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Rural Highways Safety Plan (RHSP)

The Santa Cruz County Rural Highway Safety Action Plan (RHSP) seeks to enhance safety for all users of the County’s six conventional highways: specifically, Highway 1 north of the City of Santa Cruz city limits, Highway 9, Highway 236, Highway 35, and Highways 129 and 152 outside the City of Watsonville city limits, which collectively function as main streets, intercommunity connectors, and rural highways.  

This RHSP plan will be developed through collaboration with Caltrans District 5, the Santa Cruz County Community Traffic Safety Coalition, County of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO), San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District (SLVUSD), Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD), UC Santa Cruz, first responders, local stakeholders such as community-based business associations, neighborhood associations, and residents of the community.   

The objective is to identify locations of patterns of crashes to generate and prioritize a suite of implementable countermeasures, to create a roadmap to Vision Zero. The intent is to achieve zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2045 with projects and strategies implemented through close partnerships with Caltrans.   

The RHSP project team will perform a comprehensive data-driven analysis to identify crash locations, severity, factors, and types of crashes that include pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, as well as conduct a literature review and transportation inventory. The data collected will be used to identify transportation needs and a transportation strategy development.   

Project Delivery Strategy

The transportation strategy development will include identifying strategies to address transportation needs, evaluation of strategies, and an implementation plan. The RHSP will be developed through a collaborative and comprehensive framework to address the safety issues along the identified highways with stakeholder and public engagement. Once stakeholders are identified, public meetings and workshops will take place to inform a final summary detailing public outreach activities.  

Project Schedule

The project team will prepare a draft RHSP report and finalize upon receiving comments from Caltrans, the RTC, stakeholders, and the public. The final RHSP report must provide a federally acceptable document for defined projects to compete and meet the requirements for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and Safe Streets for All (SS4A) funding. The final report will be presented to the RTC for input and approval. 

The Rural Highways Safety Plan is funded through a Caltrans Strategic Partnerships Planning Grant. 

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