The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission released the Final Master Plan for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network project. The Master Plan creates a “rail trail,” a proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail adjacent to the Santa Cruz Branch rail line right-of-way.
The RTC is expected to consider adoption of the Final Master Plan and to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) at the November 7th, 2013 meeting, to be held at the Board of Supervisors Chambers. The Final EIR is anticipated to be released by Friday, October 25th, 2013. The RTC will receive public comments at the meeting but comments may also be submitted in writing prior to the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the RTC, the trail network will serve bicycle, pedestrian, wheelchair, and other non-motorized travel on a paved right-of-way separated from vehicular traffic and adjacent to the operational rail line. Equestrian use will be accommodated in limited locations. The Master Plan defines a set of design standards, prioritization criteria, estimated costs, operation, maintenance, and implementation mechanisms for approximately 50 miles of trails that is divided into 20 segments to be constructed as funding opportunities arise.
With the Master Plan project nearing completion, the RTC issued a “call for projects” to local jurisdictions for constructing segments of the trail. $5.3 million is available, which includes federal earmark funds secured by Congressman Sam Farr.
The Final Master Plan is available for download here. A limited number of hardcopies and CDs will be available at the Santa Cruz and Watsonville RTC offices and at the Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville public libraries.