.Letter to the Editor: We Can Do Better

Re: “Healthy Future” (GT, 6/16): Anyone who walks the entire Santa Cruz County Corridor can understand that in its entirety, it will be Rail-Only or Trail-Only, not both. Those who claim that it will magically become a full Rail-Trail are doing a deceptive sales job.

Those in the know already know what this compromised Rail-Trail would actually look like, and how much it would cost us taxpayers before it becomes an endless money pit.

Don’t fall for promotions from for-profit ventures. As a single-track system forever restricted to a linear configuration (that was intended over 100 years ago for only slow-moving freight trains and a once or twice a day tourist train), expect even more frequent conditions on Highway 1, where we can jog faster than the “progress” of traffic. (Desperate use of “sidings” in attempts for this limited system to become a two-directional commuter train will recklessly introduce constant possibilities of head-on train collisions.)

We can do better. Consider Trail-Only and Bus-On-shoulder. That can always be upgraded to a form of Bus-Trail that can run rings around any Rail-Trail. (It is also safer.) With the savings, free passenger Bus-Trail service during rush hours can be considered. San Francisco is already taking steps in this direction that makes sense in improving traffic flow. Please use common sense and don’t sell out to special interests.

Bob Fifield | Aptos

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  1. Fortunately, the rail line is already in place and permitted, upgrades are required to put it into service and these constitute far less permitting and engineering time and effort than any new highway widening. The trail in happening as we speak.

    Our Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line is sacrosanct as a part of the state and national rail network and a vital piece of infrastructure. As shown by multiple studies, it offers the greatest return on investment in terms of transportation equity, efficiency, and is environmental benefit.

    Coupled with enhanced Metro service, a public transit network that welcomes bikes and connects well with an expanded bike route network, implementation of the rail line will bring us in line with other forward looking nations that value bikes and public transit above the automobile.

  2. @B.S. There will never be a rail-trail, it’s not safe and there is no room, and on top of that it’s extremely expensive. There will only ever be a rail, or a trail, only. While you continually involve yourself in the debate trying to convince citizens that we can have it both ways, we can’t, and won’t.

  3. Santa Cruz can’t afford to patch our potholes, house the homeless, or restore baseline Metro Service, and Barry, a petroleum industry lobbyist, is here telling you that we should try our luck on a billion dollar train…


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