The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the 2022 Active Transportation Plan, a 200-page document that outlines dozens of projects which aim to increase the county’s system of bicycle and walking paths.
“The vision is to create a network of biking and walking routes that connect key destinations within the county and are safe, comfortable and accessible for community members of all ages, backgrounds and abilities,” said Senior Civil Engineer Russell Chen.
The plan includes hundreds of proposed projects in the urbanized areas of unincorporated Santa Cruz County which have the highest density of residents and destinations, including Davenport, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, Felton, Live Oak, Soquel, Aptos, Rio Del Mar, La Selva Beach, Corralitos and Amesti.
But because many of the projects are unfunded, the document essentially serves as a wish list for county officials as they seek to improve transportation options.
It was created with the input of nearly 5,000 people, with surveys showing that 86% of respondents want to walk and bike more, but were discouraged from doing so by missing sidewalks and aggressive drivers and speeders.
Supervisor Zach Friend said that the projects are important in Santa Cruz County, which has one of the highest incidents of collisions between vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists in the state.
The plan, he says, positions the county for more state funding to do the projects.
“This is the first step of future improvements that will erase that issue within our community from a safety standpoint,” he said. “It’s not just affording people an alternative means of transportation. It’s also affording them a safe method to do those methods of transportation.”