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Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

A post on Santa Cruz Indymedia earlier today (11/11/05) stated, "A group of workers from the [Union Pacific] railroad came on 11/10/05 to the newly built trail next to the railroad tracks near Almar. They used a grader to tear up the volunteer-built trail as to render it difficult to ride a bike on. They also took down the "welcome" signs. Too bad!"
From: Rail Trail - Almar Ave

I rode my bike to the Coastal Rail Trail off Almar on the Westside of Santa Cruz and came across a sad scene of willful and vengeful destruction of an important community resource.
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Coastal Rail Trail at Almar
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handle bars
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a maliciously destroyed bicycle path
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a bicyclist makes his way down the railroad tracks
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resistance is growing
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the cats are ok, but the sign that says, "Coastal Rail Trail Please enjoy" was no longer posted
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Write This Down! 1-800-848-8715 #768158L incase the Union Pacific is about to crush you, your bicycle or your car and everyone inside it!
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I looked down and thought that i might be looking at the sign that says, "Coastal Rail Trail Please enjoy"
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the hand-painted wooden sign was broken and left beside the wooden post where it welcomed bicyclists to the Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail
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a bicyclist and a car wait as the Union Pacific blares through the Westside of Santa Cruz
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Union Pacific
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what is this train carrying?
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the Union Pacific cuts through California
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how about a passenger train on these tracks?
*
 
 


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Comments

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

This rail trail - whose property is it on?
 

Coastal Rail Trail

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Coastal Rail Trail October 28 and November 11, 2005
Before and After
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

Very dumb move by UP. As Bradley's photos evidence, destruction of the rail-trail has already encouraged dangerous human encroachment onto the live railroad tracks. While the entire right-of-way remains owned by UP, they're in the process of selling it to the County. This will, ideally, one day lead to passenger rail service to Pajaro (Watsonville Junction) with Caltrain connections to SF, Salinas, and Monterey.

In the meantime, until the sale is complete, the County Regional Transportation Commission should work with UP to indemnify UP from liability stemming from the rail-trail. The RTC should also perhaps install rudimentary barriers between the tracks and the trail, and educate the public about the dangers about dangerously trespassing on active railroad tracks. The trains were in Santa Cruz long before we were and helped build this town. We must respect them.

As for the content of the trains hauled on the Santa Cruz Subdivision, it's gravel and other aggregate materials for the RMC Pacific (Cemex) plant in Davenport. UP also delivers lumber to San Lorenzo and interchanges with the Santa Cruz, Big Trees, and Pacific shortline from Felton (the one that does street-running on Chestnut). There ya go.
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

UP has tried to establish rail service between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, but has said in public statements that blind liberal resistance to rail service expansion has been fought in Santa Cruz until they just gave up.
They're only selling the rail right-of-way to Santa Cruz County because UP has been harrassed and terrorized into abandoning Santa Cruz entirely. It's become nearly impossible for them to do business here.
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

Whoa! Power to the People is great...
'til someone gets run over by a train!
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

Vandals? Uh, it's their property at this point. I think they're just afraid of lawsuits when someone like the cyclist pictured above gets run over.
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

This stretch of rail is the one of the most proftiable for Union Pacific - I hope there aren't any plans to halt the freight service.
 

Bullshit

I doubt anyone would get run over at 10mph. However derailments are common in the winter when the roadbed is extra squishy from winter rains. Then comes the fact that this trail was illegally built by its users. UP did what any other company would do which is to remove it from their property. Why not wait until the sale goes through, then you NIMBY's can destroy the track to your heart's content.
 

UP Eco Activism

By reclaiming this space for rail traffic and removing the illegal and dangerous human path, UP is both saving lives and the environment. Risk to human life is just another reason the SC council forces the UP to drive fewer trains and at slower fuel-inefficient speeds. When you see an energy-efficient train, for each train car think of 2.75 smog-spewing 18-wheel trucks driving down already-congested highways making everyone else slow down and burn more fuel too.

Train transport is the #1 most ecologically friendly and sustainable means of transporting cargo, and should be supported in full by all friends of the Earth and Air.
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

The trail was repaired over the weekend. But the UP workers are back now, this time working on the crossing signals.
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

I spoke to the crew and they just do signals. They told me a rail maintenance crew was tasked with the "re-grading" that happened last week.

Good suggestion from Concerned. The UP is in a tough position because of the liability issue.

The reality of the safety issue is that people have long used a trail along the tracks. Sections of it could be called challenging but the thought of falling into the rail rocks has kept me on my toes. The new trail is just a lot safer.

Some people are oblivious to their surroundings whether they are walking on tracks and near trains, or near traffic. I would think the trail is no more dangerous than the sidewalk on Mission Street.

Good work trail builders! I hope it weathers well.
 

Re: Vandals Try To Destroy Santa Cruz Coastal Rail Trail

I dislike saying this as I love to bike (albeit mountain bike) myself; however, legally the right of way is in private ownership until such time the right-of-way is sold and ownership is formally transfered. As legal owner of the property, UP may exercise their rights as property owner to maintain their right-of-way and has the right to keep tresspassers away. In other words, would you like it if someone were to tresspass in your home or build a bike path through your front yard?

This situation reminds me of the rail-trail in Portland, Oregon. However, one should be aware that this trail was well thought out, publicly supported and funded, properly engineered, fenced and had railroad support.

I really don't like saying this, but in light of some comments posted that "human encroachment" onto live railroad right of way is in no way shape or form UP's fault. A trail was illegally placed on a private right-of-way, and people walking tracks are tresspassing. This reminds me of a famious line, "Didn't your mother ever tell you NOT to play on the train tracks?"
 

No Title

I believe Coal + Cement are carried by the train.
 

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