Santa Cruz County

Agenda Item

Adopt resolution approving the Santa Cruz County Complete Streets to Schools Plan, which identifies projects to increase active transportation to and from schools, as recommended by the Director of Health Services


Department:Health Services Agency: Public Health DivisionSponsors:Director of Health Services Agency Mimi Hall
Category:HSA PH - Board Letter

Board Letter

Recommended Action:

Adopt a resolution approving the Santa Cruz County Complete Streets to Schools Plan.


Executive Summary:

The Health Services Agency (HSA) and Department of Public Works (DPW) have concluded the activities of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Division of Transportation Planning grant, Revenue Contract No. 18R0873, and is returning to the Board to adopt a resolution to approve the Santa Cruz County Complete Streets to Schools Plan.



On January 23, 2018, the Board approved a grant award from Caltrans, Revenue Contract No. 18R0873, in the amount of $366,504. The purpose of the project was to conduct audits of parent/student impediments to walking or biking to school, garner community support and feedback, create mapping of school transportation routes, and identify priority projects that encourage increased active transportation. HSA and DPW partnered with subcontractors that included Ecology Action and the City of Scotts Valley to create a Complete Streets to Schools Plan (Plan).



This project provided the County of Santa Cruz and the City of Scotts Valley with the tools to help reduce the barriers to walking and biking for county students. The Plan was founded on public partnership and involved active participation by parents, school administrators, neighbors, and students from nineteen schools (representing four school districts) in the unincorporated areas of the county, identified as viable sites for increasing active transportation rates.


The public was asked to participate in walking and biking audits, assess public transportation, and submit comments at public meetings, using an online portal, parent surveys, and at-school site audits. All communication was provided in English and Spanish with an effort to reach parents of all reading levels. Community input was crucial.


The result is a high-level planning document that provides a systematic and comprehensive assessment and analysis of the greatest barriers to increased school-based active transportation and access to public transit. The Plan has a project list that reflects participation from a broad range of stakeholders and public participants to facilitate improvements going forward and will assist with securing project funding.

In the unincorporated area of the county, DPW has already completed several of the Plan’s recommendations, has two projects in the planning process, and, as noted above, projects in the Plan will be more competitive for future state and federal project funding.


Completed Recommendations:

1.              Countywide - On Rodriquez St between 7th and Capitola Extension, a second bike lane stripe to separate the parking aisles and bike lane was added as part of the County’s resurfacing project.


2.              Green Acres Elementary School - On Paul Minnie Avenue, school advance warning signs were installed.


3.              Brook Knoll Elementary School - On Treetop Dr at Oak Knoll Dr, a high visibility yellow crosswalk was installed.


4.              Aptos Jr High School - On Soquel Dr at Monroe Ave, a rectangular rapid flashing beacon was installed.


5.              Main St Elementary School - Upgrades were made as part of the Main St Improvements project that includes construction of approximately 730 feet of sidewalk, curb ramps, curb and gutter, striping and signing.


6.              Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School - At Winkle Ave and Thurber Ln, installed red curbs to prevent cars from parking close to the intersection to increase visual recognition of pedestrians by turning vehicles. Installed school speed limit signs on Cabrillo Ave and Thurber Ln.


Planned Projects:

1.              Lakeview Middle School - Holohan Rd At Hwy 152 (East Lake Ave) project will construct operational and school safety improvements at the intersection.


2.              Rio Del Mar Elementary School - The Pinehurst and Greenbrier Pedestrian Improvements project will construct curb extensions to shorten pedestrian crossing distance across Pinehurst Dr., high visibility crosswalk, ADA curb ramps and sidewalk infill along Pinehurst Dr.


Strategic Plan Elements

HSA’s Safe and Active Transportation program supports the Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan Comprehensive Health & Safety Goals:

·              1.A (Comprehensive Health & Safety: Health Equity) - Promote a safe and healthy community that nurtures body and mind across all ages and social conditions.


·              3.B (Reliable Transportation: Community Mobility) - Grow alternative transportation networks, and lower barriers to mobility.


The Santa Cruz County Complete Streets to Schools Plan also completes Objective 76: Safe Routes 2 School, of the 2019-21 County Operational Plan.

Meeting History

Mar 24, 2020 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Resolution No. 46-2020

MOVER:John Leopold, First District Supervisor
SECONDER:Ryan Coonerty, Third District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson