Hwy 1 flyover could ease traffic congestion at on Santa Cruz streets

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I would think a simple solution to alleviate traffic on local streets is a flyover at the end of High Street where we have the foot bridge over Highway 1? This flyover would decrease the traffic tremendously on local streets. This is the only solution I see for the log jam during the afternoon commute on local streets to get on Highway 1. University traffic and upper west side traffic would have easier access to the highway which would also alleviate a great deal of the Mission Street traffic as well. We can't build an easterly route but we already have a third lane at the River Street intersection which only has to be extended to this flyover. The city, state and university should think about this as an alternate route to Highway 1. Steve Welch, Santa Cruz A: You may be on to something, Steve. Local public works officials are open to that concept and say discussions must be had with other transportation infrastructure funding and building agency's to make it happen. "Interesting that its brought up now as we recently had a brief discussion about that idea with Caltrans," said Chris Schneiter, assistant director of Santa Cruz city's public works department. "There have been very general discussions at the city and Caltrans of using flyovers to solve congestion issues without developing a larger and more expensive full interchange." Locations of those proposed flyovers would be "Highway 1 at Highway 9 to take one lane of traffic from Highway 1 over Highway 9," he said. "The second one is at Highway 1/Mission/Chestnut Street to take traffic from Mission Street to Highway 1 southbound and over the other traffic movements." No details are available yet but "some reflection on how the San Lorenzo River, the Roaring Camp railroad tracks, the High Street pedestrian bridge and impacts to private property might affect the location, height and width of such a structure is an interesting puzzle to consider solving," Schneiter said. "These will not be simple or inexpensive structures due to the complicated geometric and utility constraints at these locations. I believe these types of facilities will have to be explored in greater detail as congestion increases and more complicated solutions are needed to meet the challenge." Earthquake Preparedness Month April is Earthquake Awareness Month. Is your car ready for the "big one?" While we all are trying to keep our vehicles clutter free to maximize gas mileage, consider having a basic kit in the trunk in case you are in your car when disaster strikes and going home, and stopping at a restaurant or hotel are not options. Survival kits can be purchased at any hardware store, Target and even online at Amazon and eBay. Basic kits include things like a first aid kit, flashlight with batteries and a three day supply of water and dried food rations. Try to throw in a blanket toiletries and extra clothing, as well. Learn more about ways you can be ready for the big one at http://www.calema.ca.gov/NewsandMedia/Pages/Current%20News%20and%20Events/Earthquake-Preparedness.aspx.  
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