Help the larger cause · Count every vote in Texas · (2024)

The planned improvements to Escalona from Highland to Walnut are great, but don't go far enough to ensure bicycle and pedestrian safety given the lack of continuous sidewalks and bicycle lanes/markings from Highland to Bay, especially on the narrow, curving and hilly segment between Sunnyslope Court and Walnut Avenue. We respectfully ask the Transportation and Public Works Commission to consider the following for the Escalona Repaving Project


Clarifying that the "striping improvements" cited at the end of the second paragraph under DISCUSSION in the staff report includes* New striped bike lanes on both sides of Escalona from Storey to Peyton, matching those from Highland to Storey; and* Adding prominent bicycle “sharrows” and signage both ways on Escalona from Peyton to Walnut.Directing the addition of bicycle and pedestrian “sharrows” and signage both ways on Escalona from Walnut to Bay (Note – this is outside of the project area, but a currently unsafe continuation of the same bicycle & pedestrian connection being improved).Adding speed humps, at least two each between Peyton and Walnut, Storey and Peyton, and Highland and Storey (in priority order). In addition, direct staff to work with neighbors between Walnut and Laurent for possible alternatively-funded speed humps there.Installing a stop sign and crosswalk at the northbound Hollywood and Escalona intersection to protect the completed pedestrian sidewalks.Installing pedestrian crosswalk islands/bulb outs throughout the Escalona project area (specifically, at Jordan, Storey, Kirby, Peyton, and Walnut).Installing “no right turn” markings/signage at westbound Escalona to northbound Storey to prevent “race by” traffic on Escalona from Highland.Adding a “Do not block the intersection” sign on southbound Storey just before Escalona.Requesting a timeline for consideration of further pedestrian and bicycle improvements on Escalona from Walnut to Bay.


Escalona used to be two different streets that didn’t connect: Escalona from Walnut to Bay and Davis from Highland to Peyton. They were “temporarily” connected for the development of Sunnyslope Court, Hollywood/Woodside, and other nearby homes, but the “temporary” connection was never removed, resulting in the seriously non-conforming roadway between Sunnyslope Court and Walnut.

The narrow road, curves and hills, combined with the lack of continuous sidewalks or bicycle lanes/markings from Peyton to Bay, has made this street unsafe for cyclists, pedestrians, runners, children, dog-walkers, young families, seniors and more.

The designation of Escalona as a bicycle corridor reflects reality – as proven during the discontinued Slow Streets pandemic initiative - but is unsupported from Storey to Bay (no bicycle lanes, signage, sharrows, etc.) The unfortunate designation of Escalona as a vehicular “collector” street belies the non-conforming street infrastructure between Sunnyslope Court and Walnut which does not support collector status (i.e., we could not find another designated “collector” in Santa Cruz with the actual characteristics of that segment of Escalona).

As it is, all of the immediately parallel or connecting streets to Escalona from Highland to Bay have some combination of the following: continuous sidewalks on one or both sides, speed humps, bicycle lanes/sharrows, or significantly greater roadway widths. Escalona doesn’t even have one of those features, despite being part of theSafe Routes to Schoolsfor both Mission Hill Middle School and Westgate Elementary, as well as a designated bicycle route. On the long stretches between stop signs (Highland to Storey, Storey to Peyton, Peyton to Walnut, Walnut to Van Ness, and Laurent to Bay), we consistently see extreme speeds (40+ mph) and aggressive driving, despite the unsafe conditions and presence IN THE STREET of pedestrians and cyclists.

We would prefer the re-installation of the non-through street somewhere between Sunnyslope Court and Walnut, except allowing for the passage of pedestrians, bicycles, and public safety vehicles; doing so would eliminate the need for the installation of any additional speed humps (Item 3 above) and other possible improvements as well.

Alternatively, designating the segment from Peyton to Walnut as one way would also improve the safety of the street in that area, and even more so if extended all the way to Laurent and/or Bay; such a one-way designation would allow for the installation of not only a continuous sidewalk but also continuous bike lanes on all of Escalona, in keeping with the City’s focus on reduced carbon emissions and furtherance of active transportation.

In addition, we wanted to let you know of an incident just last Thursday evening involving a solo-driver accident significantly damaging four vehicles, some literally adjacent to the unprotected crosswalk at Kirby (and in front of five homes all with young children who often play outside). While no one was injured and the driver was arrested, the responding police officers estimated the driver had gotten up to 45 miles an hour speeding in just the block since Storey. The speeding is a common occurrence over that crosswalk; this one just happened to cause multiple accidents.

While we still believe a more dramatic solution is needed for the Escalona Greenway, we believe that staff’s recommendation with our additional requests provides the interim improvements needed and possible at this time given limited funding and staff resources.

Greg Larson and Eileen BeaudryAndrew and Edith MeyerJesse and Carla CunhaScott RogersVal Cole

Help the larger cause · Count every vote in Texas · (2024)
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