Dear Street Smarts,
Q A nice job has been done on redeveloping the lower 41st Avenue and Portola Avenue intersection. In addition, the condos at the railroad tracks on 41st are now complete. A new restaurant is going in on 41st and Bain avenues. My question is: what considerations for traffic control on 41st and neighboring side streets of Bain Avenue, Gladys and Nova are in the works? Will there be cross walks or signals for pedestrians on 41st? Additional signals? Left turn lanes? How will neighborhood streets be protected from all the traffic that already doesn't want to go through the intersection of Portola and 41st and use these three streets as a shortcut between Capitola and 41st at high rates of speed? Lots of questions I know, but our streets have already become unsafe for children, animals, cyclists and walkers. How much more impact are we in for?
Leslie, Santa Cruz
A Here’s your anwer from Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer with county public works.
“The intersections of 41st Avenue at Nova Drive, Bain Avenue, and Gladys Avenue all currently have textured and colored pedestrian crosswalks across 41st Avenue. The shoulder area of 41st Avenue has bike lanes and on-street parking for businesses. There wasn’t enough road width left over to provide the left turn lanes. Traffic signals at these intersections and along this corridor are not anticipated with the exception of 41st Avenue/Portola Drive, but that could be many years away, if ever.
“Years ago, the residents on Nova petitioned for road bumps and had them installed. The residents on Bain Avenue and Gladys Avenue are encouraged to discuss this issue amongst them selves and contact the County Department of Public Works in writing if they would like to pursue road bumps for their streets. There is a petition process that must be followed and a majority vote obtained before authorization from the County Board of Supervisors to proceed is granted. The residents are required to pay a processing fee and one-half the construction costs. The current processing fee is $600 and the construction costs for the residents are $2,000 per road bump.”
Submit your neighborhood’s request to the Department of Public Works by fax to (831) 454-2160 or by mail or in person to 701 Ocean Street, Room 410, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. The office is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.