Watsonville Endorses Sales Tax Measure for Transportation Improvements

trip expenditure plan

The Watsonville City Council voted 7-0 to approve a resolution endorsing a proposed 30-year half cent sales tax measure that would raise an estimated $500 million to local transportation improvements, including widening Highway 1.

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) approved the sales tax June 16. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will decide whether to add the measure to the November ballot at its meeting Wednesday.

City Councilman Jimmy Dutra, who is also a member of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, provided a passionate pitch to approve the resolution, citing its benefits to South County residents.

In particular, he addressed plans to widen Highway 1, which he called imperative to South County residents working in Santa Cruz.

“I’m tired of sitting in traffic for an hour to go 15 miles,” Dutra said.

The estimated $500 million would be divided as follows: 30 percent to neighborhood projects such as local road repair, 25 percent to Highway 1 improvements, 20 percent to transit for seniors and disabled, 17 percent to the coastal rail trail and 8 percent to railroad maintenance and an analysis of rail as a transit option.

The project has not been without controversy for South County residents, however.

The commission cut a proposed $10 million Pajaro train station that would have connected future Monterey Bay rail service to Bay Area transit and other parts of the state. The funds were reallocated to transit for seniors and disabled.

Information for this article was taken from the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper article by Ryan Masters that was posted on 06/28/16.  More information about the proposed transportation initiative is available at the SCCRTC website at www.sccrtc.org/move.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 at 2:27 pm and is filed under City Manager, City of Watsonville, Homepage News, Public Works . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.