Bike Santa Cruz County, the Coastal Rail Trail, and the Future of Transportation in Our County

Why we support the plan for rail with trail, for now

Bike Santa Cruz County has been working to get a bike and pedestrian trail built in the rail corridor for more than 25 years. We have been at the forefront, advocating for the Coastal Rail Trail to become not just a wild idea, but a viable project with more than $100M in funding.

In the past 6 months, the Bike Santa Cruz County board of directors was lobbied to take an alternative position on the corridor’s future use. The board heard presentations from both the Friends of the Rail and Trail and the Great Santa Cruz Trail Group (now Santa Cruz County Greenway). After hearing multiple points of view and weighing the costs and benefits, the board of Bike Santa Cruz County remains committed to the Coastal Rail Trail as designed in the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan, while the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) continues to study the practicability of rail. The primary reasons for this are:

  1. Construction of the Coastal Rail Trail is scheduled to begin in 2018 and 10 miles, or 33%, will be constructed within 4 years
  2. The potential of passenger rail service in Santa Cruz County makes preserving the tracks worth the time it takes to study its feasibility.

Half the county’s population, 92 parks and 44 schools are located within 1 mile of the rail corridor. Thirteen miles of the Coastal Rail Trail has been funded in full or in part, with construction to begin as soon as design, engineering, and environmental permitting are complete. These projects include 7.5 miles of trail from Wilder Ranch to Davenport, 2.1 miles through the Westside of Santa Cruz, 2.2 miles from the Boardwalk to 17th Avenue, and 1.2 miles in Watsonville from Lee Road to Walker Street. The first phase of one of the segments through the Westside, from Natural Bridges Drive to Bay Street, will begin construction in 2018. Bike Santa Cruz County’s efforts over the last 25 years are now truly beginning to pay off.

But there is a real fear beginning to spread: the potential for this project to be delayed due to the lobbying efforts of a small group that is advocating for the train tracks to be removed. Changing course now would mean the entire process would need to restart and projects currently in progress would be delayed. Comprehensive planning, new designs, building stakeholder buy-in, environmental review, and finding additional funding to remove the tracks, would, in an accelerated estimate by the RTC, take 10 years. Our community cannot wait that long.  

Traffic Violence in Santa Cruz County

Our county needs the Coastal Rail Trail to be constructed as soon as possible. The Community Traffic Safety Coalition recently released their Traffic Violence in Santa Cruz County Report. They found that Santa Cruz County ranks among the worst in the state for injuries and fatalities among bicyclists overall and pedestrians under the age of 15. They also found the 8% of residents in our county who walk or bike experience 26% of the deaths and severe injuries that occur on our roadways. That means that traffic violence (severe injuries and fatalities) disproportionately affects our most vulnerable road users -- cyclists and pedestrians.

We urgently need to reduce our community’s traffic violence by giving cyclists and pedestrians an alternative to our high collision corridors. The Traffic Violence in Santa Cruz County Report studied traffic violence between 2010-2014. During those years, 20 cyclists and pedestrians were either severely injured or killed on high collision corridors that run parallel to the Coastal Rail Trail. By building the Coastal Rail Trail we would give cyclists and pedestrians a direct route to move across the county safely, away from vehicular traffic. Lives are depending on it.

Mass Transit in the Rail Corridor

The future of Santa Cruz County’s transportation system depends on the use of the corridor. The RTC is in the process of studying the best use of the rail corridor from an environmental, economic, and social equity context through the Unified Corridor Investment Study (UCIS). The UCIS is reviewing multiple scenarios including transit with trail and trail-only in the corridor. Bike Santa Cruz County supports the RTC’s process to use the UCIS as a tool to determine the best use of the corridor.

Bike Santa Cruz County supports the RTC’s process because mass transit has a huge potential: allowing those committed to using bicycles as daily transportation to move further distances, encouraging new cyclists, and connecting Santa Cruz County residents to the statewide rail network. Mass transit in the corridor has the potential to improve travel for cyclists by allowing them to move further distances within the county by biking to a stop, hopping on the train, hopping off the train, and biking the last mile to their destination. Passenger rail and bicycling are a perfect match, and rail would support a car-light lifestyle by providing a viable alternative to driving. As the statewide rail system is built-out, the entire state would be more accessible to Santa Cruz County residents traveling without a car.

A passenger train also has the potential to provide an alternative route, with consistent travel times, for commuters between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. As population increases and housing costs in North County continue to rise, more and more workers will look for lower cost housing options in South County and beyond. Rail transportation would provide an alternative to sitting in traffic and would allow residents of Mid- and South County to spend more time with their families, increasing their quality of life.

It may be that the UCIS, or other future studies, determine that passenger rail is not feasible for our county. We acknowledge that rail transportation is a significant investment, and funding for capital improvements and annual operating costs would need to be secured before passenger rail could move forward. Bike Santa Cruz County believes that we should not give up the option for transit in the corridor without a thoughtful and informed community conversation. We look forward to the results of the UCIS, and our board will weigh the impacts of the study’s results on local cyclists before taking an updated position.

We need your help

Bike Santa Cruz County urges the community to endorse the process and to continue its trajectory toward building the Coastal Rail Trail in the shortest time possible and studying the future of mass transit in the rail corridor. How can you help?

Thank you for your continued support in making Santa Cruz County a safer place to bike.

Janneke Strause

Executive Director

Bike Santa Cruz County

Team Bike Santa Cruz County Diversity Program

Selected participants receive free registration for Climate Ride and $2500 in fundraising support!

We’re Looking for a Diverse Crew

For the third straight year Team Bike Santa Cruz County will take part in Climate Ride California (June 9-13), boosting environmental awareness and raising money to make cycling safer and more accessible for everyone. Participation in this 5-day, 300-mile adventure is a life-transforming experience, made more special by being part of an awesome 12 person team! Once again, we’re asking you to make our team even better by helping it become more reflective of Santa Cruz County’s diverse communities.

If selected, you/your nominee will receive:

  • Free registration for Climate Ride California 2017
  • $2500 in fundraising support
  • Free one-year BSCC membership
  • Training and guidance in preparing for Climate Ride

Visit www.bikesantacruzcounty.org/climate-ride-diversity-program for instructions and information.

Bike Santa Cruz Seeks Events and Membership Coordinator

Events and Membership Coordinator

Job Posting

Bike Santa Cruz County promotes biking in Santa Cruz County through advocacy, education and community building. We work to improve conditions for cyclists through advocacy campaigns, help build bike culture through our youth program, Green Ways to School, and host a variety of fun bike events throughout the year. We are a small, dynamic team, and we’re looking for the right person to help us grow and expand our reach.

Hours: Full Time. Flexible schedule including some evening and weekend work.

Salary: $16-$20/hour to start. Plus vacation/sick leave and health insurance stipend.

Job Summary

Bike Santa Cruz County seeks an experienced membership and event coordinator with a passion for active transportation to engage and grow our membership through community events and programs. This includes planning established large events such as Run by the Sea, Open Streets Santa Cruz County events, and Bike Santa Cruz County’s Annual Dinner, and smaller events such as Kids Bike Parties and our annual member meeting. This position will also be responsible for managing our membership program, including recruiting new individual and business members. The ideal candidate will be able to balance multiple projects independently and manage event growth and development, as well as initiating new events to help us meet our community engagement goals. 

Responsibilities

Engage membership and the community by producing and managing successful, profitable events (60%)

  • Manage production of established events including Light Up the Night, Open Streets Santa Cruz, Open Streets Watsonville, Run by the Sea, Annual Dinner and Auction, Kids Bike Party (2-3 annually), Monthly Member Rides, and Member Meetings (1-2 annually). Work with Ecology Action in BSCC’s Bike to Work Day/Week participation.
  • Review and adapt event timelines and complete tasks on schedule
  • Meet event sponsorship goals and build sponsor relationships
  • Manage and stay within prescribed event budget
  • Recruit and manage volunteers to assist with each event
  • Manage volunteer coordinator
  • Manage and build relationships with partner organizations involved in each event
  • Work collaboratively with Bike Santa Cruz staff and report regularly to Director & Board
  • Attend monthly Board Member meetings
  • Coordinate with Bike Santa Cruz Director to promote and publicize events
  • Propose ideas to improve efficiency and event quality
  • Propose ideas for new events to grow and foster the Santa Cruz County bike community
  • Ensure compliance with insurance, legal, health, and safety obligations
  • Proactively handle challenges and troubleshoot problems
  • Conduct pre- and post-event evaluations and report on outcomes

Grow BSCC membership of individuals and businesses (30%)

  • Regularly meet with current business and individual members to evaluate needs
  • Table at community events to meet and recruit new members
  • Meet and recruit new business members
  • Grow BSCC business sponsorship program
  • Manage membership database and ensure high rates of member renewal

Other projects and administrative tasks as assigned (10%)

Qualifications

Required

  • Proven event management experience
  • Excellent time management, organizational and written and oral communication skills
  • Impressive portfolio of previously managed events
  • Experience with volunteer coordination
  • Sales skills and ability to build productive business relationships
  • Ability to manage multiple projects independently
  • Passion for biking and active transportation
  • MS Office proficiency

Preferred

  • Proficient in Spanish
  • Experience with Google Drive and Google Calendar

Application Process:

Submit the following by email to director@bikesantacruzcounty.org by January 16th.

  • Cover letter with reasons for applying
  • Resume including past event coordination experience
  • 3 writing samples
  • Three professional references

No phone calls please. We will contact you to set up interviews.

Press Release: Bike Santa Cruz County Hires New Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Release

Media Contact: Janneke Strause

Phone: (831) 425-0667 

Email: director@bikesantacruzcounty.org

 

BIKE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY HIRES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF ADVOCACY

(Wednesday, November 16, 2016) Santa Cruz, CA – Janneke Strause, current Bike Santa Cruz County Events & Membership Coordinator, has been named the next Executive Director of Bike Santa Cruz County by the organization’s board of directors. Strause will officially assume this new role on November 16th, 2016.

“The Board is pleased with Janneke as our new Executive Director as she has demonstrated herself to be an effective leader since joining the organization 6 months ago. She successfully managed the organization's largest and newest community events: Run by the Sea and Open Streets Santa Cruz. We look forward working with her as she grows the organization and works to better cycling for everyone in Santa Cruz County,” says Elise Ehrheart, board member, Bike Santa Cruz County.

Strause has served as Bike Santa Cruz County’s Events & Membership Coordinator for the last 6 months and has proven herself to be a capable and talented leader in the community. Her experience as the Executive Director of The Inspiring Enterprise, an accelerator for social ventures, and her background in political and community organizing, positions her to advance Bike Santa Cruz County’s vision for people of all ages and abilities to feel comfortable riding for work or pleasure.

“I am honored to fill this position and will work hard to represent cyclists of Santa Cruz County, from Boulder Creek, to the Summit, to the City of Watsonville. I believe all people should feel safe to bike on our streets whether they commute to Downtown Santa Cruz or the strawberry fields in Watsonville. By building world-class infrastructure, Santa Cruz County can be a place where commuters, tourists, families, and students can safely use bicycles as transportation,” says Strause.

As Bike Santa Cruz County enters a new chapter, the board wants to take the time to acknowledge outgoing Executive Director, Amelia Conlen, for her hard work and dedication over the last fours years with Bike Santa Cruz County. Conlen has been elected to join the board of directors of Bike Santa Cruz County.

Meet Janneke Strause at Bike Santa Cruz County’s Annual Dinner & Auction on Sunday, December 4th, 2016 at the Food Lounge at 1001 Center Street in downtown Santa Cruz. Join Bike Santa Cruz County to celebrate 25 years of advocacy, as well as recognizing community heroes with the 2016 Wheelie awards. Food Lounge Chef Andrea Mollenauer will prepare a locally-sourced dinner paired with local wine and beer. Bid on silent auction items from local artists and businesses. Make your reservation today at www.bikesantacruzcounty.eventbrite.com.

For questions or to communicate your advocacy goals, email director@bikesantacruzcounty.org.

###

 

Bike Santa Cruz County 2016 Endorsements

Every election cycle, Bike Santa Cruz County endorses candidates that we believe will improve conditions for cyclists throughout our county. In the upcoming election, seats are open in City Council races for Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Capitola. Here are some important dates and links:

  • Tuesday, November 8, 2016 is Election Day.
  • The deadline to register to vote in this election is Monday, October 24.
  • Mail-in voting starts on Monday, October 10, as does early in-person voting. (Go to http://tinyurl.com/jt6nbx3 to register for vote-by-mail or for instructions on voting in person before Election Day.)
  • Additional voter information is at www.votescount.com, or call the Santa Cruz County Elections department at (831) 454-2060.

Our Endorsement Process
All candidates received surveys from Bike Santa Cruz County and were given a deadline for submitting their answers. Our endorsement committee reviewed the responses and, when applicable, the candidate’s past record. Below are brief comments about the candidates we endorsed and those we didn’t. Our endorsement is meant to guide voters in choosing candidates who will be leaders in our mission to improve cycling in Santa Cruz County. As always, we know that our members care about a range of issues. We recommend reading the full candidate surveys, and weigh these positions along with others that matter to you. Click on each candidates name to read their complete candidate survey. Please consider getting involved in a local campaign by donating time or money. It is easy to do: just go to the website of the candidate you are interested in and sign up.

Bike Santa Cruz County has also endorsed Measure D, a half-cent sales tax measure for local transportation projects. Read more about Measure D and our reasons for endorsing it here.

SANTA CRUZ–ENDORSED (4 seats / 5 endorsed)

A NOTE FROM THE ENDORSEMENT COMMITTEE: All of the surveys we received from Santa Cruz City Council candidates were thoughtful and expressed some commitment to improving cycling in the city. That is a huge step forward from where we were 20 years ago, when we first started doing candidate surveys. As cycling has gained support in our community, we have higher expectations for candidates. We believe that the following individuals will actively champion improved cycling in Santa Cruz.

J.M. Brown: J.M.’s survey showed an impressive mastery of local bike issues. We appreciated his understanding of the importance of the City’s Complete Streets Master Plan and his ideas for funding future rail trail segments. While he did not express clear commitments on contentious issues, he expressed strong understanding
of the importance of better bike facilities and the process for getting them built.

Drew Glover: Drew is a grassroots organizer who has been effective working on local campaigns. He seems willing to take a stand on bike issues—when asked about closing roads to increase bike and pedestrian access, Drew answered with a strong yes. Drew expressed good ideas about balancing the needs of neighbors who oppose parking removal with the need to build better bike facilities. Drew is recently car-free, and expresses a strong commitment to improving conditions for people on bikes in Santa Cruz.

Chris Krohn: During his last term on the City Council, from 1998 to 2002, the Council moved cycling forward significantly byinstalling bike lanes on Soquel Avenue and the protected bike lanes on Beach Street. In his survey, Chris had specific proposals for improving bicycle safety in our community, including bike safety education, helmet and light giveaways, and active City promotion of safe cycling. His long track record of supporting bikes issues make us confident that he will be a champion for cycling if elected. Chris primarily uses a bicycle for transportation.

Steve Schnaar: Steve has been deeply involved in the bicycling community in Santa Cruz for over a decade, including 14 years working as a mechanic at the Bike Church. Steve volunteers as a bike mechanic instructor for the Bike Tech program, leads trips for Green Ways to School, and helps to organize the monthly Bike Party. Steve is a former Bike Santa Cruz County board member and has been a long-time champion for biking.

Robert Singleton: Robert’s survey was thorough and well researched, and he expressed strong support for facilities like protected bike lanes. While all of the candidates are committed to the rail trail, Robert has a specific long term plan: try to pass Measure D and, if that doesn’t work, include the city’s portion of rail trail as the “number one priority” of a tax increase for infrastructure projects. Robert has not owned a car for most of his adult life, and instead has walked, biked, and used transit.

 

Santa Cruz—Not Endorsed
 

Sandy Brown: Sandy expressed commitment to better bike facilities, but her survey did not show a deep understanding of the particular questions asked. If elected, we will look forward to working with her to bring her up to speed.

Cynthia Mathews: Cynthia shows real concern and grasp of transportation issues and is a dedicated pedestrian. While she has supported some bike projects over the years, she has not been a consistent ally. During the last budget hearings, for example, she was willing to cut green lanes funding to free up money for the Art League. While she has been an important part of a generally pro-bike Council, she hasn’t consistently risen to our high bar for a bike champion. If Cynthia is elected, we will continue to work with her and urge her to take stronger leadership.

Steve Pleich: Many of Steve’s survey responses focused on passing Measure D, and did not express a comprehensive plan to improving cycling beyond that. While Measure D is an important possible funding source for bike infrastructure improvements, more is needed to improve our transportation system. Steve lives car-free and writes that he primarily uses the bus to get around.

Martine Watkins: Martine clearly cares about public health and getting kids to school safely, but her answers were not specific and did not demonstrate deep knowledge of bike issues. As with to Sandy, if Martine is elected we hope to work with her to increase her knowledge of bicycling in Santa Cruz.

 

SCOTTS VALLEY–ENDORSED (3 seats / 2 endorsed)

Jack Dilles: Jack is a dedicated cyclist and knowledgeable candidate with specific policy ideas. He wants to dedicate a portion of Scott’s Valley’s transportation impact fees to bike and pedestrian improvements, build protected bike lanes on arterial streets and install green lanes on other local streets. He has ridden his bicycle across the United States and in other countries and is a member of Bike Santa Cruz County.

Rosanna Herrera: Rosanna favors installing bike lanes on Scotts Valley Drive and Mount Hermon Road and generally seems open to learning about how Scott’s Valley can be more bike friendly. Her survey did not reflect a significant understanding of bike issues, but if elected, we would look forward to working with her on ideas for Scotts Valley.

 

Scotts Valley—Not Endorsed

Randy Johnson: Randy does understand biking in Scotts Valley. In his survey he listed specific accomplishments during his time on the Council. On the other hand, Johnson has mostly been an adversary on the County Transportation Commission, especially on issues surrounding the rail corridor. For this reason we are not endorsing him.

 

CAPITOLA–ENDORSED (2 seats / 1 endorsed)

Bob Edgren: Bob expressed his clear support for both a trail and rail service along the corridor and wants Capitola to take leadership in building trail segments. He also favors an important bike lane project on Monterey Avenue, which would expand bike access to New Brighton Middle School. Bob is a long-time member of Bike Santa Cruz County and is an avid cyclist.

 

Capitola—Not Endorsed

Ed Bottorf: Ed expresses support for more bike lanes around Capitola, but he favors removing the train tracks, which Bike Santa Cruz believes will not only delay progress on building the rail trail, but also will eliminate an important transportation option for future generations. Ed has also not shown the strong support we hoped for on new bike lanes on Monterey Avenue.

Bike Santa Cruz Seeks Executive Director

Bike Santa Cruz County promotes bicycling in Santa Cruz County through advocacy, education and community building. We advocate for improved conditions for bicyclists, and help build bicycle culture through our youth program, Green Ways to School, and by hosting a variety of events throughout the year. We are seeking a visionary Executive Director (ED) with the ability to increase our impact and expand our reach as we strive to make Santa Cruz an even better county for bicycling. Our ED will help Bike Santa Cruz achieve our goals and administer our programs; inspire, support, and oversee staff; and further develop our membership base and our relationships within the broader community.

About Bike Santa Cruz County
Since its founding in 1991, Bike Santa Cruz (previously known as People Power) has worked to improve conditions for bicycling in Santa Cruz County. Our accomplishments include significant improvements to bicycling infrastructure in our county, including a decades-long campaign for the purchase of the Santa Cruz Branch rail line, future home of the Coastal Rail Trail. Our top advocacy priority for the coming years is the construction of the 32-mile Coastal Rail Trail, with the first segments of the multi-use trail scheduled for completion in 2018. As an organization, Bike Santa Cruz has experienced tremendous growth in the last 4 years including a five-fold increase in our budget and the hiring of new staff.

Responsibilities
Bike Santa Cruz County seeks an experienced, collaborative and politically savvy bicycle advocate to direct this vibrant and growing organization. The ED is responsible for general management of the organization and reports on the organization's progress to the Board of Directors at monthly meetings.

The ED shall:
• manage and empower staff, interns, volunteers, and contractors
• work closely with the Board of Directors and various Board committees
• advocate for bicycle improvements and program priorities with local government staff and elected officials
• administer a growing budget
• ensure that BSCC fundraising, membership, and advocacy goals are met
• generate content for quarterly newsletter and member action alerts

Ideal Experience and Capabilities
• passion for bicycling and community building, with a deep commitment to Bike Santa Cruz’s mission
• successful advocacy in the field of transportation or a related field
• experience managing staff and volunteers
• leadership experience in a membership organization
• excellent organizational and communication skills
• proven track record of successful fundraising
• ability to work collaboratively with others including board, staff, and representatives
of the community and partner organizations
• ability to work effectively with elected officials and public-sector employees
• experience with volunteer engagement and coordination
• skillful in setting and following priorities while receiving input from a broad range of stakeholders and multiple competing interests
• ability to maintain composure in challenging situations
• knowledge of and experience with financial management, budgeting and reporting
• availability to work occasional nights and weekends
• proficiency in MS Office, Mail Chimp, website tools (and/or willingness to learn)
• familiarity with Santa Cruz County politics and government a plus

Compensation
This is a salaried, full-time position. Starting pay is $41,600 – $50,000 depending on experience. Position includes vacation, sick leave, and health insurance stipend.

How to Apply
Email a cover letter and resume to director@bikesantacruzcounty.org. Your cover letter should specifically address the experience and capabilities identified above and why you think you would be perfect for this job. Please include “Executive Director – YOUR NAME” in the subject line, and please mention how you found out about the position.

Schedule
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. You will be contacted if you are selected for an interview.

Bike Santa Cruz Endorses Measure D

After many months of discussion, the board of Bike Santa Cruz County has voted to endorse Measure D, a half-cent sales tax measure that will appear on the ballot in November.
 
We believe that Measure D would offer tremendous benefits for people who ride bicycles in Santa Cruz County, and that this proposal would move us in the right direction towards a transportation system that serves everyone, regardless of how they choose to get around.
 
The proposal is not perfect. Considering the potential impacts on climate change, surrounding neighborhoods, and projected minor improvements in congestion, we do not support planned funding in Measure D for Highway 1 auxiliary lanes. We would prefer to see more funding go to alternatives, including protected bike and pedestrian facilities, Metro bus service, and passenger rail service.
 
However, we believe that, on balance, this measure will increase access to transportation for residents of Santa Cruz County and make bicycling a safer, easier and more convenient way to get around.
 
Bike Santa Cruz County’s mission statement is “To promote bicycling through advocacy, education and community building”. Viewed through that lens, we see the following benefits in Measure D for people who ride bikes:

  • 17% ($85M) for the Coastal Rail Trail: These funds would be used to build and maintain the 32-mile Coastal Rail Trail, and could be used to leverage additional grant funding for construction. With additional grant money, we believe that this will be enough to build the entire trail from Davenport to Pajaro.
     
  • 30% ($150M) for Neighborhood Projects: These funds would be used at the discretion of local jurisdictions, and could be used to fund road maintenance and bike and pedestrian projects. Santa Cruz County faces an enormous deficit in transportation funding, and every year there are local grant applications for bike and pedestrian projects that are not successful. The Neighborhood Projects revenue would provide a local funding source, allowing us to build new bike and pedestrian projects and better maintain local streets and roads.
     
  • Estimated 1.4% ($7M) for Bike/Ped Overcrossings at Chanticleer and Mar Vista: The Hwy 1 Corridor portion of Measure D contains funds for a bike and pedestrian bridge at Chanticleer in Live Oak, which would provide an alternative to the Soquel Drive and 41st Avenue interchanges for people walking and biking. It also includes some funds for a bike and pedestrian bridge at Mar Vista Drive in Aptos, which would connect Seacliff residents to Mar Vista Elementary and Aptos businesses. The Mar Vista Bridge already has the majority of funding secured.

Looking at the measure as a whole, 80% of funds would be used to invest in alternative transportation or maintain existing roads. Of that 80%, 17% of funds would go towards the Coastal Rail Trail, and 30% of funds are available for additional bike and pedestrian projects. This is an unprecedented level of investment in bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and would help make riding a bike a safe and viable option for many more County residents.

To see the full Measure D expenditure plan, visit http://sccrtc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ExpenditurePlan-ApprovedJune16.pdf

Active Transportation Plan Moves Forward

Back in 2008, a group of volunteers and City of Santa Cruz staff put together our last Bike Plan update. That plan included a long list of projects, many of which have been completed; the Arana Gulch path, San Lorenzo River Levee Bike & Pedestrian Bridge, Levee Path extension to the Tannery, and bike lanes on Morrissey have all been built since 2008.

The plan was due for an update, and over the past year City staff have developed a draft Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the city, which includes both bike and pedestrian projects. Staff received hundreds of comments from the public on projects they would like to see, and Bike Santa Cruz County staff was involved in the stakeholder group for the plan. We are thrilled at the outcome: the draft ATP contains 263 bike and pedestrian projects that, when built, will form a complete network of facilities throughout the city.

Here are a few things we’re especially excited about in the ATP:

·      Wayfinding: the ATP recommends implementing wayfinding signage for bicyclists within the city. Signage can help new cyclists find the safest streets, and direct them to lesser-know bike routes.

·      Neighborhood Greenways: The ATP lays out a network of Neighborhood Greenways, or low-stress neighborhood streets that prioritize cyclists. These streets would receive traffic calming and signage indicating that cyclists will be using the street.

·      Bicycle Parking: The ATP recommends designating funding for 30 new bicycle parking spaces per year. We all know places that could desperately use more bike parking.

·      Bicycle Safety Report: The ATP recommends producing an annual Transportation Safety Report, which would provide data to guide investment towards streets with high collision rates.

Read the full Active Transportation Plan here.

There will be two upcoming community meetings to review the Active Transportation Plan project list, and it will come back to the Transportation and Public Works Commission in November. We need your support to get it approved! To receive updates, join our email newsletter list at bikesantacruzcounty.org/get-involved

Pacific Avenue Contra-Flow Lane Approved!

A major upgrade for cyclists is coming to Downtown Santa Cruz. On May 24th, the Santa Cruz City Council added new funding for a contra-flow bike lane on Pacific Avenue to their 2016-2017 budget. A contra-flow lane is a bike lane that allows cyclists to travel against traffic, and allows two-way bike traffic on one-way streets. Santa Cruz has another contra-flow lane on the 1-way section of High Street, between Storey and Highland.

The contra-flow lane will run from Church to Cathcart, and allow two-way bike traffic on most of Pacific. The exception is the last block of Pacific, from Church to Water—installing a contra-flow lane in this section would require reconfiguring the intersection of Pacific & Water, which is much more expensive. Bike Santa Cruz County will be looking at this as a possible Phase II project.

The project will include green lane striping to make the lane more visible to drivers and pedestrians. Public Works staff is considering striping the entire bike lane green to make it extra visible.

Huge thanks to everyone who came to a meeting or wrote a letter of support for this project, and to Council members Don Lane, Pamela Comstock, Micah Posner, David Terrazas, Cynthia Chase, and Richelle Noroyan for approving these funds.

 

Calling All Event Coordinators! Bike Santa Cruz County is Hiring

Bike Santa Cruz County promotes biking in Santa Cruz County through advocacy, education and community building. We work to improve conditions for cyclists through advocacy campaigns, help build bike culture through our youth program, Green Ways to School, and host a variety of fun bike events throughout the year. We are a small, dynamic team, and we’re looking for the right person to help us grow and expand our reach.

Hours: Full Time. Flexible schedule including some evening and weekend work.

Salary: $16-$20/hour to start. Plus vacation/sick leave and health insurance stipend.

Job Summary

Bike Santa Cruz County seeks an experienced membership and event coordinator with a passion for active transportation to engage and grow our membership through community events and programs. This includes planning established large events such as Run by the Sea, Open Streets Santa Cruz, and Bike Santa Cruz County’s Annual Dinner, and smaller events such as Kids Bike Parties and our annual member meeting. This position will also be responsible for managing our membership program, including recruiting new individual and business members. The ideal candidate will be able to balance multiple projects independently and manage event growth and development, as well as initiating new events to help us meet our community engagement goals.  

Responsibilities

I. Engage membership and the community by producing and managing successful, profitable events (60%)

  • Manage production of established events including Open Streets Santa Cruz, Run by the Sea, Annual Dinner, Kids Bike Party (2-3 annually) and Member Meetings (2 annually)
  • Review and adapt event timelines and complete tasks on schedule
  • Meet event sponsorship goals and build sponsor relationships over time
  • Manage and stay within prescribed event budget
  • Recruit and manage volunteers to assist with each event
  • Manage and build relationships with partner organizations involved in each event
  • Work collaboratively with Bike Santa Cruz staff and report regularly to Director & Board
  • Attend monthly Steering Committee meetings
  • Coordinate with Bike Santa Cruz Director to promote and publicize events
  • Propose ideas to improve efficiency and event quality
  • Propose ideas for new events to grow and foster the Santa Cruz County bike community
  • Ensure compliance with insurance, legal, health and safety obligations
  • Proactively handle challenges and troubleshoot problems
  • Conduct pre- and post – event evaluations and report on outcomes

II. Grow BSCC membership of individuals and businesses (30%)

  • Regularly meet with members
  • Table at community events to meet and recruit new members
  • Meet and recruit new business members
  • Grow BSCC business sponsorship program
  • Manage membership database and ensure high rates of member renewal

III. Other projects and administrative tasks as assigned (10%)

Qualifications

  • Proven event management experience
  • Excellent time management, organizational and written and oral communication skills
  • Impressive portfolio of previously managed events
  • Experience with volunteer coordination
  • Sales skills and ability to build productive business relationships
  • Ability to manage multiple projects independently
  • Passion for biking and active transportation
  • MS Office proficiency
  • Spanish language skills preferred

Application Process

Submit the following by email to director@bikesantacruzcounty.org by April 12th.

  • Cover letter with reasons for applying
  • Resume including past event coordination experience
  • Three professional references

No phone calls please. We will contact you to set up interviews.

 

Support Two-Way Bike Traffic on Pacific Avenue

Next Monday, the City of Santa Cruz Transportation and Public Works Commission will be reviewing a plan to change Pacific Avenue traffic to one-way. Back in September, Bike Santa Cruz County asked City Council to consider adding a contra-flow bike lane to the plan to allow for two-way bike traffic on Pacific. A contra-flow lane allows bike traffic in the opposite direction of automobile traffic, while bikes riding with traffic share the vehicle lane (see the photo above for an example of this type of facility from Washington DC). The Transportation Commission will be weighing in on this idea on Monday, March 21.

Support the contra-flow lane on Pacific Ave. by attending the Transportation Commission meeting or sending a letter of support!

Transportation & Public Works Commission Meeting
Monday, March 21st at 7pm
Santa Cruz City Council Chambers
809 Center Street, Santa Cruz


Contact Amelia at director@bikesantacruzcounty.org for ideas for talking points.

OR send a letter of support to sruble@cityofsantacruz.com

Sample letter:

Dear Transportation and Public Works Commissioners,

Please support Item 3 on your 3/21 meeting agenda, the pilot project for 1-way traffic on Pacific Avenue, with the addition of a contra-flow lane for bikes. Allowing 2-way bike traffic on Pacific Avenue will encourage residents and visitors to travel by bike to downtown Santa Cruz and eliminate the safety issue caused by wrong-way riding.

This change is in line with our city's Climate Action Plan goals to double rates of cycling and reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips. Allowing 2-way bike traffic on Pacific would make our downtown safer and more accessible for people on bikes, and is an important step towards meeting those goals.

Sincerely,
You!

City of Santa Cruz Earns Gold from League of American Bicyclists

Starting in early 2015, Bike Santa Cruz County pulled together a small group of volunteers with two goals: to reapply for the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community award for the City of Santa Cruz, and to aim for a Gold-level ranking. Santa Cruz was named a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community in 2008, but the award expired in 2012 and had not been renewed. Throughout the year, the volunteers pulled together data to answer 111 questions about bicycling in Santa Cruz, with information on education, encouragement, engineering, evaluation and planning, and enforcement. In November, their efforts paid off with a Gold ranking for the City of Santa Cruz.

The Bicycle Friendly Communities program is managed by the League of American Bicyclists, which ranks thousands of communities, universities and businesses in all 50 states. Santa Cruz is now one of only four Gold-level communities in California, and 24 nationwide. San Francisco, Palo Alto, and San Luis Obispo have all received a Gold ranking, and Davis is the only city in California to receive Platinum, which is the highest ranking.

Interestingly, Santa Cruz ranked lower in many categories than other Gold-level communities. Our ranking was largely based on our high rate of bike commuting. According to Census data, 9.5% of Santa Cruz residents biked to work from 2008–12. That’s the second highest rate in the state, and is higher than many bike-friendly cities nationwide.

The League provided recommendations to make our city even more bike-friendly. Read their full list of recommendations here.

Key recommendations include:
• Develop a system of bicycle boulevards, utilizing quiet neighborhood streets, to create a welcoming environment for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.
• Continue to increase the amount of high-quality bike parking throughout the city.
• Continue to update the 2008 Bicycle Plan, and ensure that there is dedicated funding for implementation.
• Address bike theft through increased secure bike parking, bike bait programs, and public education on how to prevent theft.

Contact Amelia at director@bikesantacruzcounty.org if you would like to help with Bike Friendly Community applications for Watsonville, Capitola or Scotts Valley.

Light Up the Night Ride Returns March 11

Join Bike Santa Cruz County for a group ride and bike light giveaway!

FRIDAY, MARCH 11
Meet @ Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
705 Front Street (downtown Santa Cruz)
5–7PM: Live music, bike and helmet decorating, light giveaway, and raffle
7PM: Ride departs

Last January, more than 200 people came out for our first Light Up the Night ride at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). This year the ride is back, with the goal of distributing bike lights to those who need them and encouraging safe, well-lit night cycling.

Pre-ride activities at the museum will include bike and helmet decorating and live bluegrass music from Cayuga Station. Prizes will be awarded for the brightest bike, brightest rider, and most creative costume. The ride departs at 7PM from the MAH and will follow a mostly car-free route along the river levee.

Free bike lights will be distributed to the first 30 riders, and lots of other great items will be raffled off! Huge thanks to Bell Sports, Epicenter Cycling, Light & Motion, Cycliq, Lumenus, and Proviz for donating lights and raffle prizes.

Riders under 18 must bring a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Waivers can be downloaded here.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
To help out with pre-ride activities or with the ride itself, contact Amelia at director@bikesantacruzcounty.org.

Photo courtesy Richard Masoner, cyclelicio.us

Bike Santa Cruz County Releases 2015 State of Cycling Report

One of Bike Santa Cruz County’s first projects under our new name was the publication of the 2015 State of Cycling report. The report brings together the work of bike organizations throughout the county in 2014, and showcases the cumulative impacts of
biking. Through the report, we hope to show that high rates of participation and economic impacts make bicycling a major force in Santa Cruz County, and make the case for more investment in bicycle infrastructure, programs and events.

Read the full report here: 2015 State of Cycling Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • According to the most recent census data, the City of Santa Cruz ranked second in California for bike to work trips, ahead of San Francisco, Palo Alto and Berkeley.
  • There were nine organizations that did some kind of cycling education and together they reached more than 5,000 youth and adults in Santa Cruz County.
  • Bike industry in Santa Cruz County was estimated to generate more than $800M and employ more than 1,000 people.
  • Revenue-generating bike events raised nearly $300K and drew more than 13,000 participants.
  • We saw tremendous wins for advocacy and new bike infrastructure, including the first green lane treatments in the County, the first two segments of the Soquel Demonstration Forest Flow Trail completed, and the completion of the Arana Gulch Trail.

Big thanks go to all the organizations that contributed data for the report, and to the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club, Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and Cyclists for Cultural Exchange for their generous grants to fund printing the report. Our hope is to repeat this report annually, and track the growth of cycling through the county in years to come.

The report was written by Bike Santa Cruz director Amelia Conlen, Grace Voss of the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club, and Manu Koenig of Civinomics. Design and layout were done by Lisa Hochstein.

Annual Dinner a Success! Congrats to Wheelie award winners and thanks to all our donors

Thanks to everyone who came out on Sunday, December 6 for our Annual Dinner! We had a great time celebrating the year's successes, enjoying tasty food and drinks, and looking forward to the year ahead.

Thanks also to Chef Andrea for an outstanding feast, the local farms and businesses that donated dinner ingredients, wine and beer, and all of the local artists and businesses who contributed the fabulous silent auction items. Check out the full list below.

And thanks to local business Leatherwise for being our first event sponsor!

Every year, Bike Santa Cruz County presents two awards to individuals and organizations for their contributions to bicycling in Santa Cruz County. Here are the winners of the 2015 Wheelie Awards:

STAFF CATEGORY:
Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Development Team. This year, the Land Trust pledged $3M in matching funds for 5 miles of rail trail on the north coast. The Regional Transportation Commission successfully won grant funds for this segment of trail, and the Land Trust funds were a big part of their success. To contribute to the Land Trust fundraising campaign, visit: www.landtrustsantacruz.org

COMMUNITY MEMBER CATEGORY:
Regional Transportation Commission Bicycle Advisory Committee.
The Bicycle Committee is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It was one of the earliest bike committees in the country and, over the past 40 years, committee members have worked tirelessly to improve conditions for cyclists throughout the county. Recent successes include a compromise with Caltrans to improve the rumble strips project that was installed on Hwy 1, making the rumble strips less hazardous for people on bikes. 

 

Thanks to our donors for making this event possible!

Silent Auction Donors

99 Bottles

Aaron Johnson

Adrian Rassmusen

Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery

Beer Thirty

Bell Sports

Bicycle Trip

Britannia Arms

Cascade Bike Club

Chardonnay II Sailing Charters

Condor's Hope

Connie Wilson

Coraly Hanson

Covewater Paddle Surf

Discretion Brewing

East Side Eatery/Pleasure Pizza

Eco Goods

Epicenter Cycling

Equinox Wines

Family Cycling Center

Gabriella Cafe

Greg Mcpheeters

James Aschbacher

Karen Nevis

Kayak Connection

Kuumbwa Jazz

Laili Restaurant

Light & Motion

Logos

Luma Yoga

Maia Negre

Marie Otis

Metavinyl

Mira Michelle

MJA Vineyards

Moved By Bikes

Museum of Art & History

Mutari Chocolate House

Nickelodeon Theaters

Om Gallery

Oswald Restaurant

Pacific Cookie Co

Patagonia

Pizza My Heart

Ristorante Avanti

Ryland Wolff Baker

Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing

Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

Santa Cruz Yoga

Sawyer Land & Sea Supply

Sockshop & Shoe Co.

Spokesman Bicycles

Staff of Life

Strawfoot Handmade

Susan Mankowski

Swanton Berry Farm

Synergy Organic Clothing

Tawn Kennedy

Taylor Reinhold

Tea House Spa

The Bagelry

The Garden Company

The Penny Ice Creamery

The True Olive Connection

Totally Tubular

Venus Spirits

Verve Coffee Roasters

Well Within Spa

Yala Lati

 

Food Donors

Companion Bakeshop

Dirty Girl Produce

Fogline Farms

Left Coast Beef

Live Earth Farm

Mission Hill Creamery

Ocean 2 Table

Route 1 Farms

Safeway

Santa Cruz Ale Works

Staff of Life

Windmill Farms
 

Flowers by Bell & Flourish Design

Support New Crosswalks on Broadway Ave.

For more than a year, we've been working with a Broadway neighborhood group to improve their street. This spring, we won $100K in City funding for new crosswalks. There are currently no crosswalks on Broadway between Seabright and Branciforte, and it is often difficult for people biking and walking to cross the street.

Next Monday, November 16, the Transportation and Public Works Commission will review a plan for four new crosswalks at the intersections of Cayuga, Pennsylvania, Pine and Caledonia. We need your help to get this plan approved! If you support new crosswalks on Broadway, send an email to Commissioners at fwarren@cityofsantacruz.com by 5pm on November 16.

For more information about this project, visit: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7945/1498

Sample letter:

Dear Transportation and Public Works Commissioners,

Please approve the concept plan for the Upper Broadway Corridor Pedestrian Improvement Project. New crosswalks will make it easier to bike and walk in the Broadway neighborhood, where crossing the busy street is often a challenge. This project will also help kids get to nearby Gault Elementary and Branciforte Middle School more easily, and help reduce traffic speeds on Broadway.

Thank you for your consideration,
You!

Support new bike lanes to New Brighton Middle School

On October 8th, Capitola City Council members will be weighing in on a proposal for new bike lanes on Monterey Avenue in front of New Brighton Middle School. The new lanes would stretch from Kennedy Ave., where new bike lanes are already planned, to Washburn Ave. where the bike lanes end, filling a key gap in front of the school. We are expecting this to be controversial, since adding bike lanes would require parking removal on the coastal side of the street.
 
We need your support to get these bike lanes approved—especially if you live in Capitola! Come to the October 8th meeting or send a letter to City Council by October 7th if you support better bike access to New Brighton Middle School.
 
Attend the Council meeting: Thursday, Oct. 8th at 7pm at Capitola City Hall, 420 Capitola Ave. For information on exact times or ideas for speaking points, contact Bike Santa Cruz County director Amelia Conlen at (831) 425-0665 or director@bikesantacruzcounty.org
 
Send letters to: citycouncil@ci.capitola.ca.us
 
Sample letter (feel free to customize):

Dear Mayor Norton and Councilmembers,
 
Please approve new bike lanes on Monterey Avenue between Washburn and Kennedy. The new bike lanes will help students safely bike and walk to New Brighton Middle School, and help me travel safely through Capitola. Bike lanes provide dedicated space on the road for people on bikes, reducing conflicts and discouraging sidewalk riding.
 
New bike lanes on Monterey Ave. would make me feel more comfortable riding my bike across Capitola, and provide an alternative to the more heavily trafficked Park Ave. Please approve these new lanes to make riding a bike a viable option for more New Brighton Middle School students and Capitola residents.
 
Sincerely,
You!

Weigh In on the Future of Biking in Santa Cruz

Over the next year, City of Santa Cruz staff will be working to create the city’s first-ever Active Transportation Plan (ATP), which will include an update to the 2008 Bicycle Transportation Plan as well as a list of pedestrian projects. In the coming weeks the City will host several community meetings to solicit input on the ATP. This process is a chance for us to envision for the bike- and pedestrian-friendly Santa Cruz of our dreams and is the first step towards getting new bike projects funded and built.

OUR SHORT LIST FOR A BIKE-FRIENDLY SANTA CRUZ
Bike Santa Cruz County is proposing a variety of projects to be included in the ATP. Our goal is to make riding a bike a safe, comfortable and convenient activity for all residents. Check out the following list and join us to advocate for a bike-friendly Santa Cruz!

  • Make big streets safe. Add protected bike lanes (bike lanes with physical barriers between bikes and cars), buffered bike lanes and/or green lanes to major corridors such as Soquel, Water, Ocean and Bay.
  • Neighborhood greenways. Create bike-friendly neighborhood streets by adding bike lanes, green lane treatments, and traffic calming features. This includes streets like King, Broadway, Laurel, Cayuga and connections to the future Rail Trail.
  • Fill the gaps. Complete the bike network by filling gaps, such as the missing bike lanes on Soquel and Delaware, the steep and hard-to-find access ramps to the levee paths, the missing bridge over Branciforte Creek, and the spot where King Street ends and drops you onto Mission.
  • Address difficult intersections. Create dedicated space for bikes and install bike-specific signals at intersections that are currently challenging for people on bikes. Many examples exist, including the intersections at Bay and Mission, Soquel and Front, Ocean and Hwy 17, and the Morrissey interchange.
  • Signage and Bike Parking. Implement the Countywide Bike Signage Program within the city to guide people on bikes to the best routes; work with existing businesses to provide short- and long-term bike parking; and include a Bike Station (with supervised, indoor bike parking) in the redesign of the Pacific Avenue Metro station.

GET INVOLVED
Contact us at director@bikesantacruzcounty.org if you have a project that you would like to see on our list. You can also attend one of the following public meetings to learn more about the ATP and share your ideas for new bike projects.

  • Wednesday, August 19, from 6:00 - 8:00PM at the Bike Santa Cruz all-member meeting at the Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave. in Santa Cruz
  • Saturday, Aug. 22, from 1:00 - 4:00PM at Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 5:30-7:30PM at Bayview Elementary School, 1231 Bay St.
  • Tuesday, Sept 15, from 5:30-7:30PM at Branciforte Small Schools, 840 N. Branciforte Ave.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 5:30-7:30PM at Gault Elementary School, 1320 Seabright Ave.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, send your ideas to Claire Fliesler at cfliesler@cityofsantacruz.com.
You can learn more about the Active Transportation Plan at cityofsantacruz.com/activetransportation.

Bike Santa Cruz Endorses National Monument Campaign

Bike Santa Cruz County has signed on to endorse the recently renamed Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument campaign. The 5,800 acre Coast Dairies property is located on the North Coast, north of Wilder Ranch State Park and south of Swanton Pacific Ranch. It spans six watersheds and contains redwood forests, coastal prairies, and critical wildlife habitat. 

National Monument designation would ensure permanent federal protection and conservation status for this unique property. National Monument status could also help bring in funds for trail development, including bike trails. Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz has been actively involved in discussions around mountain bike access in the property, and the property is also the end point of the newly funded North Coast Rail Trail segment. Someday, we imagine riding on the rail trail to start a hike or mountain bike ride in the Cotoni-Coast Dairies property.

The campaign has raised concerns from some community members about the impacts of National Monument status. We asked National Monument campaign manager Steve Reed to answer some of our questions about the campaign.

1. How will National Monument designation help to create more opportunities for bicycling on the North Coast?

The Monument will open up new territory, new trails and new opportunities for cyclists.  The Monument will encourage convenient use of the Rail Trail.  Monument trails, vistas and mixed uses will bring people together around shared love of nature and outdoor recreation and education opportunities.

 2. How will access decisions be made if National Monument status is awarded? How will impacts like trash collection and traffic be addressed, and how can the public get involved?

Once the Monument determination is made (I remain very confident that this unique property will become our newest National Monument!), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will convene a community wide, and stakeholder planning process to finalize a Management and Access Plan for the Cotoni – Coast Dairies National Monument. I encourage everyone to be involved. The Plan will include access, signage and natural interpretation and parking options.  It will include trail alignments, and illustrate sensitive habitats, archeological and cultural sites, site security and oversight. BLM will try to open a small area of the Coast Dairies property as soon as possible, but the remainder of the property will not be open until the Management and Access Plan is completed, and until funds are adequate to open sections of the Monument when trails are built and other public accommodations are in place. If residents have concerns about the services provided beyond the 5,800 acres, they can contact their local representatives, Congresswoman Eshoo, Assemblymember Stone and Supervisor Coonerty.

 3. How can our readers support the National Monument Campaign? Anything else you’d like us to know?

The Cotoni – Coast Dairies National Monument campaign invites Bike Santa Cruz County members and their riding friends and family to sign the pledge of support. You will be joining more than 10,000 other local residents, more than 75 local clubs, organizations, local governments, businesses, schools, houses of worship, and kids supporting the Monument.  We are only asking that you sign the pledge’ of support (see instructions, below); we are not asking for anything other than your name in support.  The petition in support of the Monument will be transferred to the White House.  Under the terms of the 1906 Antiquities Act, ONLY the President can make this National Monument decision.  We are also asking that kids have a chance to sign the petition too.  This is a ‘teachable moment’ for kids in our community; it illustrates the power and responsibility that citizens have to protect our environment, and steward our resources.  In fact, this Monument will become theirs, more than it will be ours! 

Please pledge your support at: www.cotonicoastdairies.org

Questions?:  monument@cotonicoastdairies.org

Find us on:

Facebook:  /CotoniCoastDairiesNational Monument

Twitter:      @CotoniCoastDNM

Instagram:  CotoniCoastDairiesNM

New Bike Path in Scotts Valley

This past February we celebrated the opening of a Safe Routes to Schools project in Scotts Valley that includes a biking and walking trail through the future site of Shugart Park, which is between Siltanen Park and Glenwood Drive. In addition, the project established new sidewalks and bike lanes on Vine Hill School Road and a portion of Tabor Drive. The new Shugart Park path provides a connection from Scotts Valley High and the surrounding neighborhood to Vine Hill Elementary, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to bypass heavily traveled roads. Funding for the project was provided through a state- and federally-funded Safe Routes to School grant, as well as city funds. A big thanks to former City engineer Magid Yamin, who secured the grant and managed construction of the project. Thanks also to Scotts Valley City Council members for their support.