Last week, Santa Cruz County came to a standstill due to an emergency on Highway 1. Traffic was stopped for hours. In Santa Cruz, when the highway is blocked it causes massive disruption to our ability to get where we want to go.
Meanwhile, Greenway announced their intent to start collecting signatures for a countywide ballot initiative that blocks one of the most popular transportation projects in the county and the only project that will provide a third corridor to travel North-South. Hidden in this ballot measure that claims to build a ‘wider trail’ is language that will delay our trail and prevent rail transit from ever being planned in Santa Cruz County.
The Greenway ballot measure is an attack on both our ability to keep building the Coastal Rail Trail and any possibly of future rail transit.
This is an attack on our future
Greenway’s ballot initiative is deceptive:
- It claims to build a trail, but actually it delays the trail from being built by cutting off funding sources and requiring a new planning and environmental review process.
- It claims to preserve rail transit as an option but actually removes it from the county plan.
- It claims to protect Roaring Camp but actually cuts them off from the regional rail network and devastates their business.
This measure would be devastating to our county’s active transportation plans. Why would anyone want to delay such an important community trail project? What is there to be gained by stopping planning for our transportation future? Bicyclists, drivers, walkers and our neighborhoods all benefit from both the Rail and Trail. Who benefits from an initiative like this?
Who benefits from this? Not our Community.
In much the same way as the auto industry dismantled public transportation in LA, this is a deceptive attempt by people connected with the high-tech personal transportation industry to prevent Santa Cruz County from using our rail line for public transportation. It is a coordinated, sophisticated attempt to stop the coastal rail trail from being built and kill any future plans for rail service.
Although it claims to preserve the future of rail transportation, reading the fine print, it’s clear this ballot would permanently prevent it. This initiative will:
- Destroy the rail line,
- Remove the rail transportation planning language from the county plan.
In fact, this one-two punch will take away the existing rail line and also prevent the county from planning to ever bring it back.
The Choice is Clear
All data points show that equitable public transportation is vital for both social and environmental justice. This initiative is a bald-faced effort to destroy and privatize an irreplaceable publicly-owned asset: our existing rail line.
The choice is clear, we must prevent this ballot measure from passing. Our county values the environment, essential workers, and social justice. We want better transportation options that will save us time, money and emissions. We do not support this deceptive initiative.
If you care about the environment, about social justice, about public transportation, or about combating special interests in our political processes, please donate now.
If you can’t donate right now, please consider spreading the word and letting your friends and neighbors know they should NOT sign this petition.
You can read the deceptive language of this ballot initiative here: GreenwayBallot Initiative*
It will take all of us to defeat these special interests in the next election. We need your help to ensure we can compete with their well funded messaging machine.
*FORT & Coast Connect have a policy of being factual always. As all volunteer organization it will be difficult to compete against a well funded organization that is known for using misinformation in their messaging. Please check back here for updates as we work to get third party fact checkers to review the ballot language and Greenway’s messaging.