Last week a blogger put out some false information about the Land Trust’s position on the Rail Trail. To set the record straight, the Land Trust has:
- never promoted a bus option for the corridor,
- never told the RTC that the funds we’ve raised for the Rail Trail can’t be used “if you don’t have a train,”
- never taken a position on passenger rail (we’ll leave that to the transportation experts).
The Rail Trail is a trail built alongside the tracks. Building the trail doesn’t require having trains, but it does mean that the trail is built in a way that preserves the option of having trains in the future. (You can read our policy on Building the Rail Trail ASAP and Preserving the Rail Option here.)
What we have done is commit to provide $5.9M in matching grants to get the trail built as soon as possible. These trail segments can move forward only because they are part of a master plan that has been approved by all levels of government, and has completed and approved environmental documents. These approvals mean the Rail Trail can be built as soon as funding is available.
Our efforts helped catalyze $19M in public funding for the design and/or construction of 13 miles of the 32-mile trail. The first segment will be open NEXT YEAR. With Measure D funds (and a united “get it done” effort), Santa Cruz could have the ENTIRE trail built in 10 years.
The Land Trust’s proud support for this transformative local trail project, and its timely completion, is a matter of record.