Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Surfers' Point Funding in Jeopardy

The Surfers' Point project, scheduled to break ground this November, has come up against yet another hurdle. Caltrans has ruled that only a small portion of the $1.5M federal grant is eligible. Without full funding, the project is off!

We are requesting that Caltrans reconsider this decision based upon new information provided by the coastal engineers for the project - the new location of the bike path depends upon the reconstructed beach to survive future erosion from winter storms.

Please take the time to send a letter as a bicyclist and beachgoer to urge Caltrans staff to fully fund the federal grant:

Department of Transportation
John Haynes, Transportation Enhancement Coordinator
1120 N. Street, MS1
Sacramento, CA 95814

FAX number, 916-657-4455
e-mail: john_haynes@dot.ca.gov

Your letter should say something like the following:

I am writing to express our strong support for the City of Ventura’s proposal to use $1.5 million in Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds for the Surfers Point Bike Path Restoration project, including the erosion control needed to protect the path. The bike path at Surfers Point is part of the Omer Rains Coastal Bike Route and is one of the most heavily-used bike path segments. It is a significant Class I bicycle connection for our whole region. Unfortunately, sections of this bike path were washed out by coastal storms. The City of Ventura has worked over several years with the California Coastal Commission and numerous other parties, including the Ventura County Bicycle Coalition, to develop an innovative project to relocate the bike path away from the beach and provide erosion control to protect the path from future damage.

We understand that the City recently submitted to Caltrans technical information from its engineering consultant documenting the requirement of erosion control to protect this facility. We believe that federal regulations allow the use of TE funds for erosion control required to protect bicycle facilities in this matter. Unfortunately there is now very little time left to approve this project due to California Coastal permit restrictions that the work must be done during the fall and winter, so I respectfully request your assistance in assuring that full funding of the $1.5 million TE grant for this project, including the erosion control, can be approved quickly.