State Route 68 – Scenic Highway Plan

State Route 68 is a designated scenic route that connects the Monterey Peninsula to US Highway 101 and the Salinas Valley. SR 68 is a key route commute travel between Salinas and Monterey for 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles each day, as well as tourism and special event traffic. The Monterey-Salinas Scenic Highway 68 Plan will evaluate current and future travel patterns between Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula, the feasibility of affordable mid-term operational and capacity improvements in the SR 68 corridor in context to other planning regional improvements serving the same commute market, and the potential for wildlife connectivity enhancements.

LandWatch Position: Supported Concept 1 (Roundabouts)
Project Status: Concept 1 Approved

Quick Facts

  • The Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) is the lead agency on the State Route (SR) 68 Scenic Highway Plan
  • SR 68 is a designated scenic route that connects the Monterey Peninsula to US Highway 101 and the Salinas Valley.

Project Status

  • TAMC staff presented the Draft Final Report to the TAMC Board of Directors at its August 23, 2017
  • The TAMC Board of Directors voted 16-1 to support Concept 1 (Supervisor John Phillips dissenting)

Project Location Map

Route 68 intersections under study.
Credit: TAMC Highway 68 Corridor Study

Benefits of Concept 1

Benefits of Concept 1 in comparison to other Concepts:

  • Improvements to traffic flow;
  • Significant reduction in traffic accidents and improved traffic safety;
  • Reduction in local and regional ground-level air pollution;
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Reduction in energy demand; and
  • Improvements to wildlife connectivity and reductions in wildlife fatality and vehicle related accidents.

LandWatch Involvement

LandWatch engages in the public process in a variety of ways. For this project, here is a list of our engagement strategies.

  • LandWatch Supports Roundabout Concept (505K PDF)
    LandWatch supports Concept 1 which proposes roundabouts that will reduce congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality, and reduce traffic accidents. (08.21.17)
  • Highway 68 Forum
    Join LandWatch and the Transportation Agency of Monterey County for a special public forum on how to improve Highway 68. The forum is scheduled for 5:30 — 8:00 PM at San Benancio Middle School (Multi-Purpose Room, 43 San Benancio Road, Salinas, CA 93908). (07.17.17)
  • Roundabouts Needed on Monterey-Salinas Highway
    This OpEd by Matthew Sundt outlines why roundabouts are a better solution for our intersections than the standard signalized (or non-signalized) intersections. Statistics show they reduce fatal impacts by 90%. (06.10.17)

Project History

  • LandWatch Supports a Safer Highway 68
    LandWatch strongly supports the Transportation Agency of Monterey County’s efforts to reduce traffic congestion and make Highway 68 safer by installing roundabouts. (11.04.17)
  • First Approvals for Roundabouts (Page 3A)
    Revenues from the transportation sales tax, Measure X, will fund $42 million of improvements on Highway 68.  The goal is to convert up to 11 intersections to roundabouts to reduce congestion and improve safety. (08.25.17)
  • Transportation Agency Considers Highway 68 Plan
    The Board of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County considers the draft final plan for Highway 68 which includes considering a preferred option of roundabouts on the roadway.  LandWatch supported Option 1. (08.16.17)
  • Agency Meeting on Highway 68 Corridor
    The Transportation Agency of Monterey County considers options for Highway 68 on Wednesday, August 23 at 9 AM at the Agency offices. (08.21.17)
  • Highway 68 Scenic Highway Plan Begins
    The Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) is soliciting input on the future of Highway 68. This scenic route connects the Peninsula to Highway 101 and the Salinas Valley. This commuter road sees upward of 25,000 vehicles each day, which makes planning for its future very important. Input received from this meeting will inform TAMC’s Scenic Highway Plan. Additionally, it will help determine future travel patterns and help select a preferred corridor concept for both short and long term improvements. These roadway projects focus on improving safety and reducing congestion. Also, the Plan will address wildlife connectivity to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife. (04.20.16)

Monterey County
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