Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Traffic Talk

transportationSANTA CRUZ > The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is undertaking more than a few infrastructure projects. To help get the word out to the public, they're trying something a little unconventional for a government agency: a television series.

The RTC's Transportation Café series tackles a different issue that affects Santa Cruz County residents with each new episode. The series began as a quarterly event in September 2010, but a new episode now premieres every other month.

"There's a lot of confusion about what the RTC actually does," says Karena Pushnik, the RTC's senior planner and public information coordinator. "We wanted to help the public understand the wide range of programs and projects that the RTC works on and to give people a better sense of the depth of those projects."

The show's most recent installation, which premiered on Community Television on Monday, Jan. 30, addresses the issue of sustainability and how it will affect the RTC's long-term goals. The episode features a short segment detailing the allocation of funds for various transportation projects. The bulk of the 30-minute episode consists of RTC Executive Director George Dondero interviewing Grace Blakeslee, the RTC's program coordinator, and Peter Hurley, project manager at the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

In addition to his work for the city of Portland, Hurley is also a key developer of an innovative transportation sustainability project. The project, known as the Sustainable Transportation Analysis and Rating Systems (STARS), is a set of guidelines that communities can voluntarily adopt to ensure that their transportation projects are sustainable for the long-term. The STARS system is similar to the widely used LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) which is used to evaluate building projects. In the episode, Hurley stresses the importance of what he calls "the triple win" when it comes to planning sustainable projects.

"To truly be sustainable, you have to have three key pieces," says Hurley. "A healthy economy, a healthy planet and healthy people."

The latest episode of Transportation Cafe comes on the heels of the start of construction on new auxiliary lanes on Highway 1 between Soquel Avenue and Morrissey Boulevard. That particular stretch of Highway 1 is notoriously troublesome for commuters, often becoming severely congested with traffic during peak driving hours. Though the project is still in its infancy, the construction will include the addition of one-mile-long traffic lanes connecting the on-ramp with the next off-ramp, along with the demolition and reconstruction of the La Fonda Avenue bridge. Pushnik views the highway construction project as a natural extension of Santa Cruz's commitment to sustainability.

"We look at it as a system-wide approach," says Pushnik. "When that part of the highway gets congested, the overflow traffic actually interferes with bicycling and walking. People feel less safe and less comfortable because there's a lot more traffic in the roads trying to cut through and avoid the highway."


To view the episode online, visit the RTC's website at sccrtc.org.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover