.The Editor’s Desk

Editor's Note

Santa Cruz California editor of good times news media print and web
Brad Kava | Good Times Editor

Do you have kids and do you feel safe if they walk or bike to school? In Santa Cruz and in the country at large, the answer is too often no.

Some 211 bicyclists were injured between 2017 and 2021 in the city of Santa Cruz with one fatality. And 88 pedestrians were injured and 7 killed, according to a study released by Vision Zero, a local group analyzing traffic safety with a goal of lowering accidents.

At least 7,508 people who were out walking were struck and killed in the United States last year, the highest since 1981 and almost double the number from 2010, according to a report by the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association.

All this while internationally the rates of pedestrian deaths have gone down, according to a New York Times report.

Planners are coming up with theories for the rise: drivers distracted by cell phones and electronics; a lack of safe biking space and sidewalks; higher speed limits and bigger vehicles; automatic transmissions that need less concentration than manual ones; and less enforcement by police.

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The greatest rise in accidents has occurred after dark and in particular when the clocks change for daylight saving time. The county has received millions to improve transportation, which is good news.

Every one of us is affected by traffic delays and we have yet to hear of a real solution. For me, the biggest help would be improving safety for students trying to get to and from schools.

It’s shocking that in so many neighborhoods there are no sidewalks or bike lanes. How can you expect anyone to get home safely when they have to walk in thin streets after dark designed only for cars? What were planners thinking?

It’s not too late to raise your voices and make sure local money is spent making non motorized travel more safe for those who need it most. We don’t need more studies of expensive solutions that won’t solve the problem. We need safe bike lanes and walkways NOW.

Brad Kava

Editor


PHOTO CONTEST

OWL’S WELL Great Horned Owls have made their return to Lighthouse Field after being ousted by the storm this winter. Photo:Ty Hammond

GOOD IDEA

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission approved $61.3 million for regional transit projects including:

• Traffic signal priority for buses

• Zero Emission Passenger Rail and Trail Project – for environmental analysis

• Bicycle Incentives Program

• Pavement including Murphy’s Crossing, Roggie Lane, Lee Road, West Beach Street, Corralitos Road, Amesti Road, Empire Grade Road, Bear Creek Road, Soquel San Jose Road, Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Bay Street, Scotts Valley Drive, Mt, Herman Road, 41st Avenue and Green Valley Road

• New and upgraded bicycle/pedestrian facilities projects.

• Improvement projects by the Felton-SLV Schools.

GOOD WORK

Registered nurses at Watsonville Community Hospital ratified a new three-year contract, the first collective bargaining agreement since WCH became a public-sector employer in 2021.

It includes: improved retention of experienced nurses, with a hospital guarantee that 20 percent of staff positions be reserved as part-time; more input from nurses about pandemic procedures; safeguards against mandatory overtime; and prioritizing jobs for union nurses.

“After a tumultuous few years, we’re thrilled to have a strong contract that reflects the priorities of nurses and the needs of our community,” said Shanandrea Castro, RN-Special Procedures.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital.”
Mark Hyman

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