Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic
Have you been waiting for the “rail trail” or “coastal trail” project? On November 7, the RTC adopted a Master Plan for a 50 mile network of bicycle and pedestrian trails with the 32 mile Santa Cruz Branch rail right-of-way serving as the system’s “spine”.
The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network (Trail Network) merges plans for a bicycle/pedestrian trail along the rail line – including coastal alignments and neighborhood spurs – into a connected network that will overlap and converge to provide safe and convenient route choices. The trail will serve transportation, recreation and interpretive uses for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, people with mobility impairments, and families. Equestrian use will be provided in limited areas.
Final Master Plan
The Final Master Plan establishes the continuous alignment for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network, including the Coastal Rail Trail spine, and associated spur trails. The Final Master Plan identifies planning issues associated with the trail’s construction and presents possible solutions for its design, implementation, long term operation and maintenance.
The Final Master Plan addresses comments received on the Draft Master Plan which was released for public review in late 2012. Other changes include: identification of missed features or crossings; updated bridge and construction cost estimates; corrections to errors; inclusion of construction management costs; priority segment scores by geographic reach; and other refinements.
Final Environmental Document
A Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released on October 24th, 2013, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), on the MBSST Network Master Plan. The RTC certified the EIR on November 7th, 2013.
Activities Completed To Date
- Corridor tours
- Identification and mapping of opportunities and constraints
- Stakeholder meetings with over 50 agencies, community representatives and businesses
- Three route identification public workshops with over 200 members of the public
- Public Draft Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meetings
- Four trail alignment public workshops with nearly 300 people in attendance
- Release of Draft Environmental Impact Report and two public meetings to receive comments
- Release of Final Master Plan
- Release of Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR)
- Adoption of Final Master Plan and certification of FEIR
The broad vision is for a Trail Network project that will span the coast of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from the San Mateo/Santa Cruz County line to Pacific Grove, in Monterey County. The RTC is leading the planning effort for project development in Santa Cruz County and the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is responsible for Monterey County projects. This approach will ensure that the planned bicycle/pedestrian network will provide connectivity throughout the county and into the Monterey Bay region, as well as tie in the larger California Coastal Trail and Pacific Coast Bicycle Trails.
Approximately $7 million of local and federal funds have already been secured for construction of initial segments. Congressman Sam Farr is the project’s most passionate champion and has secured millions of federal dollars for construction of this two-county path. The RTC committed locally controlled funds to bring this project to fruition, as did the California Coastal Conservancy.
Senior Transportation Planner/Project Manager