RTC attends public events, internet to gather community input on future of transportation projects

Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission staff will make their rounds at Bike Week events this week in search of community input for its draft Sustainable Transportation Plan Goals/Targets/Policies. The commission is working on a regional transportation plan update, which aims to infuse sustainable practices in helping get people to their destinations. The goal is to base transportation funding using a decision process by determining “how well projects can optimize benefits to people, the economy and environment,” said Karena Pushnik, the commission's spokesperson and senior transportation planner. The public can participate in the comment period by talking to commission staff at various outreach events around the county or logging onto an online survey at sccrtc.org/rtpsurvey or http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TransportPlanPolicy. Having as many voices heard in the process is key, said Pushnik. “Since everyone in our county needs to get around in one way or another, feedback at this stage on how transportation benefits will be evaluated is critical,” she said. “This framework will guide decisions about which transportation projects and programs to fund over the next 25 years.” To date, the commission has held a previous online survey and sought public input through a community meeting. So far, more than 100 responses have been received with 92 percent of respondents indicating that the agency should focus on three main goals:
  1. Improve access to jobs, schools, health care and other regular needs in ways that improve health, reduce pollution and retain money in the local economy.
  2. Reduce transportation-related injuries and fatalities.
  3. Provide access and safety improvements cost effectively, within available revenues, equitably and responsive to the needs of all transportation system users, while being beneficial to the “natural environment.”
While the survey is multiple choice, there is room for people to write in their own transportation ideas, as well as comment on those proposed. “So far, we've received 14 pages of ideas,” Pushnik said. The deadline to take the survey has been extended from Wednesday, May 9 to Sunday, May 13 to allow the commission to capitalize on Bike Week festivities, as well as hit farmers markets, candidate forums, service club meetings, and business and chamber of commerce gatherings for comment. Santa Cruz rehabilitates Seabright area roads Expect street closures, interruption of street parking and minimal travel delays starting today in Santa Cruz as the city's public works department begins a road rehabilitation project. Work on the project will occur 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays on Frederick Street between Soquel and Broadway, on Broadway between Frederick and Seabright, as well as in the lower Seabright area. The first phase of the project is expected to wrap up by the end of the week, with a cape seal project starting afterward. The cape seal is expected to take about a month to complete. For information or to comment, call Josh Spangrud, associate civil engineer, at 420-5178.
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