Measure D backers concede defeat after trouncing at the polls

Supporters of the Santa Cruz County Greenway Initiative have conceded defeat after more than 2/3’s of voters rejected Measure D.It would have changed the county’s general plan related to use of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail corridor and remove rail tracks for any future use.It’s been 20 years that supporters of rail and trail have been waiting for this project to get back on track and now it’s going to come down to funding.”Now, we have a clear vote! There’s no question anymore about the will of the people of Santa Cruz County!” said, Mark Mesiti-Miller, No Way Greenway Co-chair.Measure D’s defeat means planning will continue for the rail line project.”So, that means the plan will get kicked back to the Regional Transportation Commission and, of course, we’re going to kick back projects based on the finding that’s available,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manu Koenig.Last year, supporters of a rail and trail demonstrated how they envision the rail line will be used for possible travel between Davenport and Watsonville.”The voters want a greener, more sustainable, more equitable transportation service for the entire county and the answer to that; how do we get that? Is to build the planned rail with trail facility and let’s build it.” said, Mesiti-Miller.”This doesn’t change the facts of the case, right? It doesn’t create a bunch of new money to actually build a train system for example and so those fiscal realities are what we’re going to have to grapple with.” said, Koenig.It is estimated the project will cost more than $150 million that includes the 37 trestles along the corridor in need of repairs.”Just look at the Capitola trestle. It would take $30 million to just renovate that just for a freight rail and that’s not talking about upgrading the trails themselves.” said, Koenig.”Yes, rails expensive but so is highway widening and the reality is that Cal Trans no longer funding highway widening. They are funding railway expansion that is the future,” said Mesiti-Miller.(Caltrans letter is available here)In the meantime, Mesiti-Miller is urging construction for the rails to continue while ongoing local funding is generated not through sales or parcel tax but through other means like, a license or road tax.”It really comes down to the fact that we only have the authority to issue a sales tax measure,” said Koenig.The Transportation Commission has not scheduled a date yet to take up this issue.Full election results:

Supporters of the Santa Cruz County Greenway Initiative have conceded defeat after more than 2/3’s of voters rejected Measure D.

It would have changed the county’s general plan related to use of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail corridor and remove rail tracks for any future use.

Advertisement

It’s been 20 years that supporters of rail and trail have been waiting for this project to get back on track and now it’s going to come down to funding.

“Now, we have a clear vote! There’s no question anymore about the will of the people of Santa Cruz County!” said, Mark Mesiti-Miller, No Way Greenway Co-chair.

Measure D’s defeat means planning will continue for the rail line project.

“So, that means the plan will get kicked back to the Regional Transportation Commission and, of course, we’re going to kick back projects based on the finding that’s available,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manu Koenig.

Last year, supporters of a rail and trail demonstrated how they envision the rail line will be used for possible travel between Davenport and Watsonville.

“The voters want a greener, more sustainable, more equitable transportation service for the entire county and the answer to that; how do we get that? Is to build the planned rail with trail facility and let’s build it.” said, Mesiti-Miller.

“This doesn’t change the facts of the case, right? It doesn’t create a bunch of new money to actually build a train system for example and so those fiscal realities are what we’re going to have to grapple with.” said, Koenig.

It is estimated the project will cost more than $150 million that includes the 37 trestles along the corridor in need of repairs.

“Just look at the Capitola trestle. It would take $30 million to just renovate that just for a freight rail and that’s not talking about upgrading the trails themselves.” said, Koenig.

“Yes, rails expensive but so is highway widening and the reality is that Cal Trans no longer funding highway widening. They are funding railway expansion that is the future,” said Mesiti-Miller.

(Caltrans letter is available here)

In the meantime, Mesiti-Miller is urging construction for the rails to continue while ongoing local funding is generated not through sales or parcel tax but through other means like, a license or road tax.

“It really comes down to the fact that we only have the authority to issue a sales tax measure,” said Koenig.

The Transportation Commission has not scheduled a date yet to take up this issue.

Full election results:

Contributed by local news sources

Next Post

Tens of thousands of ballots still left to be counted in Monterey, Santa Cruz counties

Advertisement Tens of thousands of ballots still left to be counted in Monterey, Santa Cruz counties Updated: 5:19 PM PDT Jun 8, 2022 Digital Media Manager A day after the June 7 California Primary and the Central Coast election offices still have thousands of ballots left to count, which means […]