On March 30, the recently installed traffic signal at the intersection of Soquel Drive and Aptos Creek Road began operating.
The traffic signal is one of the improvements along with sidewalks, curbs, new paving, bike lane striping and raised utilities coinciding with the increased traffic from the Aptos Village development of stores plus 69 homes (with live-work units yet to be built).
The County of Santa Cruz Department of Public Works advised motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to heed the signal.
Aptos Creek Road, which is the gateway to the 10,000-acre Nisene Marks State Park, has seen a huge increase in traffic at this intersection from cars and cyclists in the last year since the COVID-19 pandemic inspired many people to seek refuge outdoors.
Visitor parking is a challenge because Nisene Marks has only 138 parking spaces, and most of the additional parking envisioned in the 2005 master plan has not been installed.
Once the signal is energized, there will be “fine tuning of fiber optic synchronization of the five area signals,” according to county Public Works.
Railroad signal work was to conclude at the end of March. The railroad crossing will not have a signal arm. Ade Sogbesan, engineer with the California Public Utilities Commission assigned to the area, said the daily traffic count on Aptos Creek Road is much lower than the 16,000 a day in 2018 on Soquel Drive near Spreckles Drive, so further warning devices are not justified.
The project, which began in June 2020, is nearly complete.
For the latest project information, visit aptosvillageimprovement.blogspot.com.