Two side-by-side letters in the GT print edition this week (GT, 3/9) reflect on the vision we have for our county: Michael Funari’s plea that we not further industrialize Santa Cruz, and a second, “Do Your Job,” lambasting our Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) for not doing their job in “administer[ing] public funding to improve our … transportation systems.”
In fact, after spending millions of dollars in studies over the last 10 years, our RTC has wisely come to the conclusion that if there’s no funding for a railroad, and not enough passengers to ride it, then we should move on to implementing the best transportation options we have–like an interim bike and pedestrian trail on the rail corridor (for which we do have money dedicated from Measure D), expanding Bus on Shoulder and improving our existing transit systems, Metro, ParaCruz and Lift Line. This seems to me to be the very definition of the job the RTC is supposed to do. Would the Ad Hoc Committee prefer the RTC commit the county to $1.3 billion dollars over the next 30 years with no source of local or other funding, or any indication that we could make sufficient use of a train even if we could pay for it? The commissioners plainly see that “where there’s a will there’s a way” is not a valid transportation plan! And frankly, an empty train running along some of the most amazing coastline in the world strikes me as the very definition of “industrializing” our county!
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