A more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly, and less congested Soquel Drive coming soon!

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Project Overview

Commuters escaping the congestion on Highway 1 often cut through on Soquel Avenue/Drive. With operational improvements to Highway 1 in the works, the focus of this project is to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and improve travel time reliability for bus riders and automobile throughput. This project provides a suite of improvements along 5.6 miles of the busiest segment of Soquel Drive from La Fonda Avenue to State Park Drive. The improvements address the community’s concerns for congestion and the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. The project will also improve bus travel time reliability to make taking the bus, walking, or riding a bike safe and viable alternatives to driving. 

Community Engagement

The County of Santa Cruz hosted two virtual community workshops in January for residents and community members who want to learn more about the project and upcoming construction schedule. The meetings took place via zoom on January 12th and January 20th and were attended by over 110 community members. 

Click Here for a PDF summary of the workshops including the meeting presentation.

Meeting Recordings:

2nd District Residents (Aptos)

1st District Residents (Live Oak, Soquel)

Project Improvements

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Project improvements include resurfacing the roadway with a Rubberized Cape Seal and new striping and constructing 2.7 miles of buffered and 2.4 miles of protected bike lanes on each side of the street. The project upgrades 22 intersections with Adaptive Traffic Signals (ATS) and Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) for the Santa Cruz METRO #71 bus route. For pedestrians, the improvements close 2,500 feet of sidewalks gaps, enhance pedestrian crossings at 10 mid-block crossings (7 existing and 3 new) with the installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB), and upgrade approximately 100 ADA ramps to current standards. The project also improves drainage along the route, adds retaining walls and hardscape where needed. 

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Lack of continuous sidewalks

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Need for retaining walls and fencing

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High speed vehicle turns at Highway 1

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Sidewalks that just end

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Safety issues at mid-block crossing

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Missing sidewalks along the busy street

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Missing ADA curbs in some locations

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Pavement in need of rehabilitation

Project Need

As an alternative route to Highway 1, Soquel Avenue/Drive has become more and more congested with vehicle traffic. It also carries Santa Cruz METRO buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists to access residences, jobs, schools, and medical services. Enhancing safety and access is the primary goal as the corridor serves destinations such as Dominican Hospital, Sutter Health Center, Cabrillo College, Harbor High School, Soquel High School, Green Acres Elementary School, Main Street Elementary School, Santa Cruz Montessori School, Mar Vista Elementary School as well as shopping and restaurants.

Project Benefits

The Project is a key component of the Watsonville-Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program (WSC-MCP) which provides a coordinated approach to improving north-south travel through Santa Cruz County. The project will:  

  • Enhance safety

  • Improve transit travel times

  • Encourage bicycling, walking and the use of public transit

  • Reduce emissions including greenhouse gases

  • Reduce congestion for cars and trucks

  • Improve access for emergency services

  • Promote sustainable economic growth

  • Improve access to housing, jobs, schools and healthcare

  • Promote sustainable development and livable communities

Project Funding

Construction funding is provided by the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SCCP), Regional Surface Transportation Program - Exchange (RSTPX), Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and local funding. The delivery of the project will be led by the County of Santa Cruz Department of Public Works with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) as a key stakeholder which is part of the SCCRTC Watsonville-Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program (WSC-MCP).

Contact Us

Tim Nguyen

Assistant in Civil Engineering

County of Santa Cruz

(831) 454-2371

Tim.Nguyen@santacruzcounty.us