.Capitola’s Long-Awaited Pedestrian Pathway Changes Course

A pedestrian pathway that would connect Capitola’s Upper Beach and Village Parking Lot and Monterey Avenue that has been in the works for nearly six years is changing course.    

In 2016, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) awarded Capitola $250,000 to create a pathway between the parking lot and Monterey Avenue, to establish a path for pedestrians away from cars. Capitola also allotted $50,000 from its General Fund to the project. 

The pathway was initially set to border the rail corridor until Monterey Avenue. But with the future of the rail trail segment that runs through Capitola up in the air, the City is looking at alternative routes.

Public Works Director Steve Jesberg said that the City’s original route could have also faced issues with soil contamination. But an alternative path once blocked by a large Cypress tree has now opened after the tree fell earlier this winter. 

The new proposal is a sidewalk alongside the existing road to the parking lot. According to Jesberg, six large oak trees will need to be removed or heavily trimmed for the proposed sidewalk to have a complete pathway to Monterey Ave, but that is less than the number of trees that would need to be removed along the rail path. 

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Regardless, the council asked staff to return with an official design of the new pathway that would include the number of trees that would need to be removed. 

Capitola also signed a letter supporting Senate Bill 843, which will increase renter’s tax credit for low-income California renters for the first time since 1979. The bill was introduced by Senator Steve Glazer and would give single households making $43,533 or less $500 and joint filers making $87,066 or less $1,000 in tax credit. 

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