TITLE 8 – HEALTH AND SAFETY
GREENWAY CAPITOLA CORRIDOR
It is the purpose of this chapter to improve safety and reduce traffic by keeping the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (Trail) in the Santa Cruz Branch Line Rail Corridor (Corridor) within the City of Capitola while protecting the Capitola Trestle (Trestle).
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth in this section:
“Active Transportation” means any form of human-powered transportation including walking, cycling, using a wheelchair or other mobility device, in-line skating or skateboarding. Such forms of transportation may include an electric assistance such as e-bikes, e-skateboards, or motorized wheelchairs.
“Greenway” means the space within the Corridor to be used for recreation and active transportation via a continuous pathway.
New Public Asset. In 2012 the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) acquired the Corridor from Union Pacific. The Corridor includes the historic Trestle. For the first time, the Corridor and Trestle have the potential to be accessible for bike and pedestrian use. The SCCRTC is planning bike and pedestrian use along the majority of the Corridor.
Trestle Detour. The SCCRTC has proposed making the Trestle off-limits to pedestrians, bikes, electric bikes, and skateboarders, detouring pedestrian and bike traffic from the Corridor onto bike lanes and sidewalks in the local Capitola street network and across the Stockton Avenue Bridge.
Accessibility. A detour from the Trestle through Capitola Village would require an approximately 200 ft grade change on both ends of the trail. Keeping the Trail on the Trestle provides a flat path across Capitola, which increases accessibility for people of all ages and abilities.
Skateboarding for Transportation. A detour would enter Capitola’s “no skateboarding zone”, inhibiting skateboarding for transportation to New Brighton Middle School and the McGregor Pump Track & Skateboard Park. In contrast, a trail that crosses the Trestle would provide safe access to both locations.
Traffic and Safety. Capitola Village streets are often congested preventing residents and visitors from getting from one side of Capitola to the other quickly and safely. Increasing passthrough bicycle and pedestrian traffic would exacerbate the existing problem.
Safe Routes to School. It is the stated goal of Santa Cruz County, California, Transportation Sales Tax Measure D (November 2016) to “provide safe routes to schools.” Walking and biking via the Trestle will provide safe access to New Brighton Middle School. A detour that navigates a significant grade change on narrow, busy streets will not.
Stated Preference. 82% of residents who provided input regarding the Corridor in Vision Capitola 2016 supported using the Corridor for active transportation and recreation rather than a train.
Efficient Route. Keeping the Trail in the Corridor as it crosses the Trestle will provide a direct pathway from one side of Capitola to the other.
Tourism. The ability to actively use the Trestle will support the local economy by attracting tourists with a safe new way to experience breathtaking views.
Healthy Community and Sustainable Transportation. Bicycling and walking are by far the healthiest, most sustainable forms of transportation. Building a safer Trail will encourage more people to choose these options.
The City of Capitola, through its constituent departments, shall take all steps necessary to preserve and utilize the Corridor and Trestle for active transportation and recreation.
No City of Capitola department, agency or employee shall expend any funds or resources related to the construction, reconstruction, operation, maintenance, financing, marketing, or signage for a detour of the Trail onto Capitola streets or sidewalks.
This chapter shall not be amended or repealed except by vote of the people.
8.72.060 Effect of adoption.
Adoption of this chapter by the people shall not be construed as amending or rescinding any provisions of the general plan, local coastal program or zoning ordinances, but rather shall be construed and harmonized in a manner to strengthen and define such provisions.
If any section, sentence, clause, phrase, or part of this chapter is held to be invalid, the remainder of the chapter shall be given full effect consistent with the intent and purpose of the chapter.