The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) held a workshop last night to provide input on the planned November ballot measure to fix local streets, create safer routes to schools, and improve pedestrian facilities.
Branciforte Drive and El Rancho Road shown above are two examples of the $7 million in unrepared damaged that occurred during storms in the spring of 2011. A lane has been washed out on each of these and other roads. On Branciforte Drive, a traffic light controls access to the single lane around the washout, with northbound and southbound traffic taking turns to get around the washed out lane. On El Rancho Road, a stop sign for each direction controls access to the single lane around the washout.
The measure would ask voters to pay $10 per year on vehicles registered in Santa Cruz County to generate $2.2 million / year and help cover some of the cost to operate and maintain our local road network. The current proposal sets a minimum of 15% aside specifically for Safe Routes to School and pedestrian capital projects. Bike/pedestrian projects tend to be relatively inexpensive and the creation of flexible local funds for these projects and for road maintenance are critical to leveraging other funding sources.
In a statement to the People Power membership, director Micah Posner writes, “With regard to road maintenance: it is reasonable for drivers to want roads to be maintained and it is reasonable for us to support them. People Power has always said that we are not out to punish drivers, merely to change the system that encourages a dependence on the automobile. This is our chance to prove it.” People Power Santa Cruz is the human powered advocacy group in Santa Cruz.
More on the meeting and ballot initiative at SCCRTC.