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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county

Action Alert: Hwy 1 Sneak Lanes and Speed Limits (again)

by Micah Posner, People Power

"There's more than one way to widen a freeway" Supervisor Jan Beautz, after the defeat of Measure J

In an affront to both common sense and democracy, the Regional Transportation is moving ahead to widen a section of Highway One using existing transportation funds and is soliciting your input on Nov 17th, 6:30PM on the fifth floor of the county building- 501 Ocean.

The project would put "auxiliary lanes", (termed sneak lanes by those of us familiar with how they came about) between Morissey and Soquel. As the RTC is determined to sneak this project around the Voters' decision, the only way to stop them is with a massive outpouring of public opposition. We need you to come to the public hearing with 3 friends and tell them that when you said no, you meant no. It also wouldn't hurt to ask the RTC why they are still bent on widening freeways with oil supplies running out. We'll make it fun meeting, with guerilla theatre, signs and a community feel to the public hearing.

In addition to going to the public hearing, the RTC needs to hear from us by email at

WE ALSO NEED YOUR HELP getting people to the meeting and getting petition signatures, particularly in South and Central County. If you can volunteer, please call Micah right away at 425-0665. Farmers Markets are particularly good places to get signatures and happen in Watsonville on November 11th and Cabrillo on November 12th. It will take a lot of community energy to stop the freeway juggernaut. WE CAN DO IT!


The Santa Cruz City Council continues to try to raise speed limits so as to reduce speed limits. Another example of government sense vs common sense.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8th, in the late afternoon (we don't know the exact time), the City Council will once again consider raising the speed limit on up to 17 streets, despite the fact that the basic idea was voted down, by a 4 to 3 vote, 4 weeks ago.

Mayor Rotkin is claiming that the hundreds of people who contacted the city council didn't understand the issue. Additionally, because the issue is coming up again, a whole new round of public testimony will be considered.


Better yet, if you really want to make sure the speed limits don't get raised, come to the meeting Nov. 8th meeting. Some members of the Council view this issue as administrative business. The best way for them to know that this is important to you is for them to see you at the City Council Chambers, 809 Center Street. They will talk about the item in the afternoon. To get a better idea exactly when, call the City Clerk at 420-5020.

If you are unfamiliar with this issue, the reason that they are considering raising the speed limits is that police are unable to use radar to enforce speed limits on 17 streets in Santa Cruz due to state law. However, as was shown in a two-year demonstration project, the police do not have the resources to effectively enforce the speed limit on more than one street at a time anyway. Given the resources available, raising the speed limit on more than one street will simply encourage higher speeds.

The most effective way to reduce automobile speeds is to do inexpensive traffic calming measures such as plastic bollards, cones, asphalt median islands, narrowing lane widths, widening bike lanes and sidewalks, flashing barricades, planting trees, installing speed bumps, and other measures. Once traffic calming measures have reduced speeds, we can submit new speed surveys and regain the use of radar for enforcement.

Micah Posner, People Power
224 Walnut Ave.,
Suite C Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 425-0665

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