.Letter to the Editor: Trains and Irony

I love trains, and I also love irony.

Back in the late ’70s, when our collective community was concerned about rapid population growth, some “progressive” leaders fought back efforts to revive the “Suntan Special,” a train that would have transported people to work over the hill during the week and allowed thousands of tourists to avoid flooding Highway 17 and our local streets with polluting auto traffic on the weekends, all in the name of preventing such growth. Well, they stopped that train from being built out, one that would have been financially feasible, and likely crowded with commuters and tourists. It made sense, and would have made a real difference!

Growth happened anyway, and now, ironically, many of the same “progressives” are saying that we should preserve unused tracks between Davenport and Watsonville in hopes that one day it will become financially feasible to build out a commuter rail that will do little to reduce the daily horror show commute on Highway 1. They want to prevent our community from using this resource to provide a safe and effective bike/pedestrian/wheelchair-safe trail for millions of dollars less cost than one that avoids taking up unused damaged tracks that could otherwise be sold as scrap metal that could, in turn, be used to pay for transit improvements.

Instead of being fiscally reckless by potentially investing over a billion dollars in a train that only those with higher incomes will use, let’s pour resources into expanding and modernizing our Metro bus system, building a bus-on-shoulder system on Highway 1, and reducing fares to encourage ridership. Let’s railbank the corridor and quickly build out a trail that will provide a safe way for cyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, etc. to avoid having to navigate on auto-congested city streets. That is what I would call progressive! And your yes vote on Measure D helps to make that happen.

Scott Roseman

secure document shredding

Santa Cruz


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1 COMMENT

  1. I find Roseman’s argument about who would ride rail completely inaccurate and ironic since the wealthiest land developers and business owners are the ones funding Greenway’s anti-equity, anti-environment, anti-public transit, Measure D. Mr. Roseman is included as he did quite well with the sales of his New Leaf Markets and hob knobs with the other anti-public transit clan. The Greenway people often call out ‘fund the busses’ but they drive $100K Teslas. They claim Watsonville needs more busses and doesn’t need clean dependable light rail, but these funders of Greenway’s Measure D have never ridden a bus from Watsonville to Santa Cruz in their life. They have NO CLUE what life is like for the average resident of Watsonville, not to mention those who have no choice but to use public transit. For us to address equity and our climate crisis, we need to get as many people as possible using public transit, and grow public transit so that people can easily get onto a bus or train every 15 minutes to get where they need to go. Rail transit is a key part of that and with the Federal infrastructure finds and the State Rail Plan, we have already paid close to $1B in taxes here in Santa Cruz which we would lose to another California City if we turn away from rail. Destroying valuable rail infrastructure is incredibly foolish and not regarded well by the State of Federal agencies.

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