Story from North County Times with comments from the Encinitas Taxpayer's Association in red.
LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD E-MAIL YOUR CITY COUNCIL. JEROME STOCKS IS ALSO PRESIDENT OF NORTH COUNTY TRANSIENT.
Encinitas rail trail hits road block
By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer ENCINITAS ---- Plans to build a segment of a regional bikeway through Cardiff hit a buzz saw of opposition Tuesday, as residents told consultants that mandatory fencing would spoil views and that parking would be a problem.
Consultants and a city engineer hosted the informal meeting at City Hall, which drew about two dozen Cardiff residents.
They came to debate a plan that would place a trail head on San Elijo Avenue, halfway between Liverpool and Birmingham drives. From there, the plan calls for a 10-foot-wide, asphalt bikeway to run north to H Street.
While no action was taken, the plan appeared headed to the scrap heap.
Residents scoffed at the prospect of so much asphalt and a requirement from the railway owner, North County Transit District, to fence the railroad tracks. DON'T LET THEM PUT A FENCE UP DIVIDING OUR CITY
"I'm kinda bummed about this 10-foot-wide thing," said Barbara Cobb of the Cardiff Town Council. "That's a lot of asphalt."
"There needs to be a swell of opposition to the fence," added resident Carol Holub. "It's going to ruin the town."
As planned, the ribbon of pavement would comprise Encinitas' first segment of the Coastal Rail Trail, a route that someday will link San Luis Rey River in Oceanside to Santa Fe Depot in San Diego.
Carlsbad and Oceanside have completed sections of the rail trail, and in Solana Beach the trail is finished.
Federal grants would pay for the bikeway through Encinitas, but when construction would begin is anyone's guess, planners said.
Cardiff resident Julie Thunder told consultants from Dokken Engineering the rail trail in Cardiff didn't belong on the railway. The trail should run along the west side of Highway 101, where an existing, paved path is enjoyed by many.
Stephan Vance, a senior transportation planner with the San Diego Association of Governments, responded that that path is probably too narrow and would be difficult to maintain. But he did not rule out examining the location further. ITS ALREADY USED AND MAINTAINED BY THE STATE. SO WHY WOULD IT BE DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN? ANOTHER PUBLIC SERVANT'S WAY OF AVOIDING LOOKING AT SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT HIS IDEA.
Some speakers said the highest priority for the railway is for the city to deliver promised pedestrian crossings. Four are proposed, including Cardiff crossings at Montgomery Avenue and Santa Fe Drive.
Resident Michael Clark said a dedicated bikeway would become an attraction for visitors, who would drive to the trail head and add to Cardiff's parking problems.
"Aren't we inviting a lot of traffic into Cardiff?" he said. "It seems to me we're not looking at the whole picture."
Other residents said they worried that planting trees along a bikeway could block cherished ocean views.
The most consistent objection, however, was to any plan that would require installing fences along the railroad.
"I can't say that we could overcome the fence issue," Vance said, adding that North County Transit District would not approve the bikeway without the fencing.
"The fence," Cardiff activist Teresa Barth said, "is the deal-breaker."
ANY TRAIL BELONGS NEXT TO THE OCEAN.
*blogger's take: The NCTD is kind of pain in the butt. It's the NCTD that makes Leucadia ugly and now they are harshing on the rail trail. Remember when we gave them $50,000 bucks to paint their bridge? Comon' NCTD, be bros. You are harshing our mellow. Any fence you put up is just going to get climbed over or holes cut in it.
Solana Beach has a nice rail trail...with a fence. Is it a different situation because the tracks are lowered? I don't like the idea of a fence but is a small waist high fence a decent compromise? If they want to put in some huge 10-12 foot chainlink fence that is lame, but maybe a small fence would make the lawyers feel better and we can have a nice trail to walk on.
I'm not buying that a trail is going to do much to increase traffic or parking, the beach is already the big draw for that area.