Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Sep 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

 

You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Girl Gone Wild

’70s SF recalled in raw, poignant ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs