Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bridges, better than tunnels?

click image for larger view

Don't laugh at my crappy 5 minute photoshop job. This is to demonstrate what a Sound Wall and pedestrian bridge might look like in North Leucadia. In my opinion bridges would be superior to tunnels.

Sound Fighter Systems website

Leucadia Blog: Railroad Pedestrian Crossings Moving Forward


  1. The best solution is to bury the tracks, and cover them.

    It won't be cheap, but can you imagine how nice Leucadia would be with covered tracks? There could be parks, trails, parking, even retail on top.

    Let's not give up on this dream!

  2. "Even retail on top." You mean, A LOT OF RETAIL with A LOT OF DENSITY BONUS ON TOP OF THAT! With density bonus you don't need to put in enough parking. Dream? Nightmare?

    Do you trust our current council to shepard such a large development right in our heart?

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  4. so, if Vulcan and 101 are already a flooded mess, shouldn't tunnels LOWER than both of these areas be of concern?

  5. We would have to fix the flooding at the same time. Which means we would fix the flooding at the same time.

  6. Underground pedestrian tunnels are disgusting, people come from miles around to piss in them. They better build urinals too.

  7. I think the tunnel is a bad idea.

    Jerome said no way is there enough money in SANDAG (SD Assoication of Governments) to underground, period.

    I wonder how Solana Beach managed it? We are a larger City than they are.

    Meanwhile, no fences. Fire the railroad cop busting people for crossing. We, the people should continue to enjoy our public right of way.

  8. Plan A:
    If I were King, (Not Karen King), I'd make it impossible for anyone to sue NCTD for crossing the tracks. Problem solved.
    Ideally, people should be responsible for themselves, and be able to cross the tracks anywhere they wanted to. Then North County Transit District wouldn't get sued every time someone was negligent or suicidal.
    But unfortunately, NCTD has not (and perhaps cannot) adjust the law in everyone's favor that way. Now they have to post ugly signs and pay the rail cops in order to avoid incredible lawsuits whenever someone is injured trespassing on their property.

    Plan B: I fully agree with burying the tracks being the ultimate solution. That could create more open space, needed parking for both sides of the tracks, a safe Rail Trail for bikes and convenient crossing access to all. (But forget about paying for it with redevelopment dollars, as some will undoubtedly suggest).
    And of course it would require a new Specific Plan far more restrictive than our current one that is being abused. Planned properly, a "subway" could eliminate our "40 million dollar" drainage fix by taking the low road. (the tracks in Solana Beach cost 20 million to lower. I know, that was then, but it was largely subsidized.)

    Plan C: occasional overpasses would work (better than walking or rolling a mile to the nearest crossing). They don't have to look bad either. And I doubt they would impair anyone's ocean view, being in the valley of 101.

    Plan D: Underpasses would be extremely expensive. They also conjure images of bloated trolls lurking about as one frightened poster shows.

    Plan E, Fencing the tracks with walls and plants in conjuntion with overpasses/underpasses is a milktoast fix, but I do like the idea of the noise abatement it could bring.

    Plan F: A 2 mile razor wire topped cyclone fence would really suck.

  9. LUV the photoshop. I think bridges are a better idea, but need to have elevators for those who cannot make the steep hike or are in wheelchairs (which will be all of us should we live out our potential). Stocks actually is right about undergrounding -- even thought it pains me to admit he actually said something intelligent -- without federal funds it would be cost prohibitive to underground the railway. Solana Beach got the funds because Del Mar did not want to have the new rail station/coaster stop there. Remember the cute old Del Mar station? Long time passing.

  10. As much as it might gall the posters here, Jerome is undoubtably right, bridges are cheaper, safer and much more doable.

  11. Who is going to pay for sound wall? The NCTD is broke. The City of Encinitas is broke. The State of California is broke. Maybe we could ask China to do it for us.

  12. Turn the train cop into a crossing guard to escort people safely across the tracks. He will transform from asshole to hero overnight. Create jobs or use volunters like the schools do.

  13. There was a proposal in Cardiff many years ago to bury and cover the tracks with a landscaped park with walking paths. All we ever got from Jerome Stocks was the double tracking with no amenities. He should hang his head in shame. Now there are freight trains belching diesel smoke for as long as 3 hours while waiting. Several weeks ago there was a freight stalled almost all day. There was a mechanical failure, a rare occurence, but, boy, did the complaints flood into city hall.

    I was about to cross the tracks at Montgomery yesterday when I spotted the railway police. I continued on north to Santa Fe and crossed illegally there and returned south and crossed illegally at Montgomery. The train cop had moved on. I felt like an illegal alien in my own city making an illegal crossing. This is ridiculous.

  14. A bridge at the Leucadia crossing is the only viable solution. Considering the clearance requirements for the railroad, the handicapped ramp would begin at Leucadia Blvd. Elevators on each side or lengthy spiral ramps would work. Your photoshop pic needs to show that bridge about 20 feet taller. Have a look at the bridges constructed in Solana Beach, and those offer clearance over an already depressed track.

  15. We can underground the entire length of Encinitas if we have the political will, which our current city council doesn't. Joe Kelligian in Solana beach was responsible for getting the money from the feds to underground because he had the will to do it. Why accept the unacceptable fencing and ugly bridges over the tracks.

    NTCD and SANDAG have proposed tunneling under the entire city of Del Mar to change the train route so don't tell me there isn't enough money to underground through our city by only digging a ditch.

    Most of the sand(dirt) from Solana Beach went on their beach for sand replenishment we can have the same.

    Our city council boys are short sighted and are not looking out after the people's best interests. we should elect people that have vision and the will to push their vision forward.

  16. I don't want to give up on under grounding the tracks. I agree with notaxlady where there's a will there is a way and the best way to get started is by electing two new council people who listen to what people say and who have a vision for all not just themselves and or their developer friends. I also don't like underground walkways.
    #1 I don't feel safe.
    #2. They cost $4 mill each.
    #3. I'd rather see that money go towards undergrounding.
    #4. If we build the tunnels we'll never get the train undergrounded.

  17. 1st choice would be to bury the tracks and use the space for open space. That not going to happen because we can't find the money.

    I think we could get the money to trench the track by cut and covering the tracks and then leasing the space out above the tracks as commercial. Leucadia would have shops on both side of HW101 and we would have a revenue stream to pay back the bonds to pay for the underground work.

    The question is would we rather see a tunneled railroad with new commercial or double tracks at grade and more of what’s in Cardiff, but dustier because its leucadia and we don't take care of our Railroad right of way like Cardiff does.

  18. Get petitions together demanding that the tracks be buried.

  19. How nice that the boyz NOW think clearly, and I quote, "Once in a while government must restrict the actions of some in order to control the behavior of the few, for the benefit of the many. And this is what we are attempting to do."

    Dan Dalager and Jerome Stocks are Encinitas city councilmen.

  20. Fred- As I planned, you are Leucadia's benevolent King. Its time to eat a few bugs and run for council. Than you can be both Leucadia's King and Mayor!

    Its time for you to fulfill your destiny.

  21. If, a big if, the tracks were under-grounded and the land on top was made available for commercial development, who would own the land?

  22. Depressing the tracks through Solana Beach was acomplished and funded because it solved numerous problems that existed with the new station and predominantly the grade crossing at Lomas Santa Fe. It was a pretty easy case to make with the feds, and with Solana Beach contributing significant money, it made sense.

    Del Mar may also be an easy sell because Mother Nature is taking back the rail roadway at an alarming rate, and there aren't lots of options short of condemning lots of ocean-front homes. The new rail could be placed below Camino Del Mar because it is the most logical solution. It has a good chance of happening.

    Leucadia has several conditions that need to be solved including a very dangerous grade crossing at Leucadia Blvd, and a need for pedestrian crossings. If there are alternatives available that solve these problems without depressing the tracks, NCTD will jump at the chance. If even one of these pedestrian crossings gets built, the tracks will forever remain at grade. I'm not even sure that designing these crossings isn't commitment enough for NCTD.

    The deal to double track through the city may constitute enough of an expenditure to every consider dusting these tracks.

  23. I think the last few posters are on to something. The plan for the pedestrian crossings may be a plan to kill the possibility of lowering the tracks. This is just the kind of sleazy deal Jerome Stocks would broker to advance his political ambitions. He is are rep on the NCTD board.

    It is true there was a plan to lower the tracks in Cardiff. South of Montgomery the tracks start to slope down towards the lagoon. It would have been an easier job with less excavation. When Jerome okayed the double tracking in Cardiff and the city dropped its lawsuit against the NCTD, I knew the chance of lowering the tracks through the city had slipped considerably. Another stab in the back from Jerome.

  24. If you had put commercial over the tracks. NCTD would still own the land. NCTD could do a lease with either the City, A seperate business district established by the NCTD and the City, or lease with a major developer and they would be responsible for managing the space. The agreement would need some serious zoning conditons to make sure we ended up with nice commercial building and not boxey crap like Carlsbad would build.

  25. Petition if you want, but there will NEVER be undergrounding of the tracks in our lifetime, because there is no funding. Joe K. pulled off the feat in Solana Beach almost 20 years ago, because Del Mar was asleep at the wheel.

    Besides, if this council found $20 mil they would build the Hall Property park, NOT underground the tracks.

    Jerome says he wants to help solve the pedestrian crossing problem in Leucadia, at Santa Fe and a bridge or two would do it.

    Sowing further paranoia about Jerome favoring/feinting a bridge to kill the undergrounding plan is just nonsense.

    The undergrounding plan is so dead it is laughable and ANY further discussion about it is a complete waste of time.

  26. I don't agree with the last post. Anything is possible if you are committed and get committed leaders with the right vision.

    I hope our Council quits building a huge government staff that we have to pay forever. Of all the revenue collected from the City, only 3 percent goes towards building improvements within our City. The rest goes to paying for Staff and their obese benefits. I think our City Staff are as bloated as the typical fat ass American. And to top it off, Council spends the little remaining money on Trophy projects like the $60 million plus Hall Regional Park, and the $15,000,000 Fire McMansions.

    The less staff salaries we pay the more money we have for fixing existing problems in the City.

    Someone with brains needs to replace the 3 stooges and help the smart lady council members straighten out this mess out.

  27. Why not do a combination of two concepts? Partially have a section of the tracks lowered enough to install a ped bridge over that area. The excavation for tracks area would not be as dramatic and the ped crossing wouldn't be as steep.

  28. Anon 9:49 You are correct in your accessment of our not too distant future obligations. I have wondered for a long time why the city hasn't tried to privatize more functions like the feds have done. Our current building dept. and plancheck functions are already privatized. Except for the city building official, all other employees in that department are Esgil Corp. employees. The city contracts with Esgil Corp. (Kearney Mesa) to provide these services. It seems to me that more of these could be outsourced, like the Planning Dept., or even Public Works. Worth investigating for the future. Might be worth it to cut our losses now.

  29. Outsourcing does not always equal cheaper OR more efficient. It is still a government function and tax money being spent so bad leaders still screw it up.


  30. Different subject:

    For everyone who likes to say "there were no cobblestones on my morning walk", please go take a look today. Lots of cobblestones, and a lot less sand.

    Yes, I know there was a big swell & a couple of storms last week, but the point is that when people say "there are no cobblestones", that to be credible, they need to report when there are.

    A layman's anecdotal observations are important, but are not the be all, end all of knowledge.

    I am not trying to promote or not promote sand replenishment, but felt the need to point out that things change on the beach. And yes, they will probably change back when the winter swells are over.

  31. Last anon, I have photos of the current beach conditions and will do a post about the sand/kelp/cobbles when I get a chance to download the photos from my camera. Yes, the biggest swell in 6 years took a lot of sand but it is still astonishing how much sand it left, especially at Swamis.

    The reef waves at Beacon's have already improved by washing away much of the excess sand.

  32. Things change at the beach, yes, they do so the next time there are bunch a cobblestones uncovered at the end of stormy season remember that before running around looking to raise our taxes.

    Good thing we didn't replenish sand THIS summer because it would be gone. They don't put enough down to be able to withstand a real storm. Our last storm was nothing in comparison to the El Nino storms.

    In the old days a big storm would strip the beach, but it would also cause lots of erosion and sediment movement in our wild rivers.

  33. NCTD doen't own the land , they merely lease the public right of way. The Federal government owns the land.

  34. When did the land revert to the Federal government? When tracks were first built, railroads were given so much acreage on either side of the tracks.

  35. Anon 11:26, outsourcing would allow savy leaders the opportunity to staff as needed, not create deadwood for years. Staffing levels could fluctuate as demand fluctuated.

    The biggest expense, the huge retirement packages, are eliminated in those positions. The city of Encinitas won't have to continue to pay for personel no longer on the job.

    Also, when the city contracts for services, the benefit package for those employees is dealt with by the company.

    And lastly, because the city would contract on a rotating term basis, it can reap the benefits of competition.

    I understand this system is not perfect, and in the example you presented, the contract companies were not always responsive, but the city in that case at least has some recourse, they don't have to sign up the offending company next cycle.

    Just a thought, I think the city can do much better. I would love someone at the city prove otherwise.

  36. not saying we shouldn't outsource just that it is not a panacea.

    "Staffing levels could fluctuate as demand fluctuated."

    You mean, like with, our trash hauler contracts. We are getting such a steal. WE COULD DO BETTER IN HOUSE with pensions!

    Staff mobility doesn't mean the taxpayer will be given any benefit. We will still have some staff so we will still have dead wood. It is time to have looser system that encourages trimming dead wood. The rest of the staff should benefit from this trimming. There are good staff at city hall. They should be partners.


    Pensions are a problem in the private sector too, unfortunately those pensions are insured by the taxpayers.

    The city of encinitas should move toward a 401K type of retirement system and away from the pension for new employees.

  37. Shit. that last post was boring all to hell.

    It must have been a City Staffer.

  38. Sorry- boring, but the points were pretty good.

  39. Calling something boring is a mark of your own lack of intelligence, your lack of ability to pay attention.

    When you have a closed mind, or an empty mind, you just ignore the issues presented and say, "boring" as an obvious way to try to attack and marginalize the messenger.


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