Saturday, October 06, 2007

Leucadia Roadside Park, it ain't what it used to be

The park now looks bare. What should we do next? How should our funky little park be managed? What should it look like and how can it serve the community?

The green trees before they met their doom.

Art Wall 2007

The classy Scott Saw painting of the park back when it was really cool.

The cypress euthanasia.

The back half the park is actually quite lovely. The addition of the cool beachy art tiled trash cans was a nice touch. I miss the picnic table though.

The park sans trees. Maybe the park needs a cool public art installation or a small fountain with cool landscaping like a rock garden or a small permanent stage for the Art Walk, Leucadia Nights and other events?


  1. I think the park needs a plan to become the true centerpiece of our downtown Leucadia. I think a fountain and benches (the kind that are not inviting to bums- like low stone seatwalls, or rustic low benches made from all the cypress going down in the area) would be perfect. The sounding area should remain green to break up all the concrete in the area. This seems like a perfect project for Leucadia Town Council, L101 or the Parks Commission. When is the first public meeting?

  2. Great Idea.

    Why don't you make that suggestion at the next city council meeting at Oral Communications.

    Get it on record and see what the council has to say about the idea.

  3. This is what I call a good article

    Workshops expected to get Leucadians' input
    By Angela Lau
    October 10, 2007
    ENCINITAS – Leucadians may soon have a chance to redesign the two-mile stretch of North Coast Highway 101 that passes through their community.

    Tonight, the Encinitas City Council will consider whether to award a $231,000 contract to Solana Beach-based MW Peltz+Associates to create a streetscape plan for the highway.
    Before putting pen to paper, the consultant is expected to hold several community workshops beginning in January or February to hear what renovations residents want along the highway from A Street to La Costa Avenue, city Planning Director Pat Murphy said.
    This promises to be Encinitas' next major rejuvenation project, after spending $5.2 million for a six-block downtown streetscape project in 2002 that brought wider sidewalks, new benches, medians, street lamps, landscaping and decorative retaining walls. Lack of funds halted plans to extend that renovation an additional five blocks south.

    The coast highway through Leucadia is a less cohesive commercial strip than downtown. The road is lined with restaurants, art galleries, shops, motels and empty lots on the west side, and a railroad right-of-way on the east. Sections are without sidewalks and the area typically floods during winter rains.

    Roughly $4.2 million has been earmarked through fiscal year 2012-13 for the project, but Murphy expects to need more money because of rising construction costs.
    “We are very excited,” said Morgan Mallory, a board member of the Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association, a nonprofit booster organization. “Oh Lordy, we were hoping we are still alive when this happens.”

    He and Leucadia Town Council President Rachelle Collier said they already know what they want: slower traffic and more trees.
    “We are anxious to maintain the canopy and improve the traffic here so that we do not encourage (Interstate 5) bypass traffic and maintain the rural atmosphere,” Mallory said.
    “We have so much traffic that is going by our businesses we feel the vast majority of them are using 101 as a thoroughfare to get somewhere else, not to enjoy our community,” he said. “We want to create an environment that is business-and pedestrian-friendly and maintain the flavor of Leucadia.”
    To reduce speeds, Mallory suggested:
    Narrowing North Coast Highway 101 from four lanes to two, allowing for one lane each way.
    Reducing the speed limit, currently at 40 mph.
    Installing roundabouts.
    Mallory also suggested solving some of Leucadia's longstanding parking problems by creating more parking on the east side of Highway 101.

    Leucadians have been lobbying for safer roads for more than a decade.
    Some of the community's older roads, Highway 101 included, were built for buggies, not pedestrians, the community's leaders have said. And, as cars replaced buggies, the highway became what Leucadians call a speedway.

    The city has developed a growth plan for the community that is now being implemented.

    The first step was taken recently when city contractors began building sidewalks on North Coast Highway 101.
    Sidewalks are also being installed on Leucadia Boulevard, which connects the coast highway with El Camino Real. The city also is building roundabouts at two intersections on the boulevard to slow traffic. The sidewalks and roundabouts are expected to be completed by December.
    The coast highway streetscape is meant to complement those improvements.

    When the consultant finishes the design document, it will become a template for future developments, Planning Director Murphy said. Developers will be asked to implement some of the beautification and traffic requirements.

    Like in downtown Encinitas, the plan could call for such things as specially designed streetlights, sidewalk art, benches, landscaping and road improvements, Murphy said.

    The city will phase in its share of the North Coast Highway 101 improvements, starting with the southern half-mile section from A Street to North Court. The construction date has not been determined, Murphy said.
    Angela Lau: (760) 476-8240;
    Reader comments

    By Long Time Leucadian on 10/10/2007 at 7:45 a.m.

    Excellent! Its time for Encinitas to reclaim its local down town Main Street for the local business and residents. With the current high density "smart growth" zoning, the area will be much crowed and will need to accommodate and encourage safe pedestrian and bike travel. The item that needs to be eliminated is the cut through traffic from the north. Use the additional room gained from eliminating the lanes for parking, walkway and bike lane improvements. Let the I5 regional. I will be watching council actions on this matter and will vote in 2008 for those that strongly support this effort.

    By Long Time Leucadian on 10/10/2007 at 7:49 a.m.

    Woops. A few corrections. "The area is zoned to become much more crowded. 3 stories mixed use". "Let I5 regional traffic stay on I5, not cut through our local streets"

    By I5West on 10/10/2007 at 8:05 a.m.

    I like all the ideas. 2 lanes road, roundabouts, move traffic closer to the tracks to allow for diagonal parking on business side. I would love to see them fix the flooding, bury the train tracks, and fix the the Leucadia rail crossing.

    Please don't make it too funky. The new artwork at Cardiff - the girl surfer - is a disaster. If we get artwork, I want input on it. Thanks to Hansens for their help on that crap.

    By sdborn1964 on 10/10/2007 at 10:44 a.m.

    You people are crazy. I love Leucadia, but 101 is part of California. From North to South, it connects San Diego. You are going to create a gridlock like you've never seen if you reduce those lanes down to two. I am one of those people who take the coast route past Leucadia becasue it takes me 1 FULL HOUR to go 16 miles. Why? Traffic on the freeways from all the houses that were/and are being built across San Diego. Too many people live here now but there was a chance to help curb the growth back in the 90's but that was voted down. I remember people in downtown Encinitas holding signs saying "STOP GRIDLOCK", to curb all the building permits. No one listened. Now look what we have.

    People of Leucadia do not own 101, and should not be able to block people from using it to go North or South. I have traveled on this road since I was born here and it's a beautiful part of town. I agree with more trees being brought in, but not hindering people from driving through. Fix the freeways or work on our miserable mass transit instead.

    By I5West on 10/10/2007 at 12:10 p.m.


    The freeway fix is coming in 2009. The 101 is mostly likely going to be reduced to 2 lanes as in Del Mar. Traffic congestion improved greatly after doing so.

    City of Encinitas does have 90% say as to what happens to that road - so you are wrong.

    You will need to take the freeway. We want people like you off our local roads (that is unless you plan on spending money here - we want that).

    By sdborn1964 on 10/10/2007 at 1:54 p.m.


    Traffic hasn't been helped in Del Mar by reducing the lanes there. When was the last time you went there?

    As for "people like me", my family has been here since the late 1800's. My grandfather literally rode along old Hwy 101 on a buggy. You want me off your "local roads"? Since when is Hwy 101 a local road? There is a flow of people coming from Oceanside down to Del Mar, and you want to put a plug in it because you don't like the traffic in your little spot. Guess what? No one likes traffic, but the more people come here, the more there will be. The NIMBY crowd is fine if you are dealing with a porn shop or a liquor store, but this affects thousands of people who travel south. You think you'll get more business by having LESS people come through? You are crazy.

    I agree with you that Encinitas has a say in what it does with it's roads, but you must look at how it affects others. Just like a river, if you damn it up there are consequences.

    Let's hope Encinitas uses some common sense with this and that the freeway expansion will ease some of the problems. A real long term solution is to work on our mass transit problems.

    By Encinitas Local on 10/10/2007 at 3:31 p.m.


    We are not crazy; We are just TIRED of all the traffic we warned everybody about years ago. Yet the Cities north of us, went ahead with large subdivisions without properly planning for regional trips and widening I5 years ago.....and as a result the gridlocked freeway now dumps traffic to our local roads and gridlocking our nice peaceful beachtown. WITH NO END IN SIGHT!

    I was born Encinitas in 1953 and my grandpa helped build the sidewalks in downtown Encintas so my say carries way more weight than yours to MY City Council

    Coast Highway became a local roadway when I5 was built in the 1960s. As you recall, Encinitas were holding signs back in the 1980 and later warning Carlsbad and others not to overdevelop or they'd cause gridlock problems. Well guess what, we Encinitas were right and now we have gridlock problems. The gridlock problems affect our emergency response times of our paramedics and police; they lower our business environment, property values, and quality of life.

    As to choking up the HW101 traveling from Oceanside to Del Mar. You've got to be kidding! What about Oceanside and Carlsbad, they necked down HW101 at border at Buena Vista Lagoon and again at Cannon Road to protect the downtown Carlsbad business environment. Oceanside necked down Vista Lane because of the same issue. Encinitas, Del Mar, La Jolla, and Birdrock all necked done sections of HW101 to make the environment better for business and residents. The only issue here is; Why has it taken Leucadia so long to demand the same thing? You might ask, why hasn't Solana Beach necked down there northerly border? I would bet that with the focus on more sustainable communities, walkable, cleaner, quiter coastlines; Solana Beach will soon be discussing the same thing.

    You think Carsbad, La Jolla and Del Mar downtown areas are more congested than they be if they left the 4 lanes along the coast HW? I'd say most to the residents in those areas would disagree with you; otherwise, they wouldn't have made the changes.

    You want to know the length of the backup that will be caused north of La Costa if we neck down our Mainstreet at La Costa Avenue, just look at the backup at Cannon road in Carlsbad. It will be the same magnitude. Nothing more..... You might ask Carlsbad City Council if they are willing to re-establish the entrance to their Mainstreet to 4 lanes on both sides, see what they say?

    Please remember - I5 was built to handle the regional trips because our coastline roads could not handle the masses. Please use I5 for regional trips; that's what it was designed for.

    If you want to take your anger about congestion out on someone, go talk to Bud Lewis and his City Council and the other high growth N. County Cities. They are the cause of the increased traffic. Definitely not little old mellow Leucadia. You might want to go give a holler to Caltrans and SANDAG and tell them they were asleep at the wheel to allow congestion to get this bad in our area and they better get on with the fix before the natives become so restless they go stir-crazy.

    Please just remember....When you start to go stir-crazy, take some deep breaths...... park your car, take to the train to Encinitas.... Stroll on foot or bike up our gorgeous beaches and mainstreets...... have a world-class dinner at one of our fine restaurants, check into one of the totally awesome hotels or motels in the area.... Go enjoy a walk on the beach and the sunset...... have a wonderfully peaceful night sleep near the Ocean....Nice.......The next day go cruising on your bike or foot and check our all of amazingly unique stores. You will find all kinds of jems that your family and friends will love. What a relaxing break.

    Come back anytime.... Please, just don't plan on cutting through our Main Street and town to get to your job in South County and lowering our quality of life.

    By sdborn1964 on 10/10/2007 at 4:58 p.m.

    Encinitas Local-

    That was a well written response and I agree fully with you about Caltrans and SANDAG dropping the ball and for whom to blame regarding all of this congestion. I never thought about the two lanes up in Carlsbad, etc. I will take a closer look at that, and how it affects the local business there.

    I went to school in Encinitas from preschool on up to High School at San Dieguito, and then on to SDSU. I have seen this growth and it makes me sad, but what can you do? There are people here who have no idea of the agricultural history of Encinitas or our surf culture. Everyone seem sto be from the East coast now or from Arizona. As both of us agree, we all had a chance to stop it from happening, but the pursuit of a profit for some was too strong.

    You talk of "lowering your quality of life" by me cutting through your Main Street. Believe me, I wish I could have stopped half of the construction in Encinitas and send everyone home, but that's not going to happen. I just disagree with you that Leucadia somewhow "owns" the section of Hwy 101 that cuts through it. But, as you correctly pointed out, it's your city council, not mine. You may vote to cut it down to two lanes (and I hope plant some more trees and throw in a new sidewalk) and I suppose that is your perogative. I would rather work on the mass transit system and the freeway enhancements. That and shipping people back home to New Jersey or making a campaign to stop the building.

    I just think that it won't help the traffic situation, just hinder you more with fewer lanes. We'll just have to see. And believe me, I frequent coastal shops plenty. I have a spot at the Pannikin I enjoy frequently. Thanks for the discussion.

    By Encinitas Local on 10/10/2007 at 5:46 p.m.


    We agree more than we disagree. I agree with your suggestions to focus on Mass Transit, Caltrans Freeway Widening, and preserving our surf culture. I wish we could turn back the clock and stop some from overdeveloping the area. Unfortunately, unless this recession is really deep, the masses and more are here to stay....sigh...

    The necking down of the lanes will only serve to provide a roadway more in line with the areas needs. The businesses need more parking to be successful, we need to build enjoyable safe walkways to attract people as a safe enjoyable destination, we need safe bikelanes. We don't need two lanes of traffic barreling through the heart of our town just to avoid I5. One lane in each direction will have plenty of capacity for local traffic and still a fair volume of cut through traffic. It will also effectively discourage people from jumping off I5 with the sole purpose to cut through Encinitas. The additional area gained will go to addressing the higher priorities for the community.

    I hate that it's so, but if we do not take action to protect and enhance our downtown leucadia, it will deteriorate to blight from the cut through traffic and will be a diamond in the rough that is lost forever.

    Imagine eliminating the roar of 50mph barreling traffic, or the honking of gridlock traffic (both happen along that stretch), Imagine-hearing the sounds of birds chirping in the trees by the Pannikan, and kids laughing at the Gold Coast Plaza. Imagine easily finding a parking spot and following your visit to the local establishment, safely strolling up to a local beach.

    In my heart and head, I know that if we make these needed changes, in the end you will enjoy your time at the Pannikin and other time spent along the Encinitas coastline much much more.

    Thanks for the discussion.


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