Saturday, August 13, 2005

Better Late than Never for Pedestrian Bridges

SD UT story by Angela Lau

The same week that the city installed these oh so cute signs warning motorist to keep an eye out for those jaunty surfers trying to cross the road I was stopped in my wetsuit while carrying my board by the then new "Coaster Cops" for crossing the train tracks. I told them my name was Rob Machado and they let me go but the irony of the timing of the incident made my blood boil.

The city was exploiting the image of my surfer lifestyle to amuse the tourist while hassling me at the same time.

I became obsessed with the issue of pedestrian bridges. I would go off on ranting tirades at backyard bar-b-ques, I wrote angry letters to the editor (none were published), I left angry messages on the city manager's voice mail (no response). Gary Taylor, then surf writer for the Coast News took my side publicly after he too was stopped by the cops for crossing the tracks.

So it's great to see that the city is actually going to do something logical and sensible for a change. It's been a wacky year for local politics and this is positive improvement that can make all of us proud to be live here again. Pedestrian bridges over train tracks are a no brainer and should have been built years and years ago. Hell, I've been to third world countries that have pedestrian bridges over tracks. We are almost as good as them right?

However, as you can see north Leucadia once again gets the shaft. North Leucadia needs at least one bridge. There are hundreds of persons who cross the tracks to get from the residential areas to the small markets and restaurants on the coast highway. I suppose Leucadia is getting screwed for two reasons.

1. The city keeps forgetting that north Leucadia is part of Encinitas.

2. The city doesn't want to spend money just so the blighted Mexican and white trash families squatting in the low rent apartments and trailer parks on Vulcan Ave. can get to the liquor store safely.

City PDF link



  2. Leucadia is getting the shaft, and it's being done with general fund money. Several years ago, to "jump start" the Leucadia railroad crossing and the pedestrian crossings, the Council approved almost $1.5 million of Encinitas general fund money to be given (loaned) to Sandag for the projects' preliminary studies. The CTC may have approved the project, but the question is whether the city's general fund money has been returned to Encinitas (with interest?) There is a possibility that the "loaned" money will never come back to the city coffers.

  3. Inalienable RightsAugust 14, 2005 12:31 AM

    Yes, El Portal would help for many. Crossing at Leucadia Blvd. can be deadly! Avoiding the sheriff, and railroad patrol has always been challenging. We should have a prescriptive right to cross the tracks, after looking both ways, to use the public easement along the tracks, for bicycles, with geat caution, at our own risk.

    Maybe Grandview would be another good beach access bridge. What is CTC?

  4. The CTC is the California Transportation Commission. The following is from the website:

    "The Commission is responsible for the programming and allocating of funds for the construction of highway, passenger rail and transit improvements throughout California."

  5. Seems CTC or NCTD (North County Transit District) should have been responsible for recent non-essential painting and piegeon trapping re the train trestle over Encinitas Blvd.

    Stocks initiated this, Council, patting itself on its fat back, went right along, to the tune of over $50,000!


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