The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) adopted the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network and certified the final Environmental Impact Report yesterday.
This ambitious trail project links much of the Pacific Ocean coastline in Santa Cruz County with a 32 mile coastal rail trail to connect 88 parks, 42 schools, and over half of the county’s population who live within one mile of the corridor. 31 miles of this scenic trail will be along the right-of-way of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line.
The Trail Network will serve bicycle, pedestrian, wheelchair, and other non-motorized travel on a paved right-of-way separated from vehicular traffic and adjacent to the operational rail line. Equestrian use will be accommodated in limited locations. The on-street roadway network will provide connectivity from the trail to other destination points. Natural surface paths will provide access to coastal viewing points. The Master Plan defines a set of design standards, prioritization criteria, estimated costs, operation, maintenance, and implementation mechanisms for approximately 50 miles of trails that is divided into 20 segments to be constructed as funding opportunities arise.
With the Master Plan project nearing completion, the RTC issued a “call for projects” to local jurisdictions for constructing segments of the trail. $5.3 million is available, which includes federal earmark funds secured by Congressman Sam Farr. Additional design, environmental analysis, and coordination will be necessary as trail segments move forward toward implementation.
For more information –> Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) Network Final Master Plan.