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City of Santa Cruz Awarded Grants to Improve School Crossings and Branciforte Creek Bike/Ped Bridge and Path
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Claire Fliesler Transportation Planner, (831) 420-5107
Janice Bisgaard, Community Relations Specialist, (831) 420-5166
SANTA CRUZ (Oct. 27, 2015) —The City of Santa Cruz has been awarded two grants by the Caltrans Active Transportation Program totaling over $3 million to fund the Santa Cruz Citywide Safe Routes to School Crossing Improvement Program and the Branciforte Creek Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge. Both projects will help to increase walking, biking and safety in Santa Cruz while serving a wide spectrum of active transportation users.
Caltrans awarded the Santa Cruz Citywide Safe Routes to School Crossing Improvement Program $1,404,000 in a partnership grant with Ecology Action and County Health Services Agency. The project implements infrastructure and non-infrastructure recommendations of the Santa Cruz City Schools Complete Streets Master Plan, adopted March 24, 2015. Twenty-four crossings surrounding Santa Cruz City School campuses will be improved with elements that draw from a menu of rectangular rapid flashing beacons, speed feedback signs, lighting, ramps and enhanced striping for crosswalks.
These City of Santa Cruz infrastructure improvements will enhance the comfort levels of active transportation users due to improved safety, reduced vehicle speed, easier access and enhanced visibility. Preliminary design and engineering work is scheduled to begin in late 2016 and continue through 2017. Construction is planned for 2018.
Project partners Ecology Action and Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency will provide non-infrastructure active transportation education and encouragement activities at Santa Cruz City Schools including Bike and Walk to School events and bicycle and pedestrian safety education.
Caltrans awarded the Branciforte Creek Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge project $1.8 million to construct a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Branciforte Creek and a multi-use path under the Soquel Avenue Bridge to meet the existing Riverwalk path. This project was conceived in the 1987 San Lorenzo River Design Concept Plan. It will complete the gap in the 5-mile Riverwalk system that runs north-south through the center of Santa Cruz. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.
The Caltrans Active Transportation Program is highly competitive. For its 2015 grant cycle, 617 applications were submitted, requesting over $1 billion in funds. The City of Santa Cruz received two of the 114 grants awarded statewide.
The City of Santa Cruz Active Transportation Plan is currently in development. For more information, please visit www.cityofsantacruz.com/activetransportation or contact Transportation Planner Claire Fliesler at (831) 420- 5107.
This is the location of the upcoming Branciforte Creek Bike/Pedestrian Bridge and pathway connection to San Lorenzo Riverwalk.