Transportation Policy Statement - August 2017
The Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) recognizes the economic vitality of our community is dependent on having a safe, reliable, efficient transportation system that adequately serves the needs of our business members as well as employees, residents, students and visitors. Presently congestion and gridlock along Highway 1, major arterial streets and other surface streets adversely impacts both businesses and neighborhoods resulting in a deteriorating quality of life for all. Accordingly, the Chamber supports improving our transportation system in accordance with the goals and policies embodied in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) as adopted by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. The RTP requires all investment in future transportation improvements be evaluated using a triple bottom line framework that maximizes the economic, environmental, and equity benefits. The Chamber supports using triple bottom line metrics and the RTP vision for an integrated, multimodal transportation network giving everyone more viable, reliable and sustainable travel options.
- The Chamber recognizes the real threat global warming represents to the business community and therefore supports the Association of Monterey Bay Area Government (AMBAG) targets of Greenhouse Gas Reduction (GHG)
- The Chamber also recognizes the most effective way to reduce GHG emissions is to reduce the GHG emissions from the transportation sector best measured by reductions in total vehicle miles travelled (VMT).
- The Chamber supports policies that encourage Santa Cruz County residents to choose alternatives to single occupancy vehicles such as public transit, car pools, bicycling or walking whenever possible.
- The Chamber recognizes and supports enhancing our local business districts by encouraging higher density housing along our corridors where possible and within city and county planning rules and zoning regulations.
- The Chamber supports the use of complete streets design principles to encourage multi-modal use of transit corridors and create safe, walkable neighborhoods, especially in our business districts.
With the passage of Measure D and increase gas tax by the State Legislature we encourage that these new funding dollars target programs and projects approved by the will of voters. These include: the widening of Highway 1 increasing roadway capacity; improving safety and maintenance; continued exploration of passenger rail service, Highway 1 bus on shoulder and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) improvements; expanded METRO local service and METRO Highway 17 commuter service. We also encourage that non-motorist transportation options be explored where ever possible and within economic viability imploring safe routes to schools, downtown and major transit corridors within the City and County.
The Chamber will actively coordinate with roadway and transit user groups and non-motorist advocate groups to ensure that the voices of Chamber members are represented.