Residents in Santa Cruz, California were recently shocked when they saw a longstanding walkway cave into the nearby Pacific Ocean. According to a report, the path is a 2.5-mile stretch located in the West Cliff area of the city. Every day, residents, tourists, bikers, and dog walkers use the walkway. However, all that changed on Nov. 25. In the morning, a section of the walkway caved in and crumbled into the sea, leaving people to walk in the street instead.
The walkway eroded near Columbia Street, close to the city’s Surfing Museum. It also took place on Black Friday, which is a heavy traffic day. Thankfully, there have been no reported injuries.
“I think it’s a natural phenomenon,” said longtime Santa Cruz local Laurine. She adds that this is something that occurs frequently and has been happing for millions of years.
Now, residents are hopeful that the recent caved-in sidewalk will allow city planners to transform their streets to be more pedestrian and bike friendly.
“But we have here is the opportunity to separate one direction of traffic, West Cliff, and dedicate the other to biking. If we did that, it would be pretty incredible,” said Lloyd Tabb, also a resident.
“Sometimes the people that make these decisions need a little kicking in the backside to get it going, and maybe that’ll be it. I don’t know, the plans are in place,” said another resident.
California residents hope walkway incident will convince city planners to create a solution
Last year, the California city gave the green light to The West Cliff Adaptation Plan.
Today, you can see massive visible cracks in other parts of the walkway. Now, people are fearful that more sections could break off as sea levels continue to rise and bizarre weather events hit the region. However, this is the first time something like this has happened in Santa Cruz.
“If we continue just patching little things like this, it’s definitely not gonna get into the root of the problem. Tourists will continue walking along Westcliff thinking there’s no problem, but there is a problem,” added resident Aleks Londos.
According to reports, this has been an ongoing headache for the city for a few years. Yet people saw the event coming. City officials say they need to find solutions to the problem so that they can prevent injuries.
“It’s not like we’re going to fully solve it. But we do need to figure out how to adapt to changes that are happening around us,” said Kyle Kelley, Santa Cruz Transportation and Public Works Commissioner.
At this time, it’s still unclear how the city plans to move forward. Regardless, residents believe there is no shortage of potential solutions.