The Capitola City Council held a public meeting on January 11, 2018 to discuss rail and trail options on the Santa Cruz Branch Line corridor. The rail corridor passes through the heart of Capitola, and the future use of the corridor is of great concern to many who live in or visit Capitola by the Sea.
The council heard from a proponent of “rail with trail” and also a “trail only” advocate. The invited guests were Mark Mesti-Miller, a leading advocate for “rail with trail” and Bud Colligan, local philanthropist, activist, and a founding and leading member of the Santa Cruz Greenway initiative. The council chambers were packed; it was standing room only, and people were invited to sit in the overflow room next adjacent to the council chambers.
Before the presentations, the mayor of Capitola, Mike Termini, asked for a show of hands as to who was in favor of having a train, and who was in favor of a trail only. It seemed that perhaps twice as many hands were raised in favor of a trail only.
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Each speaker was given twelve minutes for his presentation. Mr. Mesti-Miller spoke first, after which Mr. Colligan spoke for an equal length of time. After their presentations, each was given a three minute follow up presentation where they could rebut claims made in the other’s initial discourse.
Members of the community were also invited to make comments. Dozens of people rose to speak. It seemed as if the speakers were evenly divided between those who wanted to see passenger rail service and those who were in favor of a “trail only.” A number of people urged the council members to make a public recommendation in favor of one scenario or the other before the completion of the Unified Corridor Investment Study (UCS), slated for fall 2018.
The city council of Scotts Valley did recently endorse Greenway’s vision, and the Greenway folks were hoping that the city of Capitola would do like wise at this meeting. However, towards the end of the evening, the city council decided that they would indeed wait for the UCS study to be completed before making any public proclamation one way or another. Notably, three of the four council members did say that they were at this point favoring the Greenway’s “trail only” proposition. The fourth council member did not say which outcome he favored. If this meeting held at the city of Capitola is any indication of public sentiment regarding the future use of the rail corridor, it seems that the trail-only solution will win out.
Related Posts On AptosCommunityNews
- Audio and Video from Aptos Greenway Presentation (February 24, 2018)
- Santa Cruz Greenway Aptos Presentation (February 19, 2018)
- TrailNow Presentation Video (March 5, 2016)
- Rail Trail Debate Rages on (November 16, 2015)
- Passenger Rail Opponents Meet on Thursday (September 15, 2015)
- Ellen Pirie Talks Aptos Village, Rail Corridor (May 8, 2015)
- Alternatives to Passenger Rail Service in Santa Cruz (July 24, 2014)
- RTC Passenger Rail Study Workshop July 17 (July 15, 2014)
- Rail Trail Faces June 4 Deadline (May 30, 2014)