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2018 Excellence Award Recipients

Jennifer Cline, MST Navigator Program

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Jennifer Cline is recognized for her dedication and service to others through her volunteer service with Monterey-Salinas Transit.

Serving as a volunteer in the MST Navigator Program for the past 5 years, Jennifer regularly rides the MST bus system aiding other riders as needed. She is also participated in the MST travel training program which enables her to help individuals with limited experience and encouraged them to ride the bus safely and independently.

Along with these acts of service, Jennifer volunteers to work alongside MST staff at community centers and outreach events to promote riding the MST bus system and to provide information on MSTs Mobility programs.

Monterey County “No on Prop. 6” Leaders

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The Monterey County “No on Prop. 6” Leaders were recognized for their active role in reaching beyond their own organizations to educate others in Monterey County about the negative impacts of Proposition 6. Their efforts, and the efforts of similar organizations and volunteers throughout the state, succeeded in defeating Proposition 6.  Their activities were of critical importance because the passage of Proposition 6 would have resulted in an annual loss of over $30 million in dedicated transportation funding to our region. As a result, this additional funding can now be used to match local Measure X and other monies to deliver transportation safety and congestion relief projects of local, regional and state significance.

The members of the Monterey County “No on Prop. 6” Leaders are:

  • Kevin Dayton, Salinas Valley Taxpayers Association
  • Barbara Meister, Monterey Bay Aquarium/Monterey County Hospitality Association
  • Kate Roberts, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership
  • Deanna Sessums, California League of Cities
  • Rod Smalley, Operating Engineers, Local 3
  • Nathan Stoopes, American Council of Engineering Consultants, Monterey Bay Chapter

Ciclovîa Gonzales

Ciclovîa Gonzales is a free community event that focuses on creating healthy communities through the building of partnerships among city residents, school districts, nonprofit agencies and the broader community.  This award recognized the Monterey County Health Department, the City of Gonzales and Building Healthy Communities for their partnership to create the first Ciclovîa event in south Monterey County. As a family event, that closes the streets to motor vehicle traffic, Ciclovîa Gonzales’ success can be measure by the 900 community members who came out to this open space to enjoy biking, walking, free activities, services, and information in a safe environment.

“Ride the 40’s On Us, Monterey-Salinas Transit

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“Ride the 40’s On Us,” is a creative and innovative program to promote transit ridership in the Salinas area. Through this program, introduced by Monterey-Salinas Transit in September 2017, residents have been able to ride all bus lines numbered in the “40s”, and parallel ADA paratransit service, on holidays and weekends for free. Under this program, ridership on the weekends and holidays increased 80% – increasing MST’s overall systemwide ridership by 2.3% and bucking the national downward trend in bus ridership. 

Castroville Bike/Pedestrian Path & Railroad Crossing Bridge

The Castroville Bicycle Pedestrian Path and Railroad Crossing project constructed a 0.74-mile path from McDougall Street to Castroville Boulevard, that included constructing a 1,170-foot bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. This $10.6 million project was designed to create safe and healthy routes for students to walk or ride bikes to and from school. Prior to the construction of the project, students who walk or bicycle from Castroville would often go up and over an active railroad track, along a farm field, and then cross over a busy section of Castroville Boulevard to reach the existing bicycle/pedestrian path along Castroville Boulevard to get to their school.

The bridge now provides students a much safer route to school and connect downtown Castroville to Elkhorn Elementary School and North Monterey County High School. It also links various portions of the existing multi-modal transportation infrastructure improving access for all bicyclists and pedestrians from the Monterey Peninsula, Salinas to Watsonville, to Santa Cruz County.

Fremont Street/El Sausal Safe Routes to School 

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In collaboration with the Monterey County Health Department and TAMC, the Fremont/El Sausal Safe to School Project is located next to Fremont Elementary School and El Sausal Middle School. The schools front East Market Street and are less than one block apart with a combined student population of 1,803 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. The schools are low-income area, resulting in higher pedestrian activity, with most students either walking, biking or skating to school. The remaining students commute to school using one of the two available school bus routes, public transit, or by car.

The Safe Routes to School project implemented a road diet that reduced the number of vehicle travel lanes from 4-lanes to 2-lanes, created buffered bicycle lanes and improved the pedestrian facilities on East Market Street between Sanborn Road to Williams Road. The reduction of vehicle travel lanes slows traffic and the addition of a center left turning lane reduced conflict points between turning vehicles and other road users.

Other enhancements include high visibility crosswalks, bulb-outs, the first installation of a separated bikeway in the City of Salinas, bike boxes, and the installation of two coordinated traffic signals which allows vehicles to drive along the corridor with minimal stopping times, reducing traffic delays during peak travel times.

Mud Creek Land Slide 

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Highway 1 through Big Sur is a symbol of Caltrans ability to design and construct infrastructure that strikes a balance with nature. This route includes a 70-mile-long ribbon of pavement which straddles a rugged coastline and is world-renowned for transporting people to a most beautiful, tranquil and serene place. Part of this natural beauty includes the dynamic landscapes, making every drive and bicycle ride a truly unique experience. Since the highway was completed in the 1930s, countless landslides and unceasing erosion have changed how the roadway traverses the coast.

In 2017, some of the most catastrophic storms in recent history severely damaged the highway and closed it for more than a year. There were numerous emergency highway closures including Paul’s Slide and the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, which cut off critical access for those who lived, and worked on, or traveled along the highway.  In January, sections of the embankment at Mud Creek failed. Rock, mud and debris continually slid down the mountainside. On May 20, 2017 50 acres of land and more than five million cubic yards of earth broke free from the mountainside. With a thunderous roar-likened to an earthquake-a new 15-acre peninsula was crated and 1,000 feet of Highway 1 was buried beneath 160 feet of earth materials.

After months of construction under challenging circumstances and trying times, the highway was reopened on July 18, 2018. Local residents can now use the highway to travel again and the need for a two-hour detour to travel south of Gorda has ended. Central coast business and economic interests are being met with the facilitation movement of goods, services and people. International visitors to the Big Sur area also appreciate that the iconic highway is open again along the entire Big Sur coast. 

West Broadway Avenue Improvements 

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The West Broadway Urban Village Infrastructure Improvements Project was designed to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety and to promote multi-modal forms of transportation while revitalizing downtown Seaside, enhancing the accessibility of patrons and creating a visually engaging environment around the commercial hub of the city.

The project improvements in June 2018 include a corridor “road diet” that reduced the width of the roadway from a four-lane roadway to two vehicle travel -lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian sidewalks, and streetscape improvements.  This project is a good example of implementing “Complete Street” road features to benefit a wide range of people and interests. This investment in the public facilities will serve as a catalyst to draw private investment into the West Broadway Urban Village area, which will promote economic growth and the creation of an urban core/downtown in Seaside.

State Senator Anthony Cannella

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State Senator Anthony Cannella was recognized for his service as a leader on transportation issues as a member of the California State Senate representing Monterey County, and a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. Over the years, he advocated for improved transportation in Monterey County, carrying legislation to support rail service and public-private partnerships.

Senator Cannella’s most significant contribution to transportation was his landmark vote in favor of Senate Bill 1. By doing so, he helped to assure that transportation would finally have a stable funding source over the long term. Senator Canella was the only Republican in the Assembly or Senate to vote in favor of this legislation, and in doing so, he suffered extensive criticism from his party and constituents. However, when asked to repeal Senate Bill 1, through Proposition 6, California voters validated Senator Cannella’s support by overwhelming rejecting efforts to repeal Senate Bill 1.