A strong movement to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety along the Hwy 9 corridor has emerged, reminding residents that a trail feasibility study has already been completed, and, according to Felton parent of Safe Routes to School, SLV, Brian Largay, and Tawn Kennedy of People Power (a Santa Cruz County bike advocacy group), “What is needed is a demonstration of political will.” YOU can be a part of that!
Brian and Tawn attended the April 10 VWC Board Meeting to discuss the goal of a trail from downtown Felton to Glen Arbor. With community support, the County can be persuaded to allocate Public Works staff time for further study and possible grant applications.
A well-attended forum at SLE Multipurpose Room on May 14 brought the issue to a larger audience. Safe Routes to School, SLV, is the newly formed organization working to implement the trail, with the support of People Power and the SLV Unified School District. The VWC is joining in to help as well.
According to Micah Posner of People Power, “These improvements are feasible with existing funding sources, and SLV kids could be riding and walking to school within the next few years, provided we have strong leadership from the next County Supervisor.” Click here to read more.
Years ago, responding to the death of a woman crossing Hwy 9, the VWC produced the Highway 9 Safety Campaign, resulting in improved visibility along Hwy 9, left-hand turn lanes, increased CHP and Sheriff presence, and strong community awareness to “share the road.” The need to provide an alternative to walking and biking on Hwy 9 became increasingly important, however, and the VWC supported the 2006 SLV Train Feasibility Study, initiated by then-Supervisor Jeff Almquist. VWC members, Mary Hammer and Glenn Armstrong regular attended the community meetings, starting in 2004.
So the concerns have been around for a long time and it is exciting to see a growing group of SLV residents lead the campaign to implement a trail. Funding could be available from the National Center for Safe Routes to School www.saferoutesinfo.org. Boulder Creek Elementary has already gotten a Safe Routes to School application approved, although funding not received yet, to provide sidewalks to the school. We hope the project can put together an information booth at the Redwood Mountain Faire.
To learn more about the project, and to provide your support, please contact Bryan Largay.