Friday, May 09, 2008

"It's a scandal that you don't have double tracking,"

NCT online: REGION: SANDAG, groups reach settlement


A regional planning agency has agreed to try to accelerate completion of a second track on the North County coast and consider expanding the role of public transit the next time it writes a long-range blueprint for transportation projects in 2011, according to a settlement.

Encinitas attorney Marco Gonzalez, who represented Save Our Forest and Ranchlands, said the threat stemmed from what he termed the association's failure to develop a plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The state attorney general cited similar concerns in a November letter.

"We're building an infrastructure and a plan here that is totally unprepared to deal with the future," said Duncan McFetridge, president of Save Our Forest and Ranchlands, in suggesting that soaring oil prices and global warming ultimately will force people to drive less.

"I think our settlement is historic because it guides us toward a transit future," McFetridge said, in a telephone interview Tuesday.

McFetridge was one of the signatories.

According to the association, about 60 percent of the coastal railroad has two sets of tracks now.

"It's a scandal that you don't have double tracking," McFetridge said.

At the same time, Gonzalez said, "We recognize that the stretch along Del Mar is going to be problematic."

Association officials have said completing a parallel track through North County will require trestles over lagoons and a tunnel under Del Mar. A tunnel is fiercely opposed by many in the tiny, wealthy seaside community who fear it would ruin neighborhoods and the coastal environment.

But McFetridge said two sets of tracks would be beneficial for the environment in the long haul.

He said North County Transit District could run many more Coaster trains during the rush hour and every one would be packed with commuters, taking cars off the road and slashing emissions of greenhouse gases.

*"Wealthy" Del Mar is not the only issue. Double tracking through Leucadia without lowering the tracks will cripple our town. It will be impossible to get across Leucadia Bvld, leaving only Encinitas Blvd and La Costa Ave as options to access downtown Leucadia. Double tracking will mean twice as many dust clouds from 80 mph trains. Double tracking will mean long red lights at the Leucadia Blvd/Hwy101/Vulcan Ave intersection with traffic backing up Leucadia Blvd all the way to I-5, causing frustration, gridlock and yes, greenhouse emissions.

Leucadia Blog: Lowering the Train Tracks is the ONLY Solution for Leucadia


  1. I know one thing for certain. If Jerome remains our representative for NCTD, we will get exactly what we've received over the last 8 years. Nothing but more trains and more pollution, 100 trainblasts 24/7 and less access to downtown businesses and the beach. Sounds great doesn't it.

    For us to have any chance at all, we need to sue nctd to underground the tracks through encinitas. No underground tracks- No Second track. Its that simple.

  2. The City should hire Marco Gonzales to sue NCTD for polluting Leucadia with airborn pollutants (dust and diesel) caused by the increase of its 45 trips through Encinitas per day. If you can't do it yourself, hire someone that can do it. He would get the job done and would get the tracks lowered.

  3. Everyone calm down. This COULD be a good thing. This could be the incentive to get our tracks lowered. Let's use this negative to our advantage. Either that or ALL HELL IS GOING TO BREAK LOOSE!

  4. Fire ten employees and dedicate the $1,000,000 in savings to lowering the tracks.

  5. Thats a million per year. Fire 20 and you would have a funding source for undergrounding the tracks.

  6. Roadside Park BumMay 09, 2008 9:48 PM

    "It's a scandal that the tracks haven't been lowered below grade."


  7. Double-tracking at grade through Leucadia is unacceptable.

    If expansion of the rail corridor is to happen it must dropped below grade. Long trench through Leucadia short trench through Cardiff.

    No compromise in defense of Encinitas.

  8. Bob has my Vote.

    I know he's not afraid to say anthing, and I would love to see him in action as a NCTD Boardmember. I think he would be much more effective for Encinitas than our current nothing approach.

    Plus the NCTD boardmeetings would be more interesting than watching Lost.

  9. Council special budget workshop is on May 13th. Council should start a reserve for undergrounding the tracks through Encinitas. Put $1,000,000 in it. Every large project needs seed money.

  10. Anon 1:49

    Good call. The Undergrounding reserve would let NCTD know Encinitas is serious about sinking the rail corridor below grade, with or without a second track.

  11. Tell the Council Members and the City Manager what we want. Email them today!

    As anon 2:53 syas, this could be a good thing - the "price" to double track is undergrounding (trench and cover).

    But if you don't tell the Council, they won't know, so go ahead and speak up.

  12. If the current council doesn't, know they haven't been listening. The undergrounding converstion has in play since talk of double-tracking surfaced during Christie Guerin's reign of error a decade ago.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. I meant to say;

    If the current council doesn't know, they haven't been listening. The undergrounding converstion has been in play since talk of double-tracking surfaced during Christie Guerin's reign of error a decade ago.

    Calls to drop the LOSSAN rail corridor below grade are not new.

  15. Good idea to contact the council (over and over again if necessary). What does the anagram LOSSAN mean?

  16. LOSSAN is short for Los Angeles/San Diego

  17. Thanks for the translation. I do think that the idea of getting as many people as possible on trains instead of cars - of their own choice - is ideal. But, it shouldn't be either / or as so much is framed.

    Two tracks below grade and covered - I hope Bob and Rachelle can both be our advocates for this.

  18. An "anogram" for LOSSAN would be:
    An Loss.

  19. I have always been an advocate for grade separation though Leucadia.

  20. Does anyone know how much this will cost?

    Also, even though Bob implies that we don't need to contact the City, I respectfully disagree.

    I suspect that the City people can honestly say that they don't have very many emails to support this idea. It won't hurt do send some email!

  21. The scandal is that the tracks aren't underground. They should be underground and the land above leased to pay for the project with bond financing. If trains can run under the English channel and San Francisco Bay they surely can run underground here.

  22. Anon 9:46

    I didn't imply anything of the sort. Residents should contact the City Council regarding complete grade separation by all means available to them. The intent of my post was to point out the Encinitas council is fully aware of the calls for undergrounding by Leucadia residents, to allude otherwise disregards the lack of representational leadership surrounding the LOSSAN Rail Corridor.

  23. Some of the comments remind me of a 17 year old that wants a million dollar sports car with no idea of how to pay for it!

    Not trying to put a damper on a great topic put we do need to talk about how much it's going to cost and who is going to pay for it.

    Our engineering firm worked on this project.

    Some one finally asked the smart question, how much does it cost.

    The Alameda cooridor was grade separated, started in 1997, finished in 2002. It's the most recent project in the United states that did what you wish to do.

    The project’s centerpiece is the Mid-Corridor Trench, which carries freight trains in an open trench that is 10 miles long, 33 feet deep and 50 feet wide between State Route 91 in Carson and 25th Street in Los Angeles. Construction began in April 1997. Operations began in April 2002.

    The $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor was funded through a unique blend of public and private sources. (about half the project is in the trench but 70% of the cost was the trench)

    That works out nearly 200 million dollars a mile in year 2000 dollars for a trench, you could use that as a starting point number, most likly double it with the cost increases and fuel the past 8 years and the fact that a Leucadia project would be smaller, thus more costly per mile, especially if you add a cover as I have heard talk of in the past.
    $400 mil a mile would be a reasoanble estimate in 2008.

    A more realistic approach (still huge cost) would be to grade separate just the Leucadia blvd. crossing. The most cost effective way given that 101 is lower than the train be several feet would be to raise the train and put Leucadia blvd underneath to 101.

  24. There are some immature comments on this blog. It is a blog.

    How much did it cost Solana Beach to trench? Lets use that more similar project as a starting point.

  25. Where were your voices when they double tracked Cardiff? Didn't bother you much then.

    I'll give you another reason to oppose double tracking. High speed rail corridor. The lack of a double track kept the planning away from the coast. NCTD wants it because of the fees it can charge a high speed rail train.

    The entire length of the corridor through encinitas needs to be lowered. This includes all of Cardiff and Leucadia. Another idea is to move highway 101 and the tracks over san elijo lagoon onto a bridge so the mouth of the lagoon can again be opened to the sea.

  26. Some ideas for funding:

    -Take to tunnel money that Del Mar turned down.

    -Take the money the city wants to use to build the tweaker bunkers.

    -It looks like Caltrans paid for MOST of the Alameda Corridor Pacific Coast Highway Grade Separation project.

    -Take the Bilbray's Leucadia Boulevard/Railroad Safety Improvements intuitive $0.5M for 2008.(Not much, but better than $0)

    -Leverage flood control funding as the storm runoff would share the trench.

    -Have NCTD sell off or quit buying and operating $1M+ busses that only have 2 or 3 people riding then and replace with mini-vans, 15-passenger vans or something more size appropriate. (I can not understand how driving nearly empty busses around is good for traffic congestion, tax payers or the environment.)

    -In general, force NCTD to cough up $ towards mitigation of fugitive dust pollution, storm runoff and safety problems.

    -Convince the city that it is Leucadia’s turn for $20M towards a project.

    -Any other ideas?

  27. ribeye2k

    Let's not forget the federal government.

  28. Has anyone written to the City Council or Staff yet?

  29. Hey Dalager and Stocks what is the function of government?

    Infrastructure vs. social programs. How much is going into the Hall park vs. the train tracks?

  30. Dear Cardiff,
    Sorry we did not help you with your double tracking issue. Oh wait, we did try to help. We wrote letters and went to meetings. The NCTD laughed at us. Sorry our efforts failed.

  31. How much did it cost Solana Beach to trench?

  32. For Solana Beach, the lowering the tracks cost the City all the traffic and issues associated with a regional NCTD Train station and Bus Station. The train station did change the character of Solana Beach- Not necessarily for the better. Del Mar didn't want it and nor did Encinitas.


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