The city of Santa Cruz invites the public to participate in workshops to develop a new Active Transportation Plan. Development of this plan will prioritize active transportation and help the city win funding grants from outside sources to pay for this stuff.
What is active transportation?
Active transportation is mobility beyond walking from the couch to your driveway. Cycling, walking to the bus stop, skating, and wheeling a non-powered wheelchair are examples of active transportation. Active transportation automatically builds physical activity into your daily schedule, expands your social circle, reduces road congestion and pollution of all kinds.
To increase non-motorized travel, you need a plan to improve safety, mobility, connectivity and access for all roadway users.
The single Active Transportation Plan will replace the city’s separate bicycle and pedestrian plans, allowing the planning process to strategically consider the needs of all non-motorized users at the same time, while identifying a set of local improvements and implementation strategies that will encourage more people to walk and bicycle.
Merging the bike and pedestrian plans into one Santa Cruz Active Transportation Plan mirrors the change in Caltrans transportation funding. In 2013, state bicycle and pedestrian grant programs were consolidated into one umbrella funding program called the Active Transportation Program (ATP). The goal of ATP is to create “Complete Streets” projects that serve all active transportation users.
What happens at these Active Transportation Plan workshops?
The Active Transportation Plan outreach takes place within the larger context of the “Santa Cruz Corridors” Zoning and Planning Update process. Look for the Active Transportation Plan station at these workshops, where Transportation Planner Claire Fliesler will ask for your input on the city’s strategic vision for walk and bike access. Claire is a long-time bike commuter, transit-user, and friend to Cyclelicious and she really gets this stuff.
Ecology Action in Santa Cruz makes these recommendations:
- Make big streets safe: Add protected bike lanes to major corridors such as Soquel, Water, Ocean and Bay .
- Neighborhood greenways: Create bike-friendly neighborhood streets by adding bike lanes, green lane treatments, and traffic calming features. This includes streets like King, Broadway, Laurel, Cayuga and connections to the future Rail Trail.
- Fill the gaps: Complete the bike network by filling gaps, such as the missing lanes of Soquel and Delaware and the steep and hard-to find access ramps to the levee paths.
- Address difficult intersections: Create dedicated space for bikes and install bike-specific signals at intersections that are currently difficult for cyclists.
- Signage and Bike Parking: Implement the Countywide Bike Signage Program within the city to guide people on bikes to the best routes; work with existing businesses to provide short- and long-term bike parking; include a Bike Station in the redesign of the Pacific Avenue Transit Center.
- Youth Safety Education: Ensure funding is allocated for ongoing youth bike and pedestrian safety education and encouragement to complement the infrastructure projects.
- Data collection: Install bike and pedestrian counters at key locations such as Arana Gulch, King Street, Beach Street, on the River Levee and so forth.