November 10, 2015, Santa Cruz City Council Resolution:
“Resolution Reaffirming Support for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan and the Preservation of the Rail Option”
DISCUSSION: There has been ongoing debate about the utility of preserving the rail line as part of current efforts to initiate construction of the multi-use bicycle and pedestrian rail trail. Many successful rail-with-trail projects can be found across the nation. This configuration has proven to be successful in many other communities and provides safety features to train operations, as well as active transportation options for bicyclists and pedestrians. While continued analysis will take place in regards to instituting passenger rail service in Santa Cruz County, it is important to preserve the rail option to encourage objective long-range transportation planning and to continue the immediate development of trail segments within our community.
RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ REAFFIRMING SUPPORT FOR THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION’S MONTEREY BAY SANCTUARY SCENIC TRAIL NETWORK MASTER PLAN AND THE PRESERVATION OF THE RAIL OPTION FOR SUSTAINABLE LONG-RANGE
TRANSPORTATION PLANNING IN CONJUNCTIONWITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF FUTURE RAIL TRAIL SEGMENTS
WHEREAS, the Regional Transportation Commission’s (RTC) Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network (Trail Network) Master Plan was adopted February 6, 2014, after a three-year long public and stakeholder engagement process; and
WHEREAS, the Trail Network Master Plan defines a 50-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities and a32-mile rail right-of-way that serves as the system’s spine; and
WHEREAS, the City also adopted the Trail Network Master Plan in December 2014 in a show of endorsement and commitment to implementation of the City’s rail trail segments; and
WHEREAS, this resolution of the governing body of the City shall reaffirm its support for multi-modal, long-range transportation planning along the rail corridor as outlined in the Trail Network Master Plan; and
WHEREAS, the Rail Trail Master Plan and its review process involved thousands of community members and public agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, California Coastal Conservancy, California State Parks, and local cities within Santa Cruz County; and
WHEREAS, more than $14.5 million in local, State, and Federal funds, and $3.6 million in private funds have already been committed to the construction of eight miles of rail trail segments; and
WHEREAS, the City has received $4,060,000 in Federal earmarks from the RTC to construct a 2.1 mile segment from Natural Bridges Drive to Pacific Avenue/Wharf and has initiated design; and
WHEREAS, the City also committed $1,090,000 of local funds, and the Friends of the Rail and Trail, along with Bike Santa Cruz County, committed $100,000 in private funds; and
WHEREAS, the preservation of the rail line at this time is essential to continue the process to construct segments of the planned rail trail segments; and
WHEREAS, any attempt to abandon the rail line at this time will hinder long-range planning of a sustainable integrated transportation plan and impede efforts to construct future segments of the rail trail in the near term; and
WHEREAS, a commitment to the perseveration of the rail line at this time will allow the RTC, local jurisdictions, and the Land Trust, which has already committed millions in funding, to submit grant requests in an effort to construct the rail trail at the earliest date possible; and
WHEREAS, it is in the community’s best interest to encourage sustainable long-range transportation planning along this important transportation corridor.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AND ORDERED by the City Council of the City of Santa Cruzthat it reaffirms support for the RTC’s Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan and the preservation of the rail option.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this 10th day of November, 2015 by the following vote: (Unanimous)