Santa Cruz County and Stimulus Transportation Funding

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009
By Yokota Fritz

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission meets Thursday, March 5 to discuss how to allocate the Santa Cruz County share of the transportation funds authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA -- the Federal stimulus funding act signed into law in February). The Transportation Commission will meet in the Santa Cruz County Supervisor Chambers at 701 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, California.

Santa Cruz County will receive at least $5.8 million in Highway Infrastructure Funds and may get up to $11 to $12 million depending on how the state of California and the California Transportation Commission allocates funds under state control. Transportation Commission staff will present these funding recommendations at the board meeting tomorrow.
The good news is that the Santa Cruz Transportation Commission voted in February to essentially add a "Complete Streets" requirement to any road projects using ARRA funds. Any project using stimulus funds in Santa Cruz County must add bicycle lanes, cross-walk striping, curb cuts, and other accessibility improvements "where appropriate and feasible."

Transit Capital Assistance

Santa Cruz County will also receive about $5.3 million in Transit Capital Assistance funds. Transit Capital Assistance may be used for bus, rail, and related capital assistance. About $3.4 million will be allocated for the Santa Cruz metro area, $1.6 million goes to Watsonville, and about $267,000 is allocated to the rest of Santa Cruz County. At the time I'm writing this, SCCRTC did not have a breakdown available of how they propose to spend ARRA money for transit projects.

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