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Close West Cliff Drive to motor vehicles, reader suggests
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Everyone knows how incredibly beautiful and special West Cliff Drive is. See, that's the problem. The place is packed and even more so on weekends. What has the potential to be a place of both quiet reflection and work-out training ground -- and everything in between -- becomes neither, as each attempts to accommodate the other. What could so easily restore the enjoyment this unique area has to offer? Simple. Close the street to motor vehicles between Lighthouse Point and Natural Bridges Park on weekends. Then keep bikes, boarders and skaters on the street; joggers, walkers and strollers on the sidewalk. Allow the coast to be the natural haven that everyone seeks to enjoy, while maintaining safety and goodwill. Anyone who's been to Central Park or Golden Gate Park or dozens of other city parks with high weekend traffic knows how they create a safer, more enjoyable outdoor park experience, both for locals and tourists. Why can't we do the same? J. Summer, Santa Cruz A: This issue was put to rest several years ago, said Chris Schneiter, of the city’s public works department. “The Council established a West Cliff Drive task force some years ago and the outcome of the task force was to not close the street,” he said. Anyone who is interested in this topic can research the records at the city clerk’s office, 801 Center Street in downtown Santa Cruz, he said.