Saturday, August 20, 2005
Quality of Life vs. Quality of Life
Is quality of life having a mall and a Starbucks to drive to like in the uber congested and bizarre UTC area or is it being able to take your kids for a bike ride down Encinitas Blvd. without fear of them getting rundown by traffic?
Density has been a bit of a dirty word in this town over the years but I have always seen it a little bit differently. To me, "good" density is when small towns have multi-level apartments and live work lofts and mixed use buildings. A town with density creates a lively walking vibe with people on the sidewalks and small markets and bakeries and other shops. The town should be surrounded by open space that you can escape to when you and your sweetie need a little elbow room.
Unfortunately, there is little to no open space left surrounding Encinitas (the beach is still the best place to go if you can get a parking spot). "New" Encinitas" is sprawl, which means all those beautiful rolling hills are now ugly tract stucco houses and those people needs cars to get around full time. (I'm not a freaky anti-car hippie but I like to stretch my legs and walk whenever I can).
UTC and even "New" Encinitas was not built to ever evolve and change overtime. It is set up to be a stagnant environment forever. Density needs to be formed as an infrastructure that will serve future needs and growth over time. It must be allowed to evolve organically.
Carlsbad has sprawled to our boarders and the once lovely coast highway cruise isn't quite the same as it once was. El Camino Real I avoid at all cost.
UTC is the worst case scenario for Encinitas. Sprawl meets poorly planned density. Unfortunately, I fear that the myopic grumps in charge consider UTC as a model of success.