Letters to the Editor

November 7, 2016, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Yes on D: Get Santa Cruz County moving again

Imagine one of your loved ones has a medical emergency. Imagine calling 911 and waiting the minutes for the emergency personnel to arrive. Now, imagine they are delayed due to traffic in Santa Cruz County and that every minute counts and is critical. Now, visualize voting Yes for Measure D. Let’s get Santa Cruz moving again. Every little thing that can improve traffic matters. Sticking your head in the sand will not improve safety.

— Mark Junod, Aptos

 

November 3, 2016, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Do the simple math — and support Measure D

I take issue with the simplistic group-think slogans “Widening causes congestion” or “Widening won’t work” that have, surprisingly, been successfully propagated, and embraced, for far too many years, by so many thoughtful and seemingly intelligent individuals and organizations that are based in the city of Santa Cruz. Simple math seems to indicate that turning a two-lane highway into a three-lane highway will immediately result in a 50 percent increase in the highway’s vehicle-carrying capacity. The causes of roadway congestion, over a period of time, are many and varied in nature, but adding a third lane to a two-lane highway does not appear to be among them. Unfortunately, Measure D only offers partial improvement, in certain areas, through the piecemeal “auxiliary lane” approach that is proposed. Nonetheless, because partial improvement is better than no improvement, Measure D deserves support at the ballot box.

— William Rupert, Ben Lomond

 

November 2, 2016, Santa Cruz Sentinel

UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council backs Measure D

The UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council (the governing body of the UCSC Alumni Association) has unanimously voted to endorse Santa Cruz County’s Measure D. We are in full support of this measure as it will have a direct positive impact on the UC Santa Cruz community by:

  • Fixing local streets, roads, sidewalks and bike lanes.
  • Providing adequate funding to sustain our bus system.
  • Adding auxiliary lanes on Highway 1 to ease congestion.
  • Speeding up emergency response time.
  • Creating safer bike and pedestrian pathways to schools.
  • Growing our paratransit services for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
  • Preserving transportation options on the rail corridor.

— Donna Mekis and Charles Eadie, Alumni Council president and past president

 

November 2, 2016, Good Times

Measure D Boosts Vital Services

As the Board of Directors of Community Bridges, we are imploring you to vote “yes” on Measure D.

Why? It is the bridge that helps provide the vital transit services for our seniors and people with disabilities. Transportation services like “Lift Line,” one of the many life-sustaining programs under Community Bridges, will be able to continue and expand the vital services that currently ensure more than 80,000 paratransit medical door-to-door rides annually free of charge. Your half-penny increase will go toward not only improving our local roads and light rail system, but also enabling increased transportation services for our populations of seniors, people with disabilities, and our infirmed—without which many of them would miss life-saving medical appointments or remain homebound, feeling desperate in their isolation. Your support for Measure D will generate about $500 million over the next 30 years; it will alleviate our congested roadways; it will invest in the public process to determine if rail service is a good fit for our community; and most importantly, it will expand transportation for the elderly and the disabled. So what can half of a penny do? It will save lives and it will buy personal dignity and life-saving independence for our mothers, our brothers and our neighbors.

There does exist a segment of our community that opposes any type of increase. As board members, we know it is our obligation to extend our hands to help serve those most in need and we seek to reach out to those community members who will simply oppose because it’s an increase with the following plea: We know what can be done. We know what should be done. It is up to each and every one of us to do it.

Please join our board by voting “yes” on Measure D in November!

— Linda Fawcett, BOARD OF Directors, Community Bridges

 

November 2, 2016, Good Times

Reasons for D

I want to live in a way that honors the oneness that connects people, the planet and our fellow species. To achieve this, we need to shift how we live and work. We as individuals have incredible power to create such change. That is why I’m excited to support Measure D, the greenest transportation measure on the California ballot this year. More than 30 percent of Santa Cruz residents do not drive; Measure D will prevent cuts to Metro bus service and expand Lift Line services that keep seniors connected with family, grocery and medical services. Mountain lions and other wildlife need a safe way across Highway 17, which Measure D will fund. And, last but not least, more than 60 percent of Measure D funds will go to bicycle, pedestrian and other sustainable transportation projects, which will empower each of us to make safer, healthier and (honestly) more fun choices for ourselves and the planet.

— Kirsten Liske, Live Oak

 

October 29, 2016, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D will help families save

There are two good reasons to vote “yes” on Measure D, the local transportation ballot measure. The first is kind of obvious; investing in our roads, highway, rail corridor, and Metro is going to help everyone to get around in a greener, healthier, faster way. The other reason is that Measure D will help reduce the high cost of living for local families by reducing transportation expenses. The Federal Highway Administration says that “transportation is the second largest expense for most households, after housing.” We can’t do much about high housing costs but voting “yes” to an inter-connected network of busses, bikes, cars, trains and trails can save working families a few bucks and make a better transportation system at the same time.

— David Wright, Watsonville

 

October 29, 2016, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D good for SLV

Not mentioned in the ballot question or arguments and rebuttals, but included in the Board’s approved expenditure plan is $10 million for improving the Highway 9 corridor for all our travelers. Being a State Highway, $10 million in locally produced funds could serve as a 20 percent match for State and Fed funds, possibly bringing in $40 million more to SLV. Not to mention, the largest piece of the 30 year funding pie is not for Highway 1, but for neighborhood traffic safety and repair projects. So if safer, better lit and maintained walkways and roads to your schools and downtowns in Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Brookdale and Felton are important to you and your family, then vote yes on D.

— James Helmer, Ben Lomond

 

October 28, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Why do environmentalists support Measure D?

Measure D leads the transition from car-centric investments to a more sustainable future. It’s not a complete transition but does provide three times more funding for sustainable transportation than highway work. Funding for the Coastal Rail Trail and the Highway 17 Wildlife Tunnel inspired the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County’s endorsement. Measure D’s allocation of 60 percent of funding to alternative transportation and 20 percent to safety inspired Ecology Action and Friends of the Rail & Trail to endorse. The nexus between road improvements and water quality, as well as support for greenhouse gas emissions reductions inspired the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County to endorse. Investments in safe routes to schools and pedestrian/bike overpasses on Hwy 1 inspired Bike Santa Cruz County’s support. The Valley Women’s Club endorsed Measure D because of funding to improve bike and pedestrian safety along Highway 9. Vote YES on D!

— Terry Corwin, President, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County; Piet Canin, Vice President of Transportation, Ecology Action

 

October 22, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D is good for everyone in some way

Measure D models the compromise and collaboration we say we want in government. Measure D gives each city funding every year to fix its own streets and improve safety, including safe routes to school. Each county supervisor’s district gets annual funds to tackle priority road repairs and improvements. Measure D creates merge lanes at three congested bottleneck points along Highway 1. Measure D supports construction of bicycle and pedestrian trails and funds a thorough study for best use of the rail corridor. Measure D includes targeted funding for Highway 9 and a wildlife passageway under Highway 17. Measure D gives Metro vital resources to serve seniors and medically impaired residents.

Measure D helps everyone in some way, and it respects different points of view and different circumstances — whether north, south, young, old, environmentalist, or commuter. Give a little so we all can benefit. Vote yes on Measure D.

— Donna Murphy, Santa Cruz

 

October 19, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Never-ending traffic hardly perfect highway

To those who assert that widening Highway 1 “won’t work” to alleviate traffic congestion, I humbly ask, would you suggest we eliminate the auxiliary lanes we already do have? Would that improve flow? If not, and you’d neither add nor remove the lanes, you’ll excuse me for understanding your argument as the assertion that Highway 1 is not only somehow acceptable but is actually optimal for traffic flow as now configured. That is, if no step in any direction would improve the highway, then the highway is ideal. That may be so, but we would have discovered this “perfect highway” entirely by accident, and it happens to be a place with never-ending traffic jams. I cannot follow that line of reasoning at all. To me, a step toward widening is intuitively a step toward increased capacity, and so I’ll be voting Yes on D.

— Keith Trainor, Santa Cruz

 

October 18, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D a start to fixing local transportation woes

Our streets are falling apart, our bus system is inadequate, and Highway 1 is unbearable. I want to speak directly to you freeway haters. First, some of you argue any widening of the freeway causes more congestion. That is false and unsupported by traffic engineering science. Second, with an additional lane on Highway 1, we could implement a bus-only lane. We could have 40 people in a bus vs. one person in a car. I’m sick and tired of sitting in gridlock on Highway 1. We can’t fix our widespread traffic problems without money. Measure D does not provide near enough but it would be a start. I’m an environmentalist and I support Measure D.

— James Van Houten, La Selva Beach

 

October 11, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Yes on D for commuters, for workers, for trail

Yes on Measure D for Santa Cruz County because we are excited about the tail trail that will allow us to ride our bikes from one end of our county to the other. Yes on D because we, the commuters, do not have the luxury of walking or biking to work the way many Measure D opponents do. We can’t afford to live in Santa Cruz. We don’t have flexible hours at our jobs. We have to support our families. This is an issue of access for workers; this is a social issue justice issue. I hope to see light rail in my lifetime. In the meantime, vote yes on D!

— Casey Carlson, La Selva Beach

 

October 5, Good Times

Yes on D: The Only Way

Unless you are happy with the current state of our transportation system, “yes” is the only way to vote on Measure D. Measure D is a balanced plan to greatly improve our current system. Measure D will fix our local streets, build better pedestrian and bicycle facilities including “Safe Routes to Schools” for our children, enhance our bus system, improve the commute along Highway 1, build the rail trail and complete the environmental study needed to make a wise decision about the rail corridor. Voting No just means things will get worse. Join me in voting Yes on D, and let’s get everyone moving.

— Mark Mesiti-Miller, P.E., Santa Cruz

 

October 6, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D supports transit options for everyone

As a Santa Cruzan whose job requires I travel up and down the county regularly, I support Measure D. What I like about it is the equity improvements toward the highway, neighborhood streets, bike safety lanes and the rail trail. As a community we need to invest in all the methods that will allow our residents to commute in a manner reasonable for them. It would be ideal if we could all bike around town, but that’s not the reality for most, and Measure D will support options for everyone. Cast a vote in favor of Measure D.

— Katherine O’Dea, Santa Cruz

 

October 4, Santa Cruz Sentinel

A ‘No’ vote on D tosses baby with bathwater

I attended the recent forum on Measure D, the transportation measure, at the Resource Center for Non Violence. Backers for both “Yes” and “No” explained their positions. I came to this meeting undecided, but before the evening was over was convinced by the “Yes” point of view. The “No” advocates spoke only of the highway widening, about 20 percent of the total. However, the remaining 80 percent would fund local road repairs, the rail trail, a real rail line, bike lanes and overpasses, and continued bus service for both commuters and the elderly and handicapped. A “No” vote would throw the baby out with the bathwater, dooming important projects simply because we may not like widening the highway. Take a good look at this measure and vote “Yes” on D.

— Meade Fischer, Capitola

 

October 1, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Yes is the only way to vote on Measure D

Unless you are happy with the current state of our transportation system, yes is the only way to vote on Measure D. Measure D is a balanced plan to greatly improve our current system. Measure D will fix our local streets, build better pedestrian and bicycle facilities including “Safe Routes to Schools” for our children, enhance our bus system, improve the commute along Highway 1, build the rail trail and complete the environmental study work needed to make a wise decision about the rail corridor. Voting no just means things will get worse. Join me in voting yes on D, and let’s get everyone moving.

— Mark Mesiti-Miller, Santa Cruz

 

September 30, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D an opportunity we can’t let pass

As a longtime member and current chair of the Capitola Parking and Traffic Commission, I am writing to urge our communities at large to strongly support Measure D. We all have become increasingly alarmed about the state of our local roads and the impacts on our neighborhoods because of all the cut-through traffic. This is an opportunity to correct and help many issues related to traffic, transportation and transit. Local neighborhoods, as well as the Highway 1 corridor, will be direct beneficiaries of the passage of this measure. Seniors, our ailing Metro system, people with disabilities, bikers, walkers, students and wildlife, as well as our infrastructure, will all receive allocations. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for so many in our communities to receive the funds we desperately need to keep us safe and keep us moving and to relieve some of our very burdened neighborhoods of unsafe traffic.

— Molly Ording, Capitola

 

September 29, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D in the end is a decent compromise

Measure D is a compromise. It has transportation solutions for everyone across the county. Are they what I prefer? Absolutely not. But I will vote “yes” for the sake of the good over the perfect. Frankly voting “no” on principle because neither auxiliary freeway lanes nor retained train tracks were removed from the entire package strikes me as way too pure. A purer measure without these two provisions would likely lose, merely trading North and South County votes. A winning measure bends basic ideals to what two-thirds will accept as better than nothing.

— Doug Urbanus, Ben Lomond

 

September 29, Register-Pajaronian

Yes is the only way to vote on Measure D

Unless you are happy with the current state of our transportation system, yes is the only way to vote on Measure D. Measure D is a balanced plan to greatly improve our current system. Measure D will fix our local streets, build better pedestrian and bicycle facilities including “Safe Routes to Schools” for our children, enhance our bus system, improve the commute along Highway 1, build the rail trail and complete the environmental study work needed to make a wise decision about the rail corridor. Voting no just means things will get worse. Join me in voting yes on D, and let’s get everyone moving.

— Mark Mesiti-Miller, Santa Cruz

 

September 28, Good Times

Bike Friendly

It takes me only five minutes more to ride my electric bike to and from work than if I drove my car. When riding my E-bike I go through two stoplights. When driving my car, I go through 11! I feel very safe riding my bike to and from work due to the access of Arana Gulch.

I look forward to future improvements in our transportation system. Measure D will give us better roads, speed up emergency response, improve safety for children walking and bicycling near schools, expand safe bike routes, maintain senior and disabled transit services, improve traffic flow on highways and reduce dangerous neighborhood cut-through traffic, improve our commuting issues, and give the community better access to our bus system. As a former bus rider of five years, I enjoyed using the system, but there is room for improvement. I look forward to more and improved transportation options in the near future. Please join me in voting Yes on Measure D.

— Joanne Noce, RN | Santa Cruz

 

September 23, Santa Cruz Sentinel

City Council candidate Sandy Brown supports D

As a mid-county resident who can’t vote in Santa Cruz City elections, it’s refreshing to hear that candidate Sandy Brown is supporting Measure D, the transportation tax measure.

We who support this measure, appreciate candidates like Sandy who don’t hold hostage a needed tax measure that offers so much to the entire county, just because of some of the tax will pay for improvements to Highway 1.

— Paul Elerick, Aptos

 

Improving roads best way to decrease congestion

The traffic on Highway 1 and frontage roads like Soquel Drive are debilitating for Santa Cruz County commuters. I rely heavily on these roads for my commute and it’s exactly the reason why I will be voting for Measure D this November. No one should spend an hour on the highway just to drive six miles. Improvements to our road infrastructure are vital and are the best chance we have to improve the congestion.

— James Orcutt, Aptos

 

September 21,  Good Times

Real Plan

I run a locally owned business and lose valuable time sitting in traffic. My clients, my business, our local economy and the environment would be better off if small businesses like mine were not trapped in a continuously congested highway with no end in sight. The back roads and neighborhoods are not much better. Besides, cutting through them just to avoid the highway is endangering children and cyclists. I plan to vote for Measure D because it actually has a real plan to address these issues.

— Justin White , CEO, K&D Landscaping Inc., Watsonville

 

September 21, Good Times

Measure D would expand transportation options

It takes me only five minutes more to ride my electric bike to and from work than if I drove my car. When riding my E-bike I go through two stop lights. When driving my car I go through 11! I feel very safe riding my bike to and from work due to the access of Arana Gulch. I look forward to future improvements in our transportation system. Measure D will give us better roads, speed up emergency response, improve safety for children walking and bicycling near schools, expand safe bike routes, maintain senior and disabled transit services, improve traffic flow on highways and reduce dangerous neighborhood cut-through traffic, improve our commuting issues as well as give the community better access to our bus system. As a former bus rider of five years, I enjoyed using the system, but there is room for improvement. I look forward to more and improved transportation options in the near future. Please join me in voting yes on Measure D.

— Joanne Noce, Capitola

 

September 19, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D is responsible

I’d like to set the record straight about Measure D, a transportation plan for Santa Cruz County. For those wondering about reductions in global warming carbon emissions, Measure D will fund several environmentally-friendly activities and projects that produce zero emissions, and it puts major emphasis on cycling safety and efficiency. Measure D will also help reduce the current stop-and-go congestion that emits high levels of carbon. In fact, current plans project an 18 percent reduction, well beyond current local targets for reduction. And that’s in addition to reductions that come with the steady shift to electric vehicles.

It’s pretty clear many opponents of Measure D are hoping to force folks out of their cars by making misery on Highway 1 a permanent condition—without providing any viable alternatives. Measure D is a balanced, environmentally-friendly approach to meeting the diverse transportation needs of Santa Cruz County.

— Don Lane, Chair, SC County Regional Transportation Commission

 

September 16, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Measure D addresses many county needs

Measure D addresses the following Santa Cruz County needs: Fix potholes; speed up emergency response; improve safety for children walking and bicycling near schools; expand safe bike routes; maintain senior and disabled transit services; reduce dangerous neighborhood cut-through traffic; preserve transportation options on the rail corridor; reduces pollution that causes global warming. As someone who rides a bike to work where I sell cars, I am in favor of this measure as it makes it safer, quicker and cleaner to move around the county. It also is a rare opportunity to receive matching state and federal funds, making these goals more readily attainable!

— Chris O’Connell, Capitola

 

September 11, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Mid-County commute is simply ridiculous: Yes on D

I work at a tech firm in Santa Cruz, and I used to live in Aptos to commute to my job. I now live in San Jose and reverse commute to Santa Cruz. My new commute from San Jose to Santa Cruz takes the same amount of time as my old commute from Aptos. That is ridiculous. It is time for Santa Cruz County to invest in a plan like Measure D to alleviate the highway congestion.

— Kelli Greene, San Jose