EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's Street Smarts offering comes from Cory Caletti, senior transportation planner/bicycle coordinator for the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission. In her piece, she tells of the RTC's interest in gathering public input regarding potential use of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail right of way adjacent to planned train operations for a bicycle and pedestrian trail.

With the purchase of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line complete, planning for a bicycle and pedestrian rail trail is now in full swing. You are invited to participate in public workshops later this month and hear about the project.

The 31-mile rail trail will form the spine of the broader Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network as possible, and will connect the primary alignment to schools, coastal access areas, neighborhoods and other activity centers through spur trails.

The recently released draft master plan identifies approximately 50 miles of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, with the majority of those being paths separated from motor vehicle traffic. Some on-street bicycle lanes, sidewalks and natural surface paths will make for a comprehensive trail system that will provide continuity, access and improved non-motorized mobility options.


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The comprehensive draft plan provides a framework for what the trail will look like segment by segment, where it will be located, how it will connect to desirable destinations, the estimated segment costs, how construction will be phased, and how the multitude of users, all travelling at different speeds, will be accommodated. Speedy commuters, daily walkers, visitors, children, seniors, and people with disabilities will all share the trail system.

Four community workshops to be held between Nov. 26 and Nov. 29 will address these topics, as well as how the trail will function in urbanized area versus when it will run adjacent to agricultural operations, and how the trail will interface with the active train services that are being considered. Input is requested on trail design and other features, as well the proposed process for prioritizing segments. Public participation is critical to ensure the project direction reflects our community's interests. This trail system will be an unprecedented public asset that will serve active transportation needs for generations to come.

Department of motor Vehicle frequently asked question

Here's a question heard often by the DMV.

QWhen oncoming traffic is stopped at a red light, some pedestrians tend to cross the intersection even when the cross walk signal does not prompt me to do so. All cars are stopped, the pedestrian is not in traffic, is this legal?

AEven though the scene may be safe, this scenario is not legal, according to the DMV. "Pedestrians must follow the directions of the pedestrian controls wherever they exist," reported Ask the DMV. Even though you know you will be able to safely cross the street, it is not legal to do so unless the sign says you are able to."

Pedestrians who disobey the rules of the road may be cited.

To learn about pedestrian safety, visit www.DMV.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/tocd11c5.htm.

Street Smarts appears Mondays and Thursdays. New topics are posted weekdays on the blog, at www.santacruzlive.com/blogs/streetsmarts. Follow it also on Twitter and Facebook. Submit questions to streetsmarts@santacruzsentinel.com. Include your name, city of residence and a phone number.

IF YOU GO

Rail trAIl workshops

The Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission is hosting four workshops for the community to give its input in planning the 'rail trail.' All public workshops will be held from 6-8 p.m. They are:

Nov. 26: Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, 7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos
Nov. 27: Pacific Elementary School, 50 Ocean St., Davenport
Nov. 28: Simpkins Family Swim Center, 979 17th Ave., Live Oak
Nov. 29: Civic Plaza Community Room, 275 Main St., fourth floor, Watsonville.

For information, go to www.sccrtc.org.