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Joyce Blaschke, Santa Cruz Police Department (831) 420-5844
Janice Bisgaard, Public Works Department (831) 420-5166

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Pacific Avenue Contraflow Bike Lane Plans Approved in Santa Cruz

Post Date:02/28/2017 2:49 PM


Feb. 28, 2017


Jim Burr Transportation Manager, (831) 420- 5426

Janice Bisgaard, Community Relations Specialist, (831) 420-5166


SANTA CRUZ —  Plans for a contraflow bike lane on Pacific Avenue between Church and Cathcart streets to allow two-way bike traffic were approved today by the Santa Cruz City Council. The plans include solid green lane treatments along the contraflow lane to increase the visibility of the new southbound lane and clarify the rules of the road for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. Northbound bicycle traffic will continue to share the existing travel lane. Construction is planned to begin this spring with project completion expected before summer.

Stop signs for cyclists will be installed at each stop controlled intersection to direct cyclists to yield right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk and traffic crossing the intersection.  The project will also include new bike lanes between Cathcart and Laurel streets.

Allowing two-way bicycle travel on Pacific Avenue will increase connectivity and access for people riding bikes downtown. The project was also designed as a response to current issues of people riding the wrong way on Pacific Avenue or riding on the sidewalk. The Police Department has commented that wrong-way riding is a frequent occurrence on Pacific Avenue between Church and Cathcart, and can cause a safety hazard for all road users. Sidewalk riding has also been brought up by members of the public as a safety issue downtown, especially for seniors and people with disabilities. 

By making it easier and more convenient to ride a bike downtown, the Pacific Avenue contraflow lane project supports the City’s Climate Action Plan goals to double bike ridership and reduce single occupancy vehicle commutes by 10 percent by 2020.

The project is funded by $85,000 in Transportation Development Act grant funds. There is no impact to the City’s General Fund.

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