Four Highway 9 projects are in the early phases of project development in Santa Cruz County, California, ranging from project initiation to environmental document development. Among these is planned installation of two miles of centerline rumblestrips and guardrails where Highway 9 runs through Castle Rock State Park south of Skyline Boulevard.
Caltrans District 5 staff will spend most of their time at next Monday’s Santa Cruz County BAC meeting explaining the benefits of rumblestrips for both motorist safety, while cyclists will (once again) give public comment explaining the hazards of these proposed rumblestrips. Won’t we begin to have self-driving cars on the road by the time this $7.7M project receives funding?
In spite of strong public opposition, Caltrans recently installed both centerline and edge rumblestrips along portions of Highway 1 north of the city of Santa Cruz. I and several other people have noticed that many motorists now seem afraid to move towards the center and away from the shoulder, even when cyclists are present in the narrow shoulder along portions of the highway. Jim Langley reports that one car that passed him ejected a hubcap as it hit the centerline rumblestrip, shooting the projectile towards him and his riding buddies at 50 MPH!
Take a look at the second project on the list: “South Drainage and Erosion Control Improvements” scheduled for 2020 on Highway 9 from Highway 1 almost to Ben Lomond. With these erosion control construction projects closing the highway every few years, Caltrans should just close Highway 9 south of Felton permanently to car traffic and make it a bike and pedestrian path.
Caltrans will present this project information at the next Santa Cruz County Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting next Monday, October 19, 2015 beginning at 6 PM. There’s a lot of good stuff on the agenda so this is a good meeting to attend. The meeting takes place at the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission office at 1523 Pacific Avenue, sandwiched between the American Apparel store and Sockshop Santa Cruz.
Besides the Highway 9 project information and discussion about Highway 1 rumblestrips, other agenda items include a report on the Silicon Valley Bicycle Summit, the Vision Zero Toolkit prepared by California Walks and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and an update on the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network/Coastal Rail Trail. Download the full agenda here.