RTC’s new bike/pedestrian hazard report can be filed online

Ramona Turner is on vacation this week but Street Smarts is not. This week's blogs were written by local transportation-minded agencies. Today's submission is from Karena Pushnik, a Senior Transportation Planner with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. The agency is responsible for delivering a full range of safe, convenient, reliable and efficient transportation choices for the community. Pushnik's article tells readers how they can easily report bicycle and pedestrian hazards countywide with the click of a button. Read on: The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission recently updated both its website, as well as its companion Commute Solutions site. In the process, the agency made an important enhancement: bicycle and pedestrian Hazard Reports can now be submitted online. The “new and improved” Hazard Report form, at http://sccrtc.org/services/hazard-reports/, makes it possible to have a one-stop location to report both bicycle and pedestrian hazards. The public is now able to enter the location of the hazard, upload a photo and select from a list of hazard types, such as pavement conditions such as potholes, plant overgrowth, obstacles, tip or trip potentials, lack of bicycle lanes or sidewalks, and inoperative signal detection systems. The RTC directs submitted reports directly to the appropriate city or county public works department. If the jurisdictions are able to repair the problems, they do so and if not, they add it to their longer term deferred maintenance needs list. If the hazard is on a sidewalk adjacent to private property, local jurisdictions inform the adjacent property owner about the California State law that places responsibility and potential risk of liability caused by a hazard on the property owner. The benefits of this easy-to-use Hazard Report are that it simplifies the process for reporting sidewalk and bicycle infrastructure problems. Since the RTC has activated the new online Hazard Report, submissions have increased dramatically. The end result is a better network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Santa Cruz County. When we have a variety of safer travel routes, we’re more likely to use non-motorized options, thereby reducing fuel use and green house gas emissions, and increasing community health benefits.  
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