Announcements and Reminders
On March 11th Brighton Middle School Rotary funded scoreboard will be installed. They would like as many of us as possible to attend.
Apr 29th is the district conference. The club will rent a limo and the first 8 people to signup will get a ride.
March 13th is Rotary night at the Warriors. Contact Al for tickets.
March 24th is the District Assembly. We will be renting a limo to go there also.
Stan announced that we need someone for the last Thursday in March to be detective and there are also sign-ups for April. If you haven’t done it before now is your chance!
Tim announced that the club is donating a bench at the Polo grounds. Dr. Art is the donor making Dr. Art the Rotarian of the week.
Blues festival is the weekend of May28th and 29th. Sign up to volunteer.
Freedom Rotary is having their casino night at March 19th at the fairgrounds.
Rich announced that next meeting is a roundtable on expanding club membership.  It will be a dialogue. There will also be also be a discussion of contacts.
Pam Goodman introduced Brian Peeples. He is from a political PAC   that is targeting the rail trail initiative. They are going to promote getting the trail built but with no train. They are focusing on the railroad tracks that go from Santa Cruz to Manresa.  They are interested in using this asset today within our lifetime as a trail without the train.
Mr. Peeples gave us the history of the rail trail initiative. The property was purchased by RTC in 2012 using funds made available by prop 116. CTC had told them a passenger train was not viable, so they came up with the idea of a recreational train and then build a trail parallel to it. Alternatively want to pull up the tracks out and put in a trail. CTC said we could do that but must return the $11 million originally obtained from the state for the train.
Mr. Peeples went on to critique the rail trail proposal. He said the feasibility study from RTC proposes 30-60 trains a day. Mr. Peebles said this train would be very loud 80 decibels to 90 decibels (as a reference point a jackhammer is 95 decibels). Additionally the rail corridor is not wide enough for the train and trail. He said it needs to be 50 feet and, especially considering trestles, it is currently not wider than 30 feet.
He went on to say that the proposed train also does not go within a ¼ mile of  key destinations (e.g. Cabrillo, Dominican Hospital or UCSC). Their organization also feels that there is also a low estimate on train costs. Estimated construction costs now are $6.5 million per mile.  Mr. Peebles said that other systems are much more expensive as in Portland and Texas where costs were $16 million a mile. Oceanside was $21 million a mile. Operational costs will be higher too; up to $15 million a year and shuttles and stations are not included, nor is parking.
Mr. Peebles said the trail estimate is $120 million next to the tracks. Taxpayers will be subsidizing the train at $28 per round trip. He asked the questions: Is it really viable? Is it a way to reduce traffic?  He emphasized that the train will have no impact on highway 1 traffic. Carpool lanes would be far more effective and cost much less and that bus rapid transit is best. They estimate there would be $40 million in total costs for the trail (with no rail)  including paying back the $11 million to the state and the train operator.  He concluded by stressing that his plan would help traffic by increasing bike commuter capabilities with over and underpasses on street crossings assuming an estimated 7k to 10k daily users on the trail. For more information see