Monday, January 08, 2007

Coastal Leucadia, their Highway or our Mainstreet?

Another deadly accident in Leucadia resulting in the tragic death of a well liked local got me thinking about the state of Leucadia's HWY101 corridor.

It's called the Coast Highway so it's a high speed highway for communting, right?

I've always viewed it as a route to cruise, not speed. You take the coast highway slowly, to enjoy the ride and enjoy the beach community.

Now it's mostly just an alternative for when I-5 gets backed up.

Traffic is getting dodgy on the Leucadia 101 strip. The Pannikan is popular and has been the scene of big accidents before. I remember watching the Life Flight helicopter land there a few years ago.

The Lou's records, Pannikan, Calypso, Gold Coast shopping plaza, Robbie's Roadhouse and Vigilucci's section of Leucadia has become really popular, which is a good thing, but maybe it's time to manage the traffic a little better.

Now, the accident was a result of a dumbass teenager tearing down the coast highway way too fast (85 mph) in a vehicle that he couldn't handle. (I've had several people tell me that they have yelled at this same kid for speeding many times).

But, maybe we should ban all left turns out of the Leucadia side streets and instead make a good series of U-Turn lanes say, every 1/4 mile.

In the one time I met councilman Jerome Stocks I inquired what he thought about stop signs in coastal Leucadia. He said the coast highway was indeed a highway and that Del Mar regretted the stop signs they put in.

As a hater of stop signs, I do agree. But I think one or two well placed stop signs at popular left turn streets may be a good idea (if you don't like the NO left turn and U-turn idea that is).

In the one time I met Paul Ecke3 we talked about coast highway Leucadia and he said he liked the idea of making southbound Leucadia one lane with the other lane as a merging lane for wider sidewalks and better parking.

I like this idea, I think it would be good for all the small business and residents. Of course I'm not commuting south from Carlsbad (they really should just tough it out on I-5. You reap what you sow).

The coast highway is also our mainstreet in Leucadia. Since it is a one sided mainsteet it will never be like the downtown Encinitas mainsteet, but it can still be great.

You have to admit, this is not living up to it's potential. And why does the NCTD have to ugly up our coast highway so bad. Plant some plants!

If we could somehow get NCTD to let us put in parking along the tracks and then we put in pedestrian crossings I think Leucadia would really flourish. Remember the John Severson book signing at that little surf shop on Grandview a couple of summers ago? There was no parking so people parked on the dirt by the tracks and crossed the highway on foot. The cops wasted no time in writing tickets and towing vehicles.

You can't legislate knuckle headed behavior. The best infrastructure won't stop a bad driver from making poor choices. But maybe it will help the overall flow of the town.

Check out this overhead map of coastal Leucadia. Zoom in and out, travel north and south. LINK


  1. I5 was built for the commuter and Interstate traffic and let HW101 become a local roadway. Since the 60s HW101 has become very densely populated and is zoned for very high density development. More and more people be living, walking and biking and parking along HW101. N. Coast HW101 is our local downtown.

    I agree with JP and Paul Ecke III, make HW101 one lane in each direction and give the area to safe parking, pedestrian and bike use.

  2. fourth street guyJanuary 08, 2007 8:09 AM

    Leucadia Mainstreet (101) can be great and just as great as downtown, albiet different and Leucadia style. No more it will never be as nice as talk.

    I can remember when folks downtown Encinitas said the same thing ten years ago, "It'll never be as nice as Del Mar or Calrsbad" and today I think it's not only as nice but nicer.

    No need to quantify the # of times you meet with Paul of Jerome. Meet with everyone and hear the ideas. It's petty politics when we are always on one side of the spectrum or the other and not listening or dialoging.

    J.P. your a civic treasure and I hope you get involved with the mainstreet program.

    Their is a reason it is called the Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association and that is, because as you say in your piece, it's your mainstreet not freeway.

    The more stakholders that take an active role the better.

    anynomous 1 is right. It is a local roadway controlled by the city (us) its not a U.S. Interstate and its not a State Hwy under Caltrans control. It's a local road.

  3. Residents of Leucadia can do something to affect change NOW. City council will be having their goal setting meeting on Tuesday, Jan.20. At that time representatives of Leucadia 101 Mainstreet will be asking council to lower speed limits along the Leucadia corridor to 30mi per hour, as it is in O'side, Carlsbad, downtown Encinitas, Del Mar, and enforce it. Contact a council member now and let them know that you want safe speeds in Leucadia. Unfortunately, it won't prevent the death that happened last week, but it will make the coastal corridor safer and more desireable for people that want to cruise along and enjoy our community.

    A long term goal would be to have more parking on the rail side of the hwy. with pedestrian walkways, however this change will take years.

  4. Funny how Jerome manages to come up with the idea that Del Mar hates the stop signs that they put in. I wonder who he talked to. People I know in Del Mar love them, as it slows traffic. More importantly, when people get off the freeway and try to use Coast Hwy in Del Mar, they usually only do it once, as the traffic can be worse than Interstate 5. So, Jerome, where did you get your information? I have become used to believing the opposite of anything Jerome says. Perhaps because I have been told too many things that were not exactly true by him. Beware of anyone who thinks that they are always right!

  5. I think we should completely BAN bicycle riders. Those P.R.I.C.S., (people riding in crowded streets) don't obey any rules of the road. They take up entire lanes, ignore Stop signs and last weekend, while I was walking I witnessed more than a dozen verbal assaults on vehicles who almost hit the bike guys because of they wouldn't share the road.

    So while the car is honking at the guy on the bike, the driver has their attention diverted, and guess what's going to happen next?

    Oh, but get a group of teenage SKATEBOARDERS and you'll have every cop and those "Volunteer Patrol" cretins on their arse in a second. (And that's another thing-those people do NOTHING but eat at the Encinitas Cafe and Especial Norte and walk around like they're Little Kings. What purpose do they serve, exactly. Can someone please tell me?)

    Thanks, Anon, for the Jan 20 meeting info!

  6. Good post, JP, and excellent link. I looked looking up my home, zooming in.

  7. If Del Mar didn't like the Stop Signs, they would take them out. It takes about 1/2 hour of time or a 1/2 second with a fast moving truck.

    The friends I now in Del Mar tell me they love them. Before they put them in Del Mar Experienced the same problems we have high speeds and speeding commuter traffic trying to divert I5. Now the stop signs keeps traffic moving around 30mph, and keeps the commuter traffic on I5.

    It works for Olivenhain too. Ifs its good enough for our own Olivehain, it should be good enough for Leucadia.

    I think as an interim measure, until the streetscape gets done, Encinitas should put up 3 way stops at Grandview, W. Jason Street, and Basil street. They would help keep speeds done and racy commuters on I5

  8. We need strict law enforcement of the speed not necessearily stop signs that waste gas and brake pads. This is not pie in the sky.

    Carlsbad has a lot of open 101, but you rarely see speeders. Why? Because they patrol that stretch like hawks (and make buckets of revenue).

  9. Stop signs take little maintenance and are easy to install.

  10. Has to be a joke?January 08, 2007 7:24 PM

    "Carlsbad has a lot of open 101, but you rarely see speeders."

    Are you kidding me? I frequently observe 70mph South of Palomar airport into Leucadia. Why can't you see it? are you going 75mph?


  11. How do you control a 16 year old going 85 miles per hour? It's very difficult to control stupidity. It's like most of our locks, they can be broken, just there to keep honest men honest. Same way with traffic control, we have to keep moving ahead to make our roads safer, but nothing out side what's taught at home is going to stop a 16 year old going 85 miles an hour on any road in encinitas. But lowering the speed limit on 101 through leacadia sounds good to me.

  12. I don't think three more stop signs are the answer.

    That's like wanting three more roundabouts.

    When will the traffic study be released the Dan Dalager bragged was done at the Olivenhein forum?

    The accident on 101 was close to the intersection of Athena. Why were those other three streets chosen by someone above?

    During most times of the day when people are on the road, rush hour, traffic is already plenty slow on 101. I think previous poster was correct about stricter enforcement of speed in Carlsbad. I have not seen anyone speeding 70 miles per hour there. Of course I hadn't seen that on Leucadia 101, either, but there will sometimes be the random, thoughtless, speeder, as with the fatal accident. Sometimes I do hear loud bikes blasting by, sounds like they're going awfully fast. Could just be loud pipes, which police don't seem to enforce, either.

  13. Why is the speed limit 30 mph in downtown Encinitas but 40 mph in Leucadia? There are commercial businesses, people crossing the 101 in Leucadia, but the city has a higher speed limit in Leucadia. Wrong, wrong traffic department. The speed limit should be the same for both sections of Encinitas - 30 mph.

  14. Mary, Mary, Mary- Where to start?

    "I think we should completely BAN bicycle riders."

    I think we should ban cars. Bikes are burning calories. Cars Hydrocarbons.

    "Those P.R.I.C.S., (people riding in crowded streets) don't obey any rules of the road."

    Either do Cars. Bikes and riders weight a few hundred pounds at most. Cars weigh several thousand. Where should the emphasis be placed?

    "They take up entire lanes, ignore Stop signs and last weekend, while I was walking I witnessed more than a dozen verbal assaults on vehicles who almost hit the bike guys because of they wouldn't share the road."

    The bikes are just as entitled to the road as cars. If there was wide bike lanes they wouldn't need to take a lane.

    "So while the car is honking at the guy on the bike, the driver has their attention diverted, and guess what's going to happen next?"

    The guy realized he was rude for honking and apologized profusely.

  15. former urban plannerJanuary 08, 2007 10:39 PM

    I live in Carlsbad and love Leucadia, so that's why I stop by this blog some times. There isn't much speeding in Carlsbad on the Coast highway because the cops are out every morning between Elm and Cannon Road, they write a lot of tickets. The one poster talking about high speeds in Carlsbad referring to south of Palomar - that section to La Costa ave is 50mph speed limit, and most folks do go 50-55. I come in to Leucadia to surf every now and then and I notice that commuters on 101 (not all are from Carlsbad, there is a larger town north of us called Oceanside) when they hit Leucadia push the 40mph speed limit. One ass just this morning passed me easily going 55. But I have never seen cops out in Leucadia - you guys need a good old fashioned Boss Hog speed trap.

    As for changes, I think you guys definitely need one lane going South, it wouldn't even have to be the entire length, just enough stretches to get the point across. Like I said one other time, put in some traffic calming measures like making it curve a bit. The idea for no left turns then U-turn lanes nearby is a great one.

  16. If I am not mistaken, Carlsbad is a city with a police force. We contract with the sheriff. Therefore, perhaps the Carlsbad police have more accountability to the people, as well as make money for Carlsbad with the tickets they write. Encinitas, who has the sheriff patrolling, may not have the same incentives to control speeds, etc. Who gets the revenue from the tickets the sheriff writes? I don't know that answer. Left turn lanes-good; bicycles-good; speaders-bad!

  17. Dr. Lorri, good!

  18. If speed limits are lowered, Bond, Stocks, and Dalager aren't going to do it. They have signed onto the SANDAG vision of the roads in Encinitas as commuter owned. Supervisor Pam Slater Price also presented her plan to use the "arterial" streets as major freeway relievers. Where will people go when the "arterial" streets are packed? Out, into the neighborhoods. Ask Pam Slater Price to support local control and drop the idea of using city streets as a second freeway.

  19. The Leucadia section of the coast highway has a 45 mph speed limit right?

    I don't think it needs to be lower than that.

  20. 40 miles in Leucadia?

  21. Vulcan is 35, most of 101 is 40 or 45. The 35 zone? Exactly where is that, downtown Encinitas?

  22. 30 mph downtown Encinitas.

  23. SANDAG controls regional transportation planning. And has since the early sixties.

  24. They didn't get the 680 through.

  25. Its currently 40 mph and people go 50mph plus. 30 mph is appropriate for business and a more walkable community. Cars speeding by at 45-50mph don't make pedestrians feel very safe.

    JP- I think you screwed up your wording.
    Did you mean you do think it should be lower than 45mph?

    Comeon JP- I thought you wanted a more walkable Leucadia?

  26. Good Point Bob-

    On one hand, SANDAG says implement "Smartgrowth" and a Walkable community with increased density near the RR corridor that requires less dependence on the auto. Than in the same breath they say – Increase the capacity our secondary arterials that run right through the middle of some of the planned "Smartgrowth” area. They need to get there shit straight. AND our Council representative whom I think is Jerome should point out the disparity to CEO of SANDAG and Pam Slater. Pam Slater should be reminded about the importance of Coastal Improvements. I know she’ll be on board.

    Come on Jerome, the Coastal Corridor is Encinitas life blood. Don't poison your own bloodstream. A healthy Downtown Encinitas, Cardiff, and Leucadia HW101 corridor benefits all Encinitas residents, all San Diego Residents and all Americans. Do not blindly follow SANDAG staff recommendations. The residents of Encinitas have a better handle on what Encinitas should be than career SANDAG planning staff. Let’s make our City even better and unique beyond any other coastal City. Please support making Encinitas a better coastal city.

  27. It seems to me that the speed issue, from law enforcement interests, is more about dollars than safety. Commuters are not given tickets on the L101 corridor because there is not enough revenue generated on a speeding ticket going 50 in a 40 mi speed limit. For example, the speed limit on El Camino Real from Leucadia Blvd. to Encinitas Blvd. is 35 mi per hr, and I often spot law enforcement with radar guns there. This is a 3 lane road with a bike lane and wide sidewalks. Lower the speed limit in Leucadia to 30 and start giving tickets NOW.

  28. During rush hour, in the morning, and at night, no one can speed, traffic is too bunched up.

    One reason downtown Encinitas has a lower speed limit is because there are businesses on both sides of the street.

    The speed limit cannot just be arbitrarily reduced to 30 without studies showing the average speed, etc. That's the way it works.

    I don't like speed traps. I don't think speeding, on a typical day, has been that much of a problem, from what I've seen, up or down 101. Again, the police could enforce the laws we have, before changing the laws to make them more punitive.

    I don't think we need to reduce the speed limit.

  29. Speed traps???


  30. 1. No stop signs!
    2. More plants!
    3. Mandatory chastity belts and speed limiters for north county teenagers!
    4. Let's build a docked community in the water like that one in Ghana. That thing is cool. It has a bar.

  31. My problem is that I want to support local businesses but it can be a pain in the ass.

    For instance I went to the little Leucadia boutique called It's a Luv Thing a few weeks ago to get a present for a friend's baby shower - instead of going to a large place like Target or whatever. This boutique is located in the small complex next to the Pannikan and leaving the parking lot was extremely dangerous. You cannot see a thing coming out of that parking lot. You basically just have to pray for the best and punch the gas pedal.

    Luckily, the women in the boutique warned me before I left so I was a bit more cautious. However, this is a major problem in my opinion.

    Inappropriate stop signs are right up there with speed bumps for me. They are extremely annoying. But I realize that the only reason I am annoyed is because I have to - god forbid - slow down a bit. Perhaps even take a deep breath. Or smell the roses.

    The other day I was driving down 101 on the way back from Cardiff and the sun was setting and it was gorgeous. The traffic was so slow - turtle pace. Everyone was respecting the setting sun and taking their time to get a good look. No one honked or got pissed.

    It was like we had all been programed to the beat of a Bob Marley song. It was truly a beautiful thing. I say whatever it takes to make 101 slower, the better for all of us.

    Who knows, it may just help us to take the advice of Simon and Garfunkel.

    "Slow down, ya move too fast. Ya got to make the moment last."

  32. Carlsbad does have their own police force. It's time we did also. We're paying almost $11 million to contract with the Sheriff's Dept.
    Our force rotates in and out, most don't live here and their is little Enc. accountability.
    In Carlsbad, their force members have a connection to the community they live and work in and the city of Carlsbad has a much greater say so in where they control, etc.
    For many reasons, it's way past time for Enc. to have their own police force.

  33. Police force = another union.

  34. If we had our own police departmernt do you really think any of them could affored to live in our city?

    Before you yell for that you had better think about the cost.

  35. More bond debt for the city residents.

    Next week the council will be presented with a confusing staff report without a contract. Maybe the city manager will decide to include the contract.

    Last month the previous council approved a lease/purchase agreement for multifunctional devices (copiers).

    Next week the city manager's staff report will ask the council to approve a different contract with the same financing company that handled the financing of the fire apparatus (fire truck). More bonds, more debt, at about $300,000.

    Sneaky, sneaky, Mr. City Manager and Jennifer Smith.

  36. Sheriffs are the way to go. Spend multi-millions on own police force and we will be just like Oceanside.

    We can't even control our own fire department. The fire boss and union control who gets elected. I think the problem is we need more Sheriff Budget which will give us more cops. We don't need another union. The sheriffs love working Encinitas as opposed to Vista. They take their orders from our City Manager. If you don’t like there priorities talk to our City Manager. The sheriff’s are good loyal folks who have a truly thankless job. If we need budget, delay one or two of those fire mansions.

    In fact, I wish we could have a fire district. There would be more accountability. In a fire district, paramedics travel in ambulance style conversion trucks. In our City, they travel in full blown fire Engines. Can you say thousands of dollars of waste, plus smaller units can maneuver much better than full blown fire engines. And once again, we don’t need a hook and ladder truck that costs like .5 million for a City with a 3 story limit. Who’s the dumb shit that approved that purchase?

    The City Council can’t handle what’s on their plate now. Don't introduce a new department. Thank the lord for hard working Sheriffs. I thank the lord and the sheriffs every chance I get.

  37. JP- I love your posts and completely agree with you.


  38. You can justify reducing the speed limit for safety concerns, not just from the average speed of cars. Look at all the small towns along 395 going towards Mammoth. Look at Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, La Jolla and Coronado. Lower the speed limit to 30 to protect pedestrians in our downtown area.

  39. Hwy 101 in Leucadia is a dangerous road for pedestrians after sunset.

  40. Vulcan is a dangerous road for anyone after sunset!!

  41. Eolus Ave is dangerous no matter what time of day

  42. Turn in your drivers licenses everyone. Driving is inherently dangerous since you can't control what idiots behind the wheel will do. Let's put a stop sign at every intersection in the City so we'll all be safe. Better yet, let's also put in stop signs at every midblock between all the intersection stop signs. Stop signs everywhere and for everyone!!!

  43. Have you ever tried leaving the parking lot at Rhino Art? Close your eyes and floor it, makes no difference.

  44. Saxony is dangerous any time of the day. It is sometimes impossible to back out of your driveway.

    When contacted, the politicos felt that it was more important to keep the traffic flowing than to introduce stop signs or traffic calming measures.

  45. The ladder truck is not just for tall buildings,it is to allow the fire fighters to position themselves above the fire area in order to fight fires more effectively. Take a look at some of the pictures taken in the horrible fire in Charlston, So. Carolina. You can clearly see the use of the ladder extended above the burning building. I can assure you that the firefighters would have been the first in line to challenge the truck purchase as it would have potentially impacted other expendutures and future salary increases. Not everything done by the city has dark or ominious intentions.


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