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Posts Tagged ‘santa cruz’

When voters in Santa Cruz approved the Measure S sales tax, they were told the funds would be used to “protect Santa Cruz’s quality of life” by maintaining essential city services and building a new central library. What they probably didn’t expect was for the funds to be hijacked by downtown merchants for the construction of a giant new parking garage:

library_garage

As you can see, the library has a huge parking garage tumor growing on top of it. The citizen’s group “Don’t Bury the Library” has been trying to put a stop to this nonsense, but lost on a 4-2 vote at a Sept. 11th City Council meeting:

All 114 seats in the council chamber were filled, and others listened outside via speakers in the plaza. Councilwomen Cynthia Chase, Martine Watkins and Richelle Noroyan and Mayor David Terrazas voted yes with Chase requesting an “indestructible” public bathroom open 24/7 as part of the project.

Councilman Chris Krohn and Councilwoman Sandy Brown voted no. They wanted to separate the library from the parking garage and spend a year on strategies to shrink car use downtown.

After the vote at nearly 10 p.m., Krohn told supporters, “We’ve got to get two people elected.”

The project would be largest for the city dollar-wise, according to city transportation manager Jim Burr, noting the cost estimate is from 2016.

Many speakers raised concerns.

“I was bamboozled,” said Col. Terry Maxwell, who had expected a remodel.

“We can make a darn good renovation with $28 million,” said Jean Brocklebank of the group Don’t Bury the Library.

“We’re talking about $75,000 per (parking) space,” said Rick Longinotti of the Campaign for Sustainable Transportation.

What does it say about a society that prioritizes car storage over book storage at its library?

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Who knew there were so many John Forrester types in Santa Cruz?

More than 60 people turned out Monday night to air concerns about a proposal to put 10 miles of rumble strips along a scenic span of Highway 1, an idea that has sparked a furor among many local cyclists. Held at the Museum of Art and History, the sometimes testy meeting was a chance to hear details of the plan firsthand from Caltrans officials. Hoping to improve traffic safety along a picturesque but sometimes deadly stretch of asphalt, Caltrans is proposing the vibration-inducing strips to keep drivers from drifting off the road.

I suspect many cyclists still have a knee-jerk reaction to rumble strips because they used to be built so badly. These Highway-1 rumble strips would conform to modern Federal standards, leaving 5′ of shoulder space. I ride that road all the time, and if anything that would be a nice improvement.

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