The Great Santa Cruz Trail Study

Trail Now is thrilled to announce The Great Santa Cruz Trail Study, the first study of a “trail only” solution for Santa Cruz County.

Download the study
The Great Santa Cruz Trail Study (3MB)

The study was commissioned by the Great Santa Cruz Trail Group and completed by Nelson Nygaard, an internationally recognized transportation firm. The study concludes that a trail-only solution provides a superior user experience at a reduced cost when compared to building the trail adjacent to the train tracks. Perhaps more importantly, trail-only would be a more effective transportation solution than a passenger train (rail-with-trail).

Highlights include:

  • Trail users are estimated to be substantially greater with trail-only vs. rail-with-trail.

  • A trail-only scenario has the potential to move more people quicker than any scenario examined by the Santa Cruz County RTC at a fraction of the cost.

  • Railbanking would preserve the right-of-way for future transit service on the corridor and allows for an interim trail use in the near term.

  • Over 90% of rail-trail built in the United States are trail-only solutions where people walk and bicycle where train passage has ceased.

Trail Now thinks any objective comparison between the trail-only option (The Great Santa Cruz Trail Study) and the rail-with-trail option (the RTC's Rail Transit Feasibility Study) will find that the trail-only solution provides better transportation at a lower cost and more quickly.

A bi-directional bike path and pedestrian walkway in Aptos Village

A bi-directional bike path and pedestrian walkway at 41st Ave.

A bi-directional bike path and pedestrian walkway at Seabright Ave. and Murray St.

A multi-use path on the North Coast