This article was contributed by the Council of San Benito County Governments.
San Benito County has a major transportation crisis, and it isn’t going away on its own. There is significant need for investment on both local street and road repair and on larger issues like Highway 25. As the population of San Benito County has increased rapidly over the past two decades, these needs have only become more prevalent: San Benito County roads are crumbling under the weight of underinvestment due to lack of funding, and average daily traffic on State Route 25 has more than doubled, along with traffic getting worse on our local roads.
In order to address these issues and prevent them from becoming more serious, the Council of San Benito County Governments (COG), San Benito County’s regional transportation agency, has spent time in recent months engaging with the community on the needs and possible solutions to our transportation crisis. With guidance from COG’s 179-page Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) 2040, which was adopted this week and assesses the long-term future of San Benito County transportation, COG staff, and board members have held listening and engagement sessions to evaluate the transportation needs as identified by the community.
Feedback received from those discussions, as well as from a survey conducted both online and at some of these community meetings, helped provide the backdrop for COG staff and board members to create and finalize a San Benito County Roads and Transportation Safety Investment Plan. Critical areas of need identified in the detailed plan include:
- Reduce traffic congestion and increase safety on Highway 25
- Maintain local streets and roads
- Repair potholes
- Increase pedestrian and bike safety
- Protect and enhance bus and paratransit services for seniors, people with disabilities, and youth
We are proud to announce this detailed investment plan built with community input has recently been approved by the COG Board, the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, the Hollister City Council, and the San Juan Bautista City Council.
Now that the San Benito County Roads and Transportation Safety Investment Plan has been approved, the COG Board will meet on July 19 and make a final decision as to whether or not to ask the County Board of Supervisors to place it on the November 6 ballot for San Benito County voters to then decide. To learn more about the COG’s process, the San Benito County Roads and Transportation Safety Investment Plan, the RTP 2040, or the overall San Benito County transportation needs identified by the COG’s study period, please visit http://sanbenitocog.org/sbcog/TransportationNeedsConversation/ or contact Mary Gilbert, COG Executive Director, by phone at (831) 637-7665 ext. 207 or by email at [email protected].