along with improvements to our bus system. I personally advocated for the passenger rail option, but I no longer believe it’s realistic in this corridor.”
“I hope to see people who want safe, healthy recreation spaces in Watsonville engage in this conversation,” said Julian Mandujano, owner of Watsonville Cyclery. “Everyone who rides a bike in Watsonville needs safe places to ride and at the moment there are few safe options.”
Growing list of manufacturers supporting Greenway:
Growing list of bicycle shops supporting Greenway:
Owner of Bike Station
Santa Cruz County Greenway
Co-Chair of Cyclists for Greenway
Former Executive Director, People Power
(now Bike Santa Cruz County)
ABOUT SANTA CRUZ COUNTY GREENWAY
Santa Cruz County Greenway is a nonprofit which advocates for a safe, affordable and connected 32-mile bicycle and pedestrian path from Davenport to Watsonville. Greenway believes Santa Cruz can have a safe bicycle and pedestrian network as an integral part of a thriving transit system if we spend our tax dollars wisely.