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December 8, 2022

Scotts Valley City Council approves road work plans

Asphalt resurfacing, new sidewalks and bike lanes along deteriorating routes around Scotts Valley are just some of the things Measure D funds are now set to go toward over the next five years.

On June 2, during its regularly scheduled meeting, Scotts Valley City Council voted unanimously to approve the list of proposed projects.

Santa Cruz County residents set up Measure D as a way to maintain and improve roads, as well as bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The pot of money expires after 10 years, and each year City Council is required to rejig its funding priorities.

Topping the list this time was Bean Creek Road. That project is to happen in two phases. In the first—a $574,100 portion to occur in fiscal 2021-22—the segment that goes from Bluebonnet Lane to Redwood Way (the second Montevalle Mobile Home Park entrance) is to be taken care of. This is the only Measure D project to be completed this coming year. The second phase is a $300,000 reno slated for 2025-26.

In 2022-23, the City Council targeted two projects. Scotts Valley Drive is to get a crack seal treatment with $75,000 of the Measure D funds. Janis Way will see a more extensive rework—which will include some excavation, resurfacing and bike lanes. That should cost $250,000.

After that, Glenwood Drive (from Scotts Valley Drive to K Street) is to have its cracks sealed and to get a coating of Type 2 slurry on top, to the tune of $100,000 in 2023-24.

Mt. Hermon Road is on tap for excavation, crack seal, slurry and a rework of the La Madrona Drive intersection, carrying a $200,000 price tag in 2024-25.

“Is that at all intertwined or affected by the La Madrona project there that’s proposed by the developer at the intersection of La Madrona and Mt. Hermon Road?” Councilman Jack Dilles asked. “Would this look different depending on what happens there—or doesn’t happen there?”

Staff said it could, depending on what that project entails, but added the “dig-outs,” “overlay,” and “striping” are definitely needed.

Joining Phase 2 of the Bean Creek Road upgrade, Lockwood Lane is set to get dig-outs, overlay, striping and bike lanes in 2025-26, from Mt. Hermon Road to the city limit.

Interim Public Works Director Scott Hamby said Janice Way is “busted up all the way down” and will get a sidewalk on one whole side of the street.

The bike lanes will probably have to be done with stencils because the street isn’t wide enough for full bike lanes, he said.

One person spoke during the public hearing to complain about Bluebonnet Lane not being included in the project list.

Councilwoman Donna Lind noted Bean Creek Road has been the site of several serious crashes recently. She moved the resolution and councilman Randy Johnson seconded it.

“Janice has been definitely one that has been on our list for quite a while,” Lind said. “And the Bean Creek area’s been something we’ve been waiting for for years.”

Mayor Derek Timm said it’s important to keep up with repairs.

“I’ve heard from some constituents about the need for sealing cracks,” he said. “If you do not do preventative road maintenance, it’ll end up costing the city significantly more over time to fix those roads.”

Johnson concurred.

“Mayor, your point about being proactive…is like asphalt 101,” Johnson said. “I mean, they’ve done studies, and on the (Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission) they’re very emphatic, that money spent out front sometimes saves multiple factors, in terms of if it’s allowed to completely deteriorate.”

But, he added, picking projects means some things will have to wait.

“You know, there are lots of needs in our city, and so I think we are systematically addressing those,” he said. “Not everybody is, I guess in some ways, happy with all the results. But I think we give fair attention to everybody.”

He even notices cracks while walking around the Vineyards residential development, he said.

“We are on a schedule, sometimes, many times, a 10-year schedule,” he said. “You know, the needs are many, but the funding is a little bit less. So, we will do what we can to provide services for all of Scotts Valley.”

Lind noted the city had to present projects to the RTC, which added an additional layer of limitations.

Vice-Mayor Jim Reed shared an anecdote from lessons learned from nearby civic government halls.

“In the city of San Jose the transportation folks tell the council there that their data shows a dollar spent making sure a crack doesn’t get down to the roadbed saves at least $5 when you have to go into the bed itself and reengineering that,” he said. “So I don’t think there’s a better case that we can come up with of the importance of preventative maintenance like this.”

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