By Amelia Conlen, Ecology Action
The Santa Cruz County Active Transportation Plan team has been hard at work compiling public feedback and planning new bike and pedestrian spaces in the most densely populated parts of unincorporated Santa Cruz County. As part of that effort, a temporary multi-use path is being installed on the west side of Green Valley Road between Amesti Road and Pinto Lake Road.
Come Celebrate the New Multi-Use Path!
The installation will launch on Friday, May 28th with a celebration at Pinto Lake City Park from 5-7pm. Free tacos will be provided and staff will be on hand to share info on the installation with residents and collect their feedback on the design. This temporary protected path will be in place through late June. If it’s popular the county will apply for funding to make it permanent.
This route connects Amesti Elementary with Pinto Lake City Park. In the community input the team received this route was a high priority for residents. There is currently no safe route for students to walk between the school and the park, and teachers said that being able to walk to the park for field trips would open up new learning opportunities for Amesti students. This segment also fills a gap in the sidewalk network between the neighborhoods on Green Valley and the school and will provide a safe route to allow more students to walk and bike to school.
The Big Vision
The Green Valley Road installation is part of a larger recommendation to install a multi-use path on Green Valley Road between Holohan Road and Pioneer Road. There is a path on some sections of Green Valley already, but it is in need of repair and does not extend as far as the school or the City of Watsonville. In addition to connecting neighborhood residents with Pinto Lake Park and Amesti Elementary, a new path would provide a safe route for Watsonville residents to reach Pinto Lake without needing to drive. The project also aims to improve safety – over the most recent 10-year period, there were 15 collisions involving people walking or biking on Green Valley Road between Holohan and Pioneer.
Portola Drive Pop-Up Coming Next
Planning is also in the works for the second installation on Portola Drive between 41st and 36th Avenues. The installation will launch on June 25th and include pedestrian improvements and separated bikeways. More details will be shared on both installations at https://ecoact.org/poweredbyme/
The County of Santa Cruz Active Transportation Plan is a partnership between County Public Works and Public Health, Ecology Action, and Bike Santa Cruz County. The Plan covers unincorporated areas including Davenport, Live Oak, Soquel, Aptos, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, and Amesti and does not include the cities of Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Capitola, or Watsonville.
Bilingual Volunteers Needed
If you are bilingual and interested in volunteering to help us share information with the community, contact Amelia Conlen at firstname.lastname@example.org