The City of Santa Cruz has closed Oxford Way to through traffic at Bethany Curve
The City of Santa Cruz has closed Oxford Way to through traffic at Bethany Curve.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Westside traffic woes, county’s sea level rise response, housing density opinion

Good morning, all. It is Monday, Sept. 11, and a mostly sunny day looks to be ahead for Santa Cruz County, with high temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

Much to cover as we hit a new workweek; if you’d rather cover it solo, this way.
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After covering news last week about the return of two-way traffic to a storm-damaged section of West Cliff Drive, Max Chun talked with some Santa Cruz residents who want the city to improve traffic safety in areas of the Westside seeing more cars amid West Cliff detours. “It’s not fair that we take the brunt of it,” one Delaware Avenue resident says. “We already have a substantial amount of traffic and it’s really exacerbated by having these streets closed.”

Christopher Neely is in the Monday mix, too, with a pair of stories ahead of his In the Public Interest newsletter covering Santa Cruz County politics and policy. In one story, he looks at plans for a new study that aims to help the county set policy on sea level rise, where the county and state have sometimes been at odds.

Christopher also checks in on what has suddenly become a competitive race for the District 1 seat on the Santa Cruz City Council, speaking with candidates Gabriela Trigueiro, David Tannaci and Jasmeen Miah.

The Monday headlines also include Wallace Baine finding a silver lining in the latest delay in the Cabrillo College renaming saga and a Community Voices opinion piece on housing density and misguided advocacy — and we’ll get to that after this view through the lens of Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud.

Photo of the day

A skateboarder competes in the Tim Brauch Memorial Bowl contest at Mike Fox Skate Park in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A skateboarder competes in the Tim Brauch Memorial Bowl contest held over the weekend at Mike Fox Skate Park in Santa Cruz. The event raised money for scholarships to send kids to skateboard summer camp at Woodward West, a skateboarding complex in Southern California, and came with a $35,000 prize purse.

With some West Cliff-area repairs still a year out, Westside residents push for better traffic safety measures

Westside resident Tom Powers at the intersection of Delaware and Almar in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

More than 70 residents in the Santa Cruz neighborhoods adjacent to West Cliff Drive have signed a petition to remove the temporary cul-de-sacs on Alta Avenue and Oxford Way and introduce stronger traffic calming measures in the surrounding streets. Although the city’s public works department says it will continue to work with the resident group and install more road safety measures, the fully closed stretch of West Cliff Drive west of Woodrow Avenue will remain so for another year, meaning increased traffic on nearby streets is far from over. Max Chun reports.

FROM LAST WEEK: City set to restore two-way traffic to stretch of West Cliff Drive

A new, sophisticated sea level rise study will drive Santa Cruz County’s coastline policies on climate change

Emergency crews inspect damaged on Beach Drive in Aptos, cause by high tides and huge swells on Thursday morning.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Historically hesitant to adopt the state’s philosophy on how to handle sea level rise and an eroding coastline, Santa Cruz County just received nearly $1 million from the California Coastal Commission for its most sophisticated sea level rise vulnerability study to date. One top county official said the study will drive the county’s coastline strategy on climate change. Read more here from Christopher Neely.

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Sign up here for Christopher’s weekly look at Santa Cruz County politics and policy


County of Santa Cruz Human Services Adult & Long Term Care Department
(County of Santa Cruz Human Services Adult & Long Term Care Department)

Santa Cruz County Job Board

A busy start to the week, and there’s more to come from Lookout. In addition to the aforementioned In the Public Interest newsletter from Christopher Neely, hitting inboxes later Monday, we’ll also have the latest update from Santa Cruz County’s high school sports scene, including football, volleyball and tennis action. Stay current on all that by following Lookout on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads, by signing up here for all our other newsletters and getting our breaking news alerts, available via text and email.

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Courage, folks — you’re stronger than any case of the Mondays.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz