Bicycle Services & Resources
Towards its goal of creating an integrated multi-modal transportation network, the Regional Transportation Commission provides a variety of services to support bicycling in Santa Cruz County.
In addition to the programs administered directly, the RTC is also the major funder of the following programs: Bike To Work, Community Traffic Safety Coalition and South County Bike/Ped Work Group, and Ride ‘n Stride. These programs provide safety education and promote bicycling as transportation.
The RTC’s full color bikeways map shows bicycle lanes, bicycle paths and alternate routes within Santa Cruz County. With topography as well as accurate and updated information on bicycle routes, the 24″x36″ color map folds down to 4″x9″ making it easy to carry while riding a bike. Detailed insets of the San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley, Watsonville and the area from Santa Cruz to La Selva Beach feature major attractions, schools, bike shops, parks, campgrounds and hostels. Key phone numbers, cycling resources and safety tips are shown in both English and Spanish.
Note: file size exceeds 5 MB per side.
For a free printed map, contact the RTC at (831) 460-3200 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (We are currently out of maps and are in the process of updating and reprinting.)
Bike Count Report
The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) performed bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle counts at 10 locations throughout the county on Thursday, October 16, 2014. The October 2014 Bicycle, Pedestrian, Vehicle Occupancy and Motor Vehicle Count Report provides bike and mode split count results. This data was collected in order to measure bicycle ridership and pedestrian trends to monitor the progress of our county in moving towards a more sustainable transportation system.
In May 2012, the RTC partnered with the County of Santa Cruz Community Traffic Safety Coalition (CTSC) and the University of California Santa Cruz Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) program to perform bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle counts. The May 2012 Bike and Pedestrian Count Report provides a summary of the results of the May 2012 count, bike count trend data collected by the CTSC over the last ten years, recommendations for future count methodologies and a collection of the bike count data that has been collected in the county since 2000 during either the morning or evening commute periods.
Reporting Bicycle Hazards
Notify us of obstacles or hazards that may inhibit bike or pedestrian travel by using the RTC’s Hazard Report. Reports are forwarded to the appropriate local jurisdiction for action and may be submitted at any time.
Three Feet for Safety Act
Vehicle Code 21760 “Three Feet for Safety Act” went into effect on September 16, 2014. This new code requires motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing people riding bikes. When passing with a three foot buffer is not possible, this new law requires drivers to slow down to a safe and reasonable speed and wait to pass only when it was safe to do so. The new law will provide greater protections for bicyclists by recognizing their greater vulnerability and enforcing fines for infractions.
More than 100 bike lockers are available to rent in downtown Santa Cruz and at Pacific Station, Santa Cruz Metro’s main bus terminal on Pacific Avenue. Ten bike lockers are also available for use by commuters at the Scotts Valley Transit Center. Make arrangements to use a Scotts Valley locker on a regular basis by calling Cruz511 at 429-POOL.
Additional Information or Resources
- Bicycle Licensing – Bicycle licensing requirements in Santa Cruz County by jurisdiction.
- Reporting Incidents to Law Enforcement – Cyclists are encouraged to report incidents and collisions with motorists, other cyclists or pedestrians to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Sharrows – Watch this video to learn how to properly use sharrows, a shared-lane street marking indicating that a bicyclist may use the full travel lane.
- Ordinances in Santa Cruz County regarding bicycling on sidewalks
- Total 2013 Bikeway Miles in Santa Cruz County (Updated 2014)
- “What Motorists Want Bicyclists to Know/What Cyclists Want Motorists to Know” brochure
Bicycle Planning Resources
Bicycle Transportation Plans in Santa Cruz County
The RTC works with local jurisdictions to develop and certify Bicycle Transportation Plans. Adopted Bicycle Transportation Plans are required for local agencies to apply for Bicycle Transportation Account grant funding. The following local jurisdictions have adopted bicycle plans.
- City of Capitola Bicycle Plan
- City of Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz 2008 Bicycle Transportation Plan
- City of Scotts Valley Bicycle Transportation Plan
- City of Watsonville Trails and Bicycle Master Plan
- County of Santa Cruz 2011 Bicycle Transportation Plan
Reference guidelines are available to planners, advocates and the public to further understanding of bicycle facilities planning and design parameters. Please contact the Bicycle Coordinator regarding use and applicability of the guidelines linked below.
- AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities
- Basic Improvements for Bicyclists
- Bicycle Parking Guidelines
- Bike Boulevards
- Caltrans Deputy Directive 64 R1 Implementing Complete Streets – Integrating the Transportation System. (This applies only to state highways.)
- California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (Updated 2014)
- Caltrans Guidelines for Detector Loops
- Caltrans Guidelines for Drain Grates
- Caltrans Highway Design Manual Chapter 1000 – Bikeway Design
- Caltrans Roundabout Design Information
- Contra Costa County’s Trail Design Resource Handbook
- Guide to Bicycle Project and Program Funding in California
- Rails with Trails
- Shared Lane Pavement Markings
- Valley Transportation Authority’s Bicycle Technical Guidelines
- Road Construction Guidelines: The Recommended Guidelines to Protect the Safety of Bicyclists, Pedestrians and Disabled Travelers during Road Construction was designed to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in road construction projects.
Other Community Bicycle Programs
- Ecology Action Transportation Programs
- Bike Santa Cruz County
- Project Bike Trip
- Bike Church
- The Hub for Sustainable Transportation
Senior Transportation Planner/Bicycle Coordinator