which RAIL TRAIL best for people living in Santa Cruz County? Still time to tell the RTC what you think!

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Which RAIL TRAIL best for people who live in  Santa Cruz County?

Do we want a wide TRAIL  that can handle electric bikes and wheel chairs and walkers or do we want  a narrow trail  along a high fence that preserves the rail tracks for a train that may never happen?

There’s still time for you to tell the Regional Transportation Center what you think.

Measure D — which passed in 2017  — preserves the current  rail tracks and permits only a narrow trail.

Maybe there’s a better solution?  Read and decide.

Click  here   for a comparison of the wide one versus narrow one.

Go to the link below to sign petition.

https://www.change.org/p/santa-cruz-county-rtc-help-build-a-world-class-greenway-in-santa-cruz-county-by-removing-the-train-tracks

Thank you Dana Abbott, a gardener with Aptos Community Garden, for providing information.

written by  Cameron Jackson   drcameronjackson@gmail.com

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John AndertonRail Banking NOW in Santa Cruz CA so people MOVE & keep options open ... - Monterey Bay Forum : Monterey Bay ForumCarey PicoBarry ScottSanta Cruz CA traffic solutions: Greenway multi-modal roadway & walkway scores BIG on flexibility, takes people where they want to go, moves more people, provides choice - Monterey Bay Forum : Monterey Bay Forum Recent comment authors

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John Anderton
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John Anderton

It is not the train that is the noise, it is the horn. The trains are planned to run every 30 minutes. It will be a disaster for those living anywhere near a crossing.

John Anderton
Guest
John Anderton

I guess those who want a train don’t live near one. Every half hour? Fuck you guys. You are just glad that most people living near the train have no idea what is up. Passenger trains are not profitable. They are all subsidized by the government and are money losers. They are economically inefficient. No one wants to ride them. They cost too much and don’t go where you are going, plus you have to put up with total strangers. No one is going to spend $10-$15 to go 5 miles on a train. The train only makes sense for… Read more »

trackback

[…] that is why rail banking makes sense. Save it until we need to bite the bullet and put in a train. What’s wrong with […]

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Nope. I mean a real fence plan. SMART is a similar DMU train as hoped by the RTC except the length restriction. Fence setback is 25 ft for speeds of 25-50 mph with 6-8 ft fence or 15 ft with 6-8 ft solid structure (p.2-17 of SMART EIR) or “as little as 5 ft if pathway is above the height of the rail bed.” Right now, there is NO SETBACK discussion in the MBSST or Rail Feasibility study. A train traveling at 45-60mph kicks out rocks. MBSST is a rough draft, not an actual rail-with-trail construction project. That is why… Read more »

Barry Scott
Guest

Carey, yes, fences are described in significant detail in the final master plan and in the final EIR. SMART is a larger heavier faster train and system.
Trail design standards, including fence designs: From the Master Plan design standards document:
https://sccrtc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/section+5+-+trail+design+standards.pdf p.22

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Please see my replies to the various misstatements. Apparently this “forum” was started by pro-train folks and they’ve posted their love in statements. If a train were economically feasible without heroics, I’d be fore it. But it’s not. The rest is a waste of money and environment.

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Again, you’re wrong: Trail Option A does NOT go on streets (except in front of Boardwalk). See your own map (I did). Option B is the MBSST’s choice because it is impossible to fit a trail through the slough (the rail is occupied by the train). Get your information right. (Note: there are issues with farmers with the MBSST that may be avoided with a revised MBSST-without-rail.

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

How can you comment on the fence? The MBSST plan hasn’t stated it nor has the RTC. Look at the SMART fence/wall plans if you want a realistic expection: 25 ft setbacks, etc. from commuter trains.

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

The California Coastal Commission did NOT approve the rail-with-trail. They were consulted on it, but did not approve anything. Approval happens after one requests to build something. So far, that’s only Segment 7 (westside Santa Cruz). And that was cut down to less than half with only the section from Natural Bridges Rd to Calif/Bay being approved (which is all flat or paved over already).

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Diesel is diesel, Barry. I don’t see electric wires in that picture.

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Electric train is not an option. 3X the cost. Where X itself is unaffordable in a county of only 260,000.

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Rail-with-trail would make sense if the economics were there. They are not… and not even close. So, trail is the only logical option other than do nothing.

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Have you ever calculated the GHG emissions with rail vs. HOV lane on Hwy 1? I HAVE! You get a 15X net decrease in GHG vs. train because it speeds up all those stuck cars. Real-time emission studies on LA freeway traffic show emission vs. speed, Caltrans shows number of cars and speed. The rest is calculation… a lot of it.

Carey Pico
Guest
Carey Pico

Trail is NOT already paid with Measure D. Already cost overruns (estimated 300% higher for trail construction without bridge) on first easy section of trail (westside Santa Cruz) in which they ditched the bridge. Can’t get approval by Cal. Coastal Commission for the section along Neary Lagoon. Oh, oh! Like always, City of Santa Cruz will get theirs and the rest are cheated (why did Hwy 1 widening stop at SC city’s edge at Soquel Ave? Why does Watsonville have almost all it’s “award winning” trail on high-traffic roads at 45 mph? Why was the train allowed to store hundreds… Read more »

Barry Scott
Guest

Corrections:
1. The study’s Stadler GTW vehicles are light Diesel Multiple Units, not “diesel pushers”. See how quiet they are here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMk835lQXxc
3. Caltrans State Rail Plan funds don’t require an additional local tax, if we don’t spend rail transit funds, other communities will.
http://tiny.cc/CSTP_exec_summary
2. There is no plan for freight through residential neighborhoods.
3. Rail is 4 times as efficient and much safer for passengers and freight, which is why the California Coastal Commission approves of the rail with trail.

Jack Brown
Guest
Jack Brown

Cherry pick data as you wish Barry. The recommendation from the 2015 study showed that diesel pushers trains would most likely be used because of cost constraints. “$93 million gets us starter service” that has absolutely no impact to Highway 1 traffic. Anything even close would require a $600,000,000+ investment from a community of only 240,000 residents and even fewer contributing to the tax base, many of whom can’t afford the $7500 high speed rail investment/tax demand being asked of them to have another $2500+ to be taken out in additional taxes. This will not survive a vote. Our current… Read more »

Bruce K. Sawhill
Guest
Bruce K. Sawhill

It should not be rail OR bus transit, it should be rail AND bus transit AND trail. Implementing truly rapid BRT is not so easy, as it requires dedicated lanes. Bus on shoulder is typically restricted to 15 mph faster than adjacent traffic (based on my research in other metros), which would mean it spends a lot of time going….15 mph, so a 16 minute transit time from SC to Watsonville is unrealistic. Besides, even with smooth and fast flow a bus needs to stop a lot to do its job. Building a dedicated lane for BRT plus the serious… Read more »

Barry Scott
Guest

Will, the Monterey trail is not being widened to 26 feet. Only a short section along cannery row is, shorter than our boardwalk where our trail will also be this wide including all bike tracks and pedestrian ways.
Highway one is unlikely to ever be widened as Caltrans is redirecting funds from highways to railways. See their plan.
Greenway + a highway 1 based Bus Rapid Transit== Over $1 billion and increased GHG emissions.
Rail + Trail = $150 million for the train, trail is already paid w D.

Will
Guest
Will

Westcliff multi-use path is not wide enough to function as a active transportation facility, period. At 10 feet wide it has built in conflicts for all user groups. This is why the Monterey coastal recreation trail is being widened to a width of 26 feet. 16 feet for the Bikeway allows for faster wheeled vehicles to pass in each direction. The separated 10 foot wide pedestrian sidewalk allows groups of two or more walkers walking side by side and pass each other. The plan is for the Greenway to use this same 16 + 10 formula wherever possible. The 26… Read more »

drcameron
Guest
drcameron

Jack, your comments are posed sepatately on Monterey Bay Forum 3/11/18

trackback

[…] most of the other commenters are part of the trail advocacy groups that spread misinformation about the trail and  […]

Barry Scott
Guest

Update from the RTC: The trail only idea also diverts to surface streets, see the latest map. https://sccrtc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-03-15-TPW-agenda-packet.pdf Trains will be electric, the 2015 study proved feasibility with 2013 technology, we’ll be using 2024 technology. Caltrans will not widen highway one, even the $100 million 3.5 mile aux lane project has no final Environmental Impact Report, but either way Caltrans is committed to moving from highways to rail. $93 million gets us starter service all the way to Pajaro! High Speed Rail has nothing to do with our already permitted branch line, except that we will be connected to it!… Read more »

Jack Brown
Guest
Jack Brown

Unfortunately most of the other commenters are part of the trail advocacy groups that spread misinformation about the trail and have couldn’t care less if the trail is built at all. They are rail advocates plain and simple. For those of us that do ride know that the the trail design advocated by the rail group is substandard. A good percentage of the trail would be diverted back onto the road where the trail will not fit with a train. Their train (unfunded and not scalable) takes priority. Also note that all of us of that support a trail only… Read more »

Bruce K. Sawhill
Guest
Bruce K. Sawhill

If you’ve ever walked or ridden across Arana Gulch, that trail is 8 feet wide. The Westcliff ped/bike path varies a great deal, but averages about 10 feet. So 16 feet (The Measure D Trail) is a pretty hefty trail! Battery electric trams could operate smoothly and efficiently on the line, right-sized and quiet, with low floors so wheelchairs and bikes could roll right on board. Two way traffic is handled with passing sidings, one set of rails is plenty. Check out http://www.railandtrail.org for more information.

Scott Thomas Miller
Guest
Scott Thomas Miller

The “train that may never happen” argument is misleading and manipulative, and, frankly, makes no sense. You could also say “a wide trail that may never happen.” If the rail-with-trail plan includes a train, the plan includes a train.
Rail with trail makes the most sense to me.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I really hope that the tracks will be utilized with quiet, efficient, electric trains that us disabled folks can ride. I would love to be able to ride down to Pajaro Station, where I can ride the rails anywhere in the country. The wife and I have long ago decided to find a new home close to a train station. Exciting times ahead.

Barry Scott
Guest

Clearly, a wider trail won’t help commuters so we need the train to happen ASAP and let the county continue building the trail, which is already going to be 12 to 16 feet wide.