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Petition Launched to Stop Westside New Leaf Market's Trail 'Run-Around'
Community members on the westside of Santa Cruz have begun gathering signatures after the new out-of-state owners of the New Leaf Westside Market have reneged on the prior local owner's support of an easement for the new Westside Trail. Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/stop-new-leaf-s-trail-run-around
Full text of petition:
"The new out-of-state owners of the New Leaf Westside Market have reneged on the prior local owner's support of an easement for the new Westside Trail which would have also created 9 more desperately needed parking spaces for the store. This will force our kids, seniors, students, pedestrians and cyclists to make a less safe four-block detour on surface streets (see the City's statement and new design below). Let's help put COMMUNITY back into the New Leaf Community Markets, despite their out-of-state ownership! Sign NOW before the Council has to vote Tuesday on the surface streets alternative."
One community member who signed the petition stated: "New Leaf! Stop being influenced by a handful of privileged white men who are stomping their feet and trying to undermine an already vot d upon and award winning plan!"
Another community member wrote: "It is disappointing that one business could derail such a wonderful plan that aims to provide real options to driving for their customers. I thought New Leaf was interested in addressing climate change and was a supporter of environmental causes, but it seems I was mistaken."
Sign the petition here:
Stop New Leaf's Trail Run-Around
It feels like a weekly event: another meeting where opponents of the Rail Trail throw another obstacle in front of it and say, “Another obstacle, let’s quit.” This week’s obstacle was thrown into the mix by New Leaf Market on the West Side. New Leaf had a handshake agreement with the City that would have the trail next to the New Leaf parking lot – AND give them nine much needed parking places.
A win-win, you’d think, with New Leaf getting more parking and direct access to the trail. A win-win, at least, unless you wanted to delay building the first segment and jeopardize $4 million in federal funds.
City staff immediately amended its plan to reroute the trail onto city streets, calling it a short-term plan. The city’s make-shift move is necessary to meet the deadlines of the federal funds for the project. The city hopes New Leaf will change its mind again.
When word got out what was happening, someone started a petition (Gary Larson) and was shocked that it had 2,000 signers in just two days. Friends of the Rail and Trail (FORT), Bike Santa Cruz County, and the Land Trust all helped circulate the petition, an example of how we are collaborating to defend this transformative project from sustained attack. Another example of our collaboration is the Top Ten Reasons to Build the Rail Trail Now.
This week’s obstacle was overcome when the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously approved the work-around. I have a feeling that the “Train Never” people will keep throwing obstacles in the way – and those of us who want the Rail Trail built ASAP will keep finding ways around them.
January 24, 2018