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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
Club supports acquisition of railroad right of way
April 2010

The Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club supports the Regional Transportation Commission Director’s recommendation to purchase the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line. This 32-mile, 300-acre continuous transportation corridor would enable the Commission’s prime goal in pursuing this purchase, which is to preserve the Branch Line as a transportation corridor for future uses. The Regional Transportation Commission recommendation emphasizes train service and also mentions the potential for a multi-use trail in addition to the rail in the corridor.

Sierra Club Transportation Policy favors the most energy and land conserving and least polluting methods of travel. Walking and cycling are best. Next are transit including various forms of rail. Accommodation of pedestrians, bicycles, and public transit should be given priority over private automobiles.

The community goal of creating a continuous bicycle and pedestrian trail paralleling the entire length of the Santa Cruz County coastline has long been recognized as an asset to transportation in Santa Cruz County. Moreover, a trail along the rail corridor would provide a safe, continuous route, far superior to existing discontinuous routes on city streets or routes that are currently planned through environmentally-sensitive habitat.

As we go to press the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission is considering the purchase.

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