The 6-6-split vote on moving forward with passenger rail was completely disappointing. We need passenger rail. Traffic will get worse! No doubt.
There is one point that people just do not understand. There is very little that can ever be done to alleviate traffic on Highway 1. No amount of trail, train, or tantrums will ever reduce traffic on this infamous highway. “Induced demand” tells us that once capacity and/or alternatives are introduced, there will always be drivers waiting to fill the empty space. Always! Do you remember when the Morrissey auxiliary lane was going to be the saving grace? Exactly eight months went by before southbound traffic was back to a standstill. If you add more lanes, it will only lead to more cars in gridlock stinking up the county with tailpipe emissions.
We need to abandon Highway 1, leave it as is, and quit thinking we can improve the situation. We have a good passenger rail and trail plan that has been hijacked by people who live in Santa Cruz and work in Santa Clara. They worked hard to derail the plan for their own selfish reasons. Don’t be fooled! The passenger rail works for people who live and work in Santa Cruz County by linking every single town on our coast with a transportation alternative. As housing prices increase, more of our service industry workers will need to live in south county and commute. The Trail Now group is led by an Aptos resident who commutes to Santa Clara. He does not care about the needs of local residents. He wants a 32-miles long dog park and gentrification trail.
As Covid restrictions are lifting we can all see how bad the traffic is now. It isn’t even summer yet and it’s nuts. What do you think it will look like in 10, 20, or 50 years from now? The beauty of the train is that those who take it will never have to sit in traffic. Fight for foresight!
Dave Faulkner | Felton
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