Since early 2020, Ecology Action has been working with the County of Santa Cruz, County Public Health, and Bike Santa Cruz County to produce a plan for better walking and bicycling in unincorporated Santa Cruz County to promote health, wellbeing, and climate benefits. The draft Active Transportation Plan (ATP) includes a lengthy project list that the County can work from to make it easier and safer to walk and bike in places like Live Oak, Aptos, the San Lorenzo Valley, and Amesti. Having this type of plan in place makes the County more competitive for grant funding and helps prioritize between the many different needs in our community. The plan also includes recommendations for additional bike parking throughout the county and continued programs to improve safety and encourage more people to try walking and biking for daily trips.
You can see what types of projects are recommended for your neighborhood or favorite walking or biking routes by reviewing the draft Active Transportation Plan here. Community members are encouraged to review the draft plan and share any comments by March 25th. Comments received by March 25th will be reviewed and may be incorporated into the final draft of the document, which will be presented to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
The County of Santa Cruz Active Transportation Plan is the latest step toward our goal to have every city and county in the Monterey Bay region covered by a plan for better bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Ecology Action supported the City of Santa Cruz to create a Safe Routes to Schools Plan in 2013. Since then, we have partnered with local jurisdictions to produce other Safe Routes to Schools Plans, which focus on trips to school, and Active Transportation Plans, which focus on all biking and walking trips. Since 2018, we have worked on seven plans in ten local jurisdictions. Those plans have been used to procure $31 million in grant funding for projects to improve biking and walking in Seaside, Watsonville, and unincorporated Santa Cruz County.
This planning work is a first step toward building streets and communities that are safe and welcoming for everyone and that make it easy to get around without a car. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Santa Cruz County, and it will take all of us to help reduce global warming by reducing our individual emissions. Plus, biking or walking is good for your health and wellbeing. Ecology Action offers a variety of programs to help people start riding their bikes for daily trips. Check out our website to learn more at https://ecoact.org/our-thinking.
Review the draft County of Santa Cruz Active Transportation Plan here: https://ecoact.org/poweredbyme/