McPherson and county staff held Town Plan meetings in March and April in each valley town to find out what issues are important to residents and what infrastructure projects needed to be completed. After the meetings, his staff consolidated the ideas into several categories for each town in the valley – and several issues that were common to each town.
For each issue, McPherson hopes to form an advocacy group that will meet with county staffers and representatives from his office to formulate projects and move them forward. McPherson’s office has set up meetings to form such advocacy groups in Felton from 4 to 6 p.m. May 23 at the picnic tables at Felton Covered Bridge Park; in Boulder Creek from 4 to 6 p.m. June 6 at Boulder Creek Library Amphitheater, 13390 West Park Ave.; and in Ben Lomond from 4 to 5:30 p.m. June 11 at Ben Lomond Park, 9525 Mill Street. All are welcome to attend. For information or to join a group, contact Robin Musitelli@co.santa-cruz.ca.us or 454-2200.
Highway 9 Issues
McPherson found that having a state highway run through each town presents some challenges, and he proposes an advocacy group made up of members from each town that will work with representatives from Caltrans and the county Department of Public Works to solve issues. Those issues include lighting, parking, sidewalks and crosswalks. In Felton and Boulder Creek, residents would like angled parking as shown in their town plans, while Felton needs sidewalks and Boulder Creek businesses would like to have awnings and amenities in front of their businesses. All are within the Highway 9 right-of-way and require Caltrans approval. All three towns would like to slow traffic through town, too.
Tourist information, signage and amenities
A common concern among valley residents, McPherson said, is that tourists don’t know what the valley has to offer outside of the state park or conference ground they are visiting. A signage and amenities advocacy group would address how to communicate the “quality of life” amenities through signage, maps and online resources.
Each town had individual issues relating to their Town Plans.
Individual town issues
In Boulder Creek many comments were related to the need for bike and pedestrian paths and sidewalks from Boulder Creek Elementary School, lighting, signage and crosswalks, particularly on Highway 9 in downtown and the desire for a town square.
In Ben Lomond residents wished for access to the San Lorenzo River at Ben Lomond Dam park, pedestrian paths and signage, lighting and other issues along Highway 9.
In Felton, residents were concerned about public health, safety and welfare, as well as the need for a pedestrian bike path and river walk along the San Lorenzo River to the Covered Bridge, Road improvements including parking and slowing traffic and building a new Felton library.
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