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Santa Cruz County community groups file lawsuit againest Caltrans for Highway 1 Auxliary Lane Project

Briana Mathaw

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)-  A road widening project along Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County is facing a lawsuit, with some claiming it would cause a major impact on the environment and should be reconsidered.

A new Highway 1 Auxiliary Lane project is looking to add lanes onto Highway 1 in the Aptos area.

It's a project that county officals says would allow vehicles more space to merge and speed up traffic.

“This project we’re looking at bus facilities that will improve transit travel time with the auxiliary lanes," Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission Communications Specialist Shannon Munz said. "We’re also building bike and pedestrian facilities that hopefully maybe people would get out of their cars and ride their bikes or use an active transportation instead."

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission says the exit only lanes would be built between State Park Drive and Freedom Boulevard.

But there's people opposing the project, saying it could have a major impact on the environment.

Rick Longinotti believes that the auxiliary lanes won’t do much to alleviate traffic on Highway One. 

Longinotti is the chairman of the Campaign for Sustainable Transportation which is the group that filed the lawsuit alongside with the Sierra Club.

“Particular stretch up the highway and Aptos has beautiful trees lining both sides of the highway it has over 1,141 trees that would need to be cut down, including a beautiful red growth," Longinotti said.

The groups are hosting a meeting at the Aptos Library to find ways to support alternatives to highway expansion.

“There are a lot of people stuck in traffic on Highway 1," Longinotti said. "They’re not spending as much time with their families, they're not spending as much time in their community because they’re stuck in traffic. We want alternatives for people to be stuck in traffic."

Meanwhile Caltrans said the project is continuing as planned.

The CFST and Sierra Cub will host a public meeting on March 30th at the Aptos Library at 10:20 a.m.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Cruz County

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Briana Mathaw


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