Saturday, August 25, 2007

North Leucadia Coastal Cruise



This short video isn't much, just the short cruise northbound on the coastal corridor of north Leucadia (Leucadia Blvd to La Costa Ave). This video shows how beautiful, cool, rustic, eclectic and unique Leucadia is, but also exposes some major flaws:

* On the right hand side is the NCT wasteland; dry, dusty and crappy (except for a handful of beautiful old growth trees). The bus stops aren't much more than rusty leaning poles with signs. No benches, shelter or bus schedules. When the trains pass by they kick up dust storms which cover the local buildings in a dirty film.

*There are some exceptions but the center medians are basically weeds and dirt. The city should plant attractive drought resistant plants and/or pave the medians with attractive stones.

*There are serious gaps in the tree canopy.

*There are no pedestrian crossings. This is especially odd at the northbound bus stops. You are seriously putting your life at risk trying to get to the beach or shops.

*The bike lane is tiny.

*The road itself is in terrible condition. It's bumpy and pot marked and needs to be repaved ASAP.

Comments on the Community Survey



NCT.com story: Encinitas survey criticized; results show most respondents satisfied with services

Encinitas City Council Meeting, August 22, 2007

Comments on the Community Survey

Jean-Bernard Minster

The survey conducted by Moore Information, Inc. and reported by staff appears to be a very simple kind of survey. Nonetheless, the following points need to be made:

  1. The raw data do not appear to be available. These data have been paid for and belong to the citizens of Encinitas. They should be made available publicly.
  2. The methodology is not described in the very short four-page analysis offered by the contractor ($2.5K /page). There is a minimal description in the staff report that raises very serious questions about the sampling procedure.
  3. It appears that the survey was conducted by taking Encinitas telephone prefixes and random 4-digit sequences. The large number of non-working numbers supports that.
  4. Each working phone number reaches a household. Clearly, wealthier households with multiple phone lines have a greater chance of being sampled.
  5. In order to achieve a representative sample of the population, a general practice is to select at random a member of the household, either from a table of random numbers, or through some proxy variable such as the earliest or latest birthday (Gallup uses that at times)
  6. However, there have been reports that the interviewers have specifically requested adults in the age bracket 18-34 “in order to meet the quota.” This is not a valid criterion to generate a representative sample. In fact, this is a sure recipe for a biased sample. This action also reveals that the contractor was fully aware of the sampling flaws in this survey.
  7. One likely reason why the sample is impoverished in persons with ages between 18 and 34 is that this age group is more likely to use wireless “cell” phones instead of so-called “ land lines.” The report attempted to disguise this flaw by “lumping” all younger responders in a 15-year age range (18-34) while differentiating older responders into much narrower 5-year ranges (e.g. 55-59, and 60-64), so it appears that all classes are more-or-less equally represented. However, as a “sanity” check, we can compare the percentages found in the sample with those obtained from the City of Encinitas / SANDAG web pages:

    For instance, among the eligible responders of ages greater than 18, the SANDAG data indicate that 46% should be of age 18-45. ]The survey sample has only 28%. The SANDAG data show 54% of valid responders to be older than 45, and the survey has 72%. It is very clear that the sampling is severely biased towards older citizens and against younger ones.

  1. This bias carries over to the sampling of citizens as a function of income. After correction to 2007 dollars, the SANDAG database shows 79.3% of households with income below $100K, and 20.7% with income greater than $100K. The survey sample has 38% or responding households with less than $100K income and 39% with greater income, and 22% of no-response. Any reasonable assumption made about the motivations of non-respondents leaves us with a sample that is substantially biased towards higher-income households.
  2. Finally, the staff report indicates sampling error “of ±6% at the 95% confidence level”. In other words, out of 100 identical surveys, 95 would show results within ±6% of the value reported. This is clearly a large sample approximation —a rule of thumb would be a sample larger than 60— which does not apply to many of the results reported. As a simple example, consider the response to question 23. From the description, one would assume that the fraction of Hispanic origins in the sample is 3%, plus or minus 6%, or anywhere between minus 3% and plus 9%, which is clearly nonsensical. Considering that 3% means that 9 respondents —somewhat fewer than 60— out of 300 identified themselves as Hispanics, the correct answer is that in 100 unbiased surveys, 95 would show a percentage of Hispanics between 1% and 6%.

    Now, considering that the 2000 Census shows a percentage of 16% of Hispanic residents in Encinitas, should we conclude that nearly 8,000 Hispanic residents have left our city between 2000 and 2007? Even after correcting for the fact that the Hispanic population is heavily weighted toward youngsters, it is practically impossible to reconcile the survey with the Census data or the SANDAG data.

  1. Finally, 5 out of 6 households called in the survey declined to answer. This is a very important consideration that deserves careful analysis and discussion. Such analysis is not provided, either in the staff report or in the superficial contractor report.

    Given my concerns, and the concerns expressed by others at this meeting, I recommend that the Council should decline to receive the survey report in its present form, and decline to pay for it until the raw data are provided and the methodology is suitably described. The citizens of Encinitas are not served well by this flawed survey conducted under a no-bid contract.

Respectfully:

Jean Bernard Minster

Encinitas




Coast News article about the survey click here.

Leucadia Blog: Killing 2 birds with 3 stones

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Leucadia Art Walk, Sunday August 26


click image for large view

An artsy Sunday afoot in Leucadia

One mile of North Coast Highway 101, between Jason and Marcheta streets will be the venue for Leucadia Art Walk. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 101 artists will show and sell their work, bands will play and hundreds of visitors will mingle at the colorful festival. The highway will remain open and no traffic diversions are planned.

Morgan Mallory sez, "Every piece of art is going to be presented by the artist who crafted it, we do not want window salesmen, hawkers, Chinese imports or cheap T-shirts. We want unique, one-of-a-kind stuff."

For the convenience of visitors, two of the double-decker buses will make continual trips to the event from City Hall and the Encinitas Commuter Station, at Vulcan Avenue and D Street, where parking is abundant and free.

Musical performances are scheduled at bandstands throughout the event. Performers include Randy Fontaine & The Swingers, Joe Hager, Peter Hall, Julie Mack, Stevie Lynn & Triple Threat, Drums of Fire, The Flounders, Adrienne Nims, Full Revolution, Frank Leong Hawaiian Dance & Song, Ms. Magic Meryle Cohen, Megan & Austin Burns, Loren Golden & Marie LaMar.

One stage will be located at Leucadia Roadside Park on the Coast Highway at Leucadia Boulevard. At that small and grassy patch, the 101 Artists Colony will stretch out a large, blank canvas for children to paint.


View Larger Map

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Issue of Hoodlink Online Now


The August issue of the valuable Hoodlink publication is online now (pdf)

click here

This issue has a breakdown of some the big projects and proposed rezones around town.

You can check out all the archived issues of Hoodlink here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Leucadia Blvd News


I've received this e-mail from several sources:

NOTICE TO LOCAL RESIDENTS

The City of Encinitas has contracted with 3-D Enterprises to construct the Leucadia Boulevard Improvement Project. We are currently ready to complete the roundabout at Leucadia Boulevard and Hymettus Avenue. In order to do this, we will have to detour eastbound Leucadia Boulevard from Fulvia Street to Orpheus Avenue. The detour will be affected on or about Wednesday, Augusts 22, 2007 and will last approximately two weeks.

Westbound Leucadia Boulevard will operate as usual, with one lane open. The Sheriff's office has been requested to increase traffic enforcement during the detour. A speed radar will be placed on Fulvia Street.

We apologize in advance for this inconvenience; however, it is necessary for the completion of this work.

3-D Enterprises, Inc.
Frank Falcon
(858)272-3191

City of Encinitas
Todd Baumbach
(760)633-2796

War Protesters Strike Cardiff Statue




Some war protesters used the Cardiff surfer statue to make a statement on Sunday, August 19. I wonder if the people who did this will be considered vandals by the Cardiff Botanical Society (whom have not been happy with earlier statue modifications)? I wonder if left wing Coast News columnist Bob Nanninga will label these protesters as homophobic nazis? Nanninga has criticized the war many times, will he support this form of protest or condemn it as vandalism? I wonder if Union Tribune columnist Logan Jenkins will hand out a Brick award to the protesters? It's interesting that the Cardiff surfer statue is now being used as a form of mainstream political protest (I could argue that the earlier pranks were also political protest but not too many non-surfing statue pundits want to entertain that the local surfing scene is a legitimate subculture that has a legitimate gripe against the statue). I wonder if these war protesters are also surfers or if they are non-surfer using the statue for it's prominent location?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Leucadia's Disappearing Tree Canopy

The two large eucalyptus trees on the right of this photo are going to be cut down and removed.


The tree on the right of this photo is the third tree scheduled for removal.





One of the coolest things about the coastal corridor of Leucadia is the giant tree canopy. Unfortunately most of the giant eucalyptus trees are now 80+ years old and are dying. The city is slowly but surely removing the large trees but there is no plan to restore the canopy.

Three giant eucs are going to be removed this month (near the Leucadia Post Office).

Leucadia needs a clear, concise plan to manage the coast highway tree canopy with maintenance, irrigation, trimming, restoration and the replanting of new trees.

Many of the newer trees planted in the last 5 years are dying due to lack of proper irrigation.

Many trees have been hacked by private parties trying to clear views of billboards and signs. When trees are improperly trimmed they can become a hazard or die.

Eucalyptus trees are beautiful but have problems, visit this interesting link about eucalyptus in California. What kind of trees should we replace the eucs with?

What native California trees would be best to have on the coast highway?

The tree canopy makes Leucadia unique from all the other so-cal beach towns. What are your ideas on how to preserve our town's identity?

My cheesy quick photoshop of what the coast highway will look like without the trees. One of these trees is leaning towards the old Neighbor Saver building and poses a danger, but it's still sad to see it go.



The city has formed a committee to regulate the spread of invasive plant species.

NCT story: Houlihan named to Encinitas invasive plants committee

I believe that Leucadia's disappearing tree canopy is a bigger issue than the invasive weeds. Hopefully the city will be motivated to do something and preserve our local heritage and ambiance.

Leucadia Blog: Invasive Plants aka "weeds" may be regulated in Encinitas

Friday, August 17, 2007

How walkable is your neighborhood? Find Your Walk Score

Check out this cool website that calculates how walkable your neighborhood is (meaning, how many shops, stores, restaurants, schools and parks you can walk too). My address scored a 60 out of 100.

visit Walk Score

Teresa Barth explains her NO vote on the Public Works Yard remodel

The following is an e-mail from city councilperson Teresa Barth,

The story in the North County Times was a little misleading and some people have asked me to explain my No vote on the Public Works Yard item.

The bids came in much higher than expected (surprise!) so staff's recommendation was to reject those bids and re-bid a scaled-back project that would use current available funds ($638,000) plus "borrow" $300,000 from the next year's budget. This scaled back approach would not include the ADA required elevator which will limit the use of the second floor.

I agree that we should reject all bids but I voted against this "band-aid" (nearly $1Million) approach.

I asked for a comprehensive report of exactly what is needed to make this facility truly functional and to achieve the goal of consolidating all Public Works activities in one place....one of the "selling points" of the Mossy property according to the 2006 staff report.

Consolidation would free-up two city-owned properties....a parcel on Santa Fe Drive and one off Requeza by the Humane Society. Potentially, these properties could be sold to pay for the facility upgrades.

For me, the proposal did not clearly identify short-term priorities and long-term needs or the financial impacts and possible options.

Hope that clarifies my position.

NCT.com story: Encinitas nixes bids for public works center remodeling

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Encinitas Now! (Residents blast note from mayor)

People have been requesting that I blog about the latest issue of the propaganda leaflet the city puts out, Encinitas Now! for weeks, luckily the Coast News wrote a story about it and posted it on their website.

Residents blast note from mayor

August 10, 2007
By Wehtahnah Tucker
Reporter
ENCINITAS — The city recently sent a recreation guide to each household and business as it normally does each quarter. However, this time a newsletter inserted into the 31,500 booklets has raised concerns that the city violated the state Political Reform Act.

The inaugural issue of the “Encinitas Now” newsletter is tucked neatly into the guide produced by the Parks and Recreation Department. It features opening comments by Mayor James Bond regarding the reason for the newsletter — to maintain a transparent government by informing the citizens of the “many great things that are happening” in the city.

As innocuous as the comments may seem, state law prohibits a public agency from sending a mass mailing that prominently features an elected official’s name or signature, in part because it could give incumbents an unfair advantage.

Bond, whose photograph and signature is included with the letter, is facing reelection to the City Council in 2008.

Encinitas resident Hector Lopez, 51, said Aug. 6 that he plans to file a complaint against the city with the state Fair Political Practices Commission. “It appears it is a political puff piece and self-promotion at the taxpayers’ expense,” he said.

According to Chris Hazeltine, Director of Parks and Recreation Department, the newsletter cost taxpayers $10,000 to print and mail.

Lopez said he has been involved in city government as a citizen for several years and was disappointed to see the newsletter. “He talks about transparency, but the only times most of the council’s actions are clear are when it’s forced upon them by law,” he said.

California Administrative Code 18901 prohibits certain mass mailings at public expense, including written documents sent to more than 200 residents’ homes that feature an elected officer affiliated with the agency that produced the mailing. Specifically prohibited in the code is anything that “includes the elected officer’s photograph or signature, or singles out the elected officer by the manner of display of his or her name or office in the layout of the document.”

“(Bond’s) picture on page one is pretty telling,” Lopez said. “I think there’s a little gamesmanship going on here.”

Bond did not return phone calls to his office.

According to City Manager Phil Cotton, city staff put the newsletter together based on the council’s direction during the goal setting workshops held in January. “When we put it together we had no notion that we were violating any laws,” Cotton said.

Cotton, who has been on the job less than one year, said that the city had produced similar mailings in the past but could not identify a specific mailing when asked for clarification. “If we are in violation then we didn’t intend to be,” he said.

Councilwoman Teresa Barth said she was surprised that neither the city manager nor Bond was aware of the specific code since San Diego County Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Horn was admonished for a similar violation less than a year ago. That specific violation was well-publicized in the media Barth said. “I spoke to the city manager (on August 6) and he seemed unaware of the issue,” she said.

Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan said neither she nor Barth was consulted as to the content or the existence of the newsletter. “It is unfortunate that the newsletter went out without the benefit of the entire council’s oversight and input,” Houlihan said.

“While I absolutely support enhanced communication with the community through a newsletter disseminated in the recreation guide, I wasn’t given the opportunity to review the materials,” Barth said.

The last page of the newsletter lists a directory of city phone numbers, including those of each council member. According to the code, there is an exception made for “a roster listing containing the names of all elected officers of the agency” as long as the names are printed in the same location, using the same type font, size and color.

“With a minimal level of council review we could have addressed this issue of a council member’s photograph and signature in a mass mailing to our residents at the public’s expense,” Houlihan said. “This situation could have been avoided.”


click image for large view


It's been a bad week for mayor Bond and new city manager Phil Cotton. First they violate these basic rules and now they don't understand the term turnkey as it applies to their new public works property. This is all despite that Phil Cotton was the former head of public works and he just received a fat raise as city manager after only 6 months on the job. Mayor Bond has been in public service so long you would think he would know better.

Supervisor Bill Horn violated this law in 2006 Union Tribune story

I wish my copy of Encinitas Now! didn't get thrown away (and not in the recycle bin) because it showed some colorful pie charts of how Leucadia's property taxes get wasted.

Get the PDF version of the newsletter from the city website
here.

All the Encinitas Now! newsletters are archived in PDFs on the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce website.

"That is not why I moved here."

Encinitas nixes bids for public works center remodeling

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS -- The Encinitas City Council voted 4-1 Wednesday to reject bids for remodeling a former auto dealership to be used as the city's public works facility, after some council members complained that staffers did not fully reveal the condition of the building when the city purchased it one year ago.

Councilwoman Teresa Barth cast the dissenting vote. She said the former Mossy Chevrolet dealership on Calle Magdalena was sold to the community as being "move-in ready."

Barth was not on the council when the panel voted 5-0 last summer to pay $9.5 million for the 4.1-acre site.

"It was sold hard to the community," she said.

She said she toured the facility in January after she was elected.

"I was rather appalled at the run-down condition it was in,î Barth said. ìIt was not move-in ready. It desperately needed a lot of work."

The city has received bids ranging from $1.8 million to $2.2 million to improve the dealership's main building and a detached vehicle maintenance building. The bids included costs to fabricate outdoor storage bunkers and to install an elevator in the main building.

The council majority endorsed Public Works Director Larry Watt's recommendation to advertise for a job with fewer improvements.

"It's obviously not turning out to be such a good deal," said Leucadia activist Kathleen Lees.

Some council members, however, defended the purchase.

"It was never represented to me as being a turnkey operation," said Mayor James Bond. "It was represented to me as being a facility that had a number of the features we could incorporate as a public works facility. This one fell in our lap."

The work Watt is now proposing includes:

n remodeling the first floor of the main building, and adding public restrooms;

n modifying the entire building to be accessible for disabled people. The budget would allow for construction of an elevator shaft in the main building, but the elevator itself would need to come later. Watt said he did not know the extent to which the second floor could be used before the elevator requirement is met;

n installing a records storage vault with a four-hour fire rating;

n enclosing vehicle maintenance bays to create a repair shop; and

n building a locker room for employees.

In other business Wednesday, the council rejected a proposal to rezone 1.19 acres on La Costa Avenue for up to 20 residential units. The council voted 5-0 to keep the undeveloped property west of Interstate 5 available for a motel or other businesses geared toward serving visitors.

Stan Dotts, the developer from La Mesa who proposed the zoning change, told the council the long and narrow lot would be better suited for homes.

A commercial real estate broker, Joe Wadowski, added that he had been marketing the property for more than two years and that a good commercial project "would be impossible to build."

A good project belongs on the property, though, one speaker said.

Robert Nanninga, a nearby resident, told the council the site would be ideal for a small hotel complex.

ìThe sales and transient occupancy taxes generated would better serve the future needs of Encinitas than would the development of 20 apartments,î he said.

Another neighbor disagreed.

"I'd rather see residences than a Jack in the Box," said John Turk. "Thatís not why I moved here."

Earlier this summer, Dotts withdrew a separate proposal to rezone property on Manchester Avenue.

-- Contact staff writer Adam Kaye at (760) 901-4074 or akaye@nctimes.com.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Olivenhain Fence Drama


image from NCT.com

I received the following e-mail today:

LONE JACK ROAD TRAIL FENCES BEING REMOVED BY CITY WITHOUT NOTICE

Concerned Citizens Community Meeting

THIS WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15TH AT 7:00 P.M.

OLIVENHAIN MEETING HALL

******************************************************************************************************

Help us fight the City's arbitrary decision to remove the Lone Jack Trails fence that took so many years to achieve along the trail line. We've lost our only barrier that separates us on the trail from speeding and irresponsible drivers on the road.

A driver who crashed through the fence and their attorney complained to the city that the fence is dangerous because it nearly hurt the driver when it pierced the car. The city immediately began removing the fences without consulting the community. Why doesn't the City take action on the speed issue instead of the fence that so many people worked so many years to have installed for the rural beauty and separation of our trails?

Come discuss this issue with other concerned citizens and learn how you can help.

Questions, call Terry McDougall, 10-year Olivenhain resident

858-756-7627


****************************************************************************

Here is an excerpt from Bruce Ehlers’ August OTC newsletter article in case you missed it …

CITY MAY REMOVE OLIVENHAIN’S ROAD-SIDE LODGE POLE FENCES … Several recent accidents along Lone Jack Road resulted in cars careening off the road and into the lodge pole fencing separating the pavement and roadside trails. Unfortunately in at least one case, the poles impaled the car but fortunately the poles did not injure the errant driver. The incidents did catch the attention of our City’s Risk Manager and City Attorney. They were concerned about the City’s potential liability due to the placement of the fence within a “10 foot recovery zone” at the edge of the road.

The City immediately began removing the fences along Lone Jack. The Encinitas Trial Coalition (ETC) noticed this and quickly objected to the loss of the fences which isolate many trial segments from the roadway. ETC members gathered information on similar fences placed along major roads in Poway and Rancho Santa Fe. They also asked that the city slow down or stop their removals and better justify their action with specific regulations or highway design manuals.

At this time, the city has not responded with the section of the highway manual or vehicle code that is driving this sudden policy reversal. The city, home owners and civic groups (including the OTC) began installing these fences about five years ago to enhance Olivenhain’s rural character and provide some isolation between trail segments and cars. Many sections of fence have been installed as recently as the last year. It is unfortunate that the city is reacting to potential liability concerns without holding any public discussion. Hopefully we can arrange a meeting at the Olivenhain Meeting Hall before the fence removals spread beyond Lone Jack Road.

Please call or email your City Council to express your opinion about the fences. They can be easily contacted by calling 760-633-2600 or emailing them collectively at council@ci.encinitas.ca.us

NCT.com article on this subject here.

My take, what happens if the fence isn't there? Where do the cars end up? Should a community's ambiance be ruined just because of a few careless and drunk drivers? Can we install a metal guardrail at the curvy section instead of tearing down the entire fence? I say the fence should stay.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Turnkey means turnkey dammit

Encinitas public works yard remodel could top $1M, officials say

Citizens of Encinitas, do not read the North County Times story about the new Public Works Yard costing an extra meellion dollars. If we say the Mossy site is turnkey then it is turnkey. You would have just wasted your meellion dollars in tax money on Harry Potter action figures and light beer anyway so stop whining.

MOVE ALONG

YOUR FRIENDS,

THE THOUGHT POLICE

Monday, August 13, 2007

Leucadia Blvd Roundabout Drive By





I hope the new roundabouts work out because last Saturday's traffic was a mess.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Website: Friends of the Hall Park

A dense and comprehensive website with all the Hall Park info you could want (the background photo on the site is of Swami's beach and not the Hall property which is odd). The website could benefit from a photo gallery of the existing property and a better map. Maybe even add a message board where people can leave angry comments instead of on this blog? The theme of the website is "Scale Back the Park".

Friends of the Hall Property Park



Read the riveting discussion about the Hall Park on this blog post: Leucadia Blog: More Hall Park Drama

Friday, August 10, 2007

Just Fix It



Leucadia's coastal 101 corridor is the topic of today's Just Fix It column in the SDUT.

Pleas for Coast Highway stop sign awaiting officials' green light in Encinitas

By Ruth McKinnie Braun
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

August 10, 2007

THE PROBLEM: Larry Simondes didn't want anyone to die before the city of Encinitas installed a stop sign on North Coast Highway 101 at Athena Street, near busy restaurants and shops.

But in January, a 29-year-old man died after his car was hit when he made a left turn onto Coast Highway. The vehicle that hit him was going 80 mph.

Simondes and others who live off Athena pleaded to the City Council for a stop sign. This wasn't Simondes' first appeal for help, either.

A traffic study was conducted earlier, but a sign was not installed. There's a stoplight north of Athena at Leucadia Boulevard and a stop sign that was added in 1984 to the south at Marcheta Street after a woman was killed crossing the street. The distance between the two is nearly a mile.

With an estimated 20,000 cars a day using the highway – many to avoid Interstate 5 – Simondes said a stop sign would make Coast Highway much safer. “You'd keep it from being a raceway,” he said.

STATUS: Just Fix It called Encinitas Traffic Engineer Rob Blough, who said the city is starting an effort to improve the look and safety of Coast Highway. Public hearings at which Simondes and others can again appeal for a stop sign will be held, but the improvements could be years away.

WHO'S RESPONSIBLE: Rob Blough, who can be reached at (760) 633-2790 or rblough@ci.encinitas.ca.us.

Wow, all you have to is contact Rob Blough and the all the coast highway safety issues will be solved!

Leucadia Blog: Leucadia Blvd Intersection Brutal all Weekend

Rob Blough sent me this e-mail on May 15 2007

Dear JP,



Thanks for the input on the signal operation at Leucadia/101/Vulcan. I just made a signal timing change that I think will help address the problem in the westbound direction on Leucadia for the time being. The problem is exacerbated on busy Saturday weekends when everyone is leaving Beacons at 101. I am programming our central traffic control computer to document the green time for each signal movement on Saturday and will use this data to develop a special timing plan for those busy times.



I will also request that Public Works schedule repainting of the white dashed lane line in the middle of the intersection for the westbound dual left turns. This should help better designate the left turn movements.



Please let me know if you have any other questions.



Sincerely,



Rob Blough

Traffic Engineer

_______________________

Rob Blough, PE, TE, PTOE
City Traffic Engineer
City of Encinitas
505 S. Vulcan Avenue
Encinitas, CA 92024
RBlough@ci.encinitas.ca.us
760-633-2705

I noticed yesterday that the westbound Vulcan and 101 lights are finally synced to green. This seemed to help the traffic flow a lot. The intersection still desperately needs repaving and repainting though. Last weekend an SUV full of beach girls were in the left turn lane and cut off three cars by going straight to Beacon's. Lots of screeching tires and honking were the result but no collision this time. Rob Blough seems like a nice guy, hopefully the city will give him the resources he needs to improve this intersection asap.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Surf Movie at La Paloma Friday night



There is a new surf film premiering , One California Day.



One California Day isn't just an aggro jump cut surf video. Shot in crisp 16 mm OCD is pure surf cinema with a lot of time, effort and money put into it.

You can catch the local premiere this Friday at the iconic La Paloma theater in historic downtown Encinitas.

Watch the trailer and making of featurette here.



ONE CALIFORNIA DAY
SAN DIEGO SCREENING
AUGUST 10th, 2007


471 South Coast Hwy. 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

Showtimes 7:00pm and 9:15pm

Buy your tickets in advance this week exclusively at the Cardiff Patagonia store.

PRICE: $10.00 (Adults)
$8.00 (Kids 12 and under)

The Patagonia Store is located at:
2185 San Elijo Ave.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007
760-634-9886



See Also: The Patagonia Blog

and,

Super secret sneak preview clip here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Exciting News: Bids in for Leucadia sidewalks



Bids in for Leucadia sidewalk project

By: North County Times

ENCINITAS -- Nine companies submitted bids for a Leucadia sidewalk project and the lowest bidder looks to be Bonsall Construction Services, a city Public Works Department official said Tuesday.

The company bid $388,744 for the job -- a figure that is below the city's estimate, which was $400,000, Deputy City Engineer Leroy Bodas said.

Over the next few days, city employees will be going line-by-line through the bid offer, and if everything checks out OK, the contract could be awarded by the City Council at its Aug. 22 meeting, Bodas said.

The construction work would take in a 3,000-foot strip along the Coast Highway North Court to Juniper Street. Work is scheduled to begin after Labor Day weekend, and the project is expected to last about three months, Bodas said.

"We're filling in the open areas that don't have curbs and gutters," he said.



*NOTE--As pointed out in the comments section the photos above are not areas that are going to benefit from this latest sidewalk project. I used them to show that the entire coastal corridor of Leucadia needs some TLC and not just the area mentioned in the NCT article. Sorry for the confusion.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Slight Malfunction with new high tech trash cans

Citizens, we are experiencing a minor malfunction with the new $4,000 high tech trash cans we purchased for your disposal needs. Please remain calm and stay inside your homes until we sound the all clear.

thank you,

your friends,

THE THOUGHT POLICE

Encinitas buying high-tech trash cans


WARNING: graphic violence, do NOT watch.

Monday, August 06, 2007

La Costa Ave is getting worse every summer


Accident on La Costa Ave Monday afternoon August 6th, 2007


The Followng was originally posted June 2006

Guest Commentary by Herb Patterson

We all understand how city staff and city councils can make mistakes, we are human too. But how can a city fail to even begin to plan or budget for something deemed necessary when the city was founded and documented ever since ? That's what the City of Encinitas has done.

The stretch of La Costa between I-5 and 101 has always been planned to be a four lane developed highway from the inception of the city. This is again brought out in the North Highway 101 Specific Plan adopted in 1997. This plan comments that based on 1990 information, there were already intersections operating at less than the City's preferred Level of Service [LOS] C. Recent traffic counts show the average daily trips [ADT] are increasing by roughly 12% a year this without the impact of the nine planned projects directly impacting the area, the Carlsbad Ponto Project or the I5 expansion.

The City staff has covertly realized the problem and attempted to force Shea Construction to build a signalized intersection at Vulcan and La Costa, but calmer voices prevailed and only a modification of the Vulcan lanes was required. Both the City's and the developer's money would have been wasted when this section of La Costa is built to four lanes and the new intersection would have to be torn out.

The City of Encinitas has one catch-all LOS for every two lane street in the City an ADT of 11,000 for a LOS C. The current ADT averaged above and below Sheridan is over 16,000. It is more than clear that this section of La Costa needs to be expanded BEFORE the construction of all the other homes, hotels, etc. Besides being cheaper and more convenient for the residents, it will be significantly safer to do so without the additional trips generated by the on going development.

So given the facts, you would expect the City would have a plan ready to go, a source of funding identified, and be preparing to do the work.

Wrong.

There currently is no plan for the La Costa Expansion and no source of funding. There is no mention of this necessity in the current budget nor was it even discussed in the recent budget hearings. The fact is that the City of Encinitas has a series of priorities that are just more important than infrastructure. They will OK the development, but not do what is necessary to support it.

You may well ask, what happened to the traffic mitigation fees collected from the developers in this area? Good question. The code requires that collected fees “shall be used solely for the construction and reconstruction of Circulation Element streets and traffic facilities developed in conjunction with the new development. [23.94.040A]. So where is the money?

*blogger's note-I drive on La Costa Ave everyday on my work commute. The section between HWY101 and the freeway is reaching a boiling point. The addition of new homes in the surrounding neighorhood combined with people trying to get to the beach, trying to turn left onto Sheridan and Vulcan, people trying enter and exit the nurserys, the gas station, the freeway on and off ramps, will all reach critical mass when the new hotel goes in. It's like the powers that be are eager to develop that area into super suburbia while leaving this tiny section of two lane country road. It's bizarre and worse, it's dangerous. Somebody is going to die soon.

Visit Anderson's La Costa Nursery and buy yourself a sweet lawn gnome click

Leucadia Blog: La Costa Ave Expansion?

More Hall Park Drama

Rally to highlight Encinitas park concerns

A neighborhood group concerned over possible traffic and parking problems at the planned Hall property park is planning to rally at 17 locations Saturday morning, organizers said.

Members of Friends of the Hall Property will gather at intersections, beaches, markets and parks to collect signatures and pass out fliers and signs that say "Scale Back the Park," said Kim Lande, a Cardiff resident and leader of the group.

In January, the city issued a draft of the environmental report, which said the park would overwhelm nearby roads with traffic during sports tournaments. The city would be unable to compensate for some of the traffic delays because they would happen on state-controlled freeway ramps, the report said.

The report also warned of noise from the dog park and loudspeakers, but suggested walls and presetting speaker volume levels to manage the decibels. Glare from field lighting could be controlled by focusing the lights directly on the turf and shrouding the lamps with glare shields, the report said.




I think the Hall Park theme should focus on baseball.

There is no need for bright field lights that will shine in neighbors windows, play can end at sunset or the lighting should be carefully installed.

The skate park should be world class and built with input from the local skate community. The city should seek donations from the multi-billion dollar skate industry that is centered in north county.

Traffic will increase no doubt (think lots of SUV's with windows covered in pink graffiti reading, "Go Trisha U R #1!") But, traffic is horrible all over town, been to the beach lately?

The Hall Park is really expensive and is sucking funds away from other parts of the town, like downtown Leucadia. Is your street cracked and have potholes? Get used to it.

I would like to see some public art in the Hall Park. Maybe statues of soccer and baseball players or of families having fun together.

The Hall Park should be begin construction as soon as possible.

Leucadia Blog: Herb asks, "Wouldn't it be prudent?"

Leucadia Blog: Dan Dalager Constructs New Hall Park Statue

Leucadia Blog: Leucadia Property Owners Supply Massive Tax Base with Little Return

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Surfing Luchadores Strike Cardiff

Disclaimer: I had nothing to do with this and I don't know who did it so please stop calling me.


Top photo from SignonSanDiego web story. All other photos collected off the internets.












Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Greatest Headline in the History of Print

Coast News columnist, political activist and co-owner of the best coffee shop in town writes this stinging essay that features the greatest headline I have ever seen published in any periodical, ever. Even people who have given up reading Bob's columns because they are always about George Bush and global warming, won't be able to resist this one.

Homophobic surf Nazis attack Cardiff



See also:

Josh Hansen reacts to Cardiff Surfer statue


Read the Sculpture.net community message board topic about Cardiff statue click here

Watch a video about the Cardiff Surfer statue on the Surfer magazine website click here

BACKSTABBER?




Should Tim Flannery be kicked out of Leucadia for joining the vile San Francisco Giants?

If Bonds ties Hank Aaron's record in San Diego and if Flan high fives him while he rounds third, I am going to kick Flannery in the nuts next time I see him at Beacons.