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July 3, 2015: A summary of a transportation survey of County voters, done in early May, 2015, is now available here. Please read it and let us know what you think.
June 25, 2015: We've updated our Big Basin and Fall Creek pages. We've added a new loop hike in Big Basin, to visit the park's main waterfalls, and you can also download Bob Garrison's notes about our county's geology from the Big Basin page. Also updated: our time table for the 17 Express-Caltrain transit service.
April, 2015: Weekend bus service to Big Basin began March 14, 2015, and will run through the summer and fall until mid-December. The #35A leaves Santa Cruz at 8:30 am and 6:30 pm each Saturday and Sunday, arriving at the Park Headquarters at 9:45 am and 7:45 pm. You can hike down to Waddell Beach on the coast, where the #40 will pick you up at 5:15 pm for the trip back to Santa Cruz, arriving by 5:55 pm. A complete description for possible hike routes (with useful maps) is available here.
March, 2015: Responding to the proposal by Caltrans to widen Highway 1 in Pacifica (through Vallemar), Pacificans for a Scenic Coast, Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives and the Center for Biological Diversity are planning to file a second lawsuit. See this link for details. See also the PH1A Facebook Page.
March, 2014: We are proud to be a participant in the Caltrans Watch Coalition, a group of some 28 organizations who are keen to “put the brakes on Caltrans”, campaigning to stop some five egregious highway widening projects being pushed by Caltrans in Northern California. This coalition was formed through the efforts of the Center for Biological Diversity. Click on the above link for details.
February, 2013: Be sure to check out our special page: Car-free hikes. At the moment there are descriptions of good hikes in both Big Basin and the Fall Creek watershed. We expect to add more hikes in this category.
Anytime: Be sure to write to us (click here) if you have any comments or suggestions or if something about this website does not work for you.
New definitions are needed
It has long been the case that the phrase “alternative transportation” has meant walking, or riding a bicycle, or using the bus or other modes of public transportation. The implication is that the primary mode is driving a car. However, everyone walks. Unless you are disabled, you cannot get through the day without walking.
Furthermore, in our planning for the construction of transportation-related projects, short shrift is frequently given to pedestrian amenities such as sidewalks and crosswalks. Bicycle amenities, such as bike lanes or bike paths, are often only added as an afterthought.
Therefore: It's time to re-define what we mean by “alternative”:
Alternative Transportation Mode: Driving in a car, especially as a single occupant.
Primary Transportation Modes: Walking, and bicycling or using public transportation.
Meanwhile, try breaking up a traffic jam:
For those of you who might (we hope only occasionally) drive a car on some freeway: This is Bill Beaty, who describes how a single driver can often break up a traffic jam. He has a blog right here that provides a detailed discussion. (There's some interesting physics involved here.)
Try viewing the video in fullscreen mode.
If you're driving a car and there are pedestrians around, speed matters a lot. Data for this graph come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Here's another good video:
This one has the renowned planner Peter Calthorpe describing Transit Oriented Development. It's also best viewed in the fullscreen mode.