From the desk of,
TO: CITY COUNCIL AND TRAFFIC COMMISSION
RE: TRAFFIC - WALGREENS
For years now I have been quoting the General Plan verbiage below:
Circulation Element Goals and Policies page C-3 reads as follows “Policy 1.2 Endeavor to maintain Level of Service C as a basic design guideline for the local system of roadways understanding that the guideline may not be attainable in all cases.” and “Policy 1.3 Prohibit development which results in Level of Service E or F at any intersection unless no alternatives exist and an overriding need can be demonstrated."
For years you have not enforced this provision of the General Plan. We now have a perfect test case as their is no controversy over the conditions of the intersection of Encinitas Blvd. and El Camino Real, the proposed site of the now green lighted Walgreens. The Walgreens traffic report shows the before build out and after build out improvement the peak hour level of service are between LOS D and E at peak hours [see Table Seven pg. 29 of the traffic report]. It also shows that the 2030 baseline and the baseline+project level LOS for the two driveways varies between LOS C and E during peak hours [ see table 5, pg. 26] .
So what are my conclusions ?
1. The development should not be allowed because the threshold of the General Plan have already been exceeded. No new development affecting this intersection should be allowed until such infra structure improvements as necessary to bring the intersection within the acceptable limits of the General Plan are done.
2. The addition of an additional right hand turn lane on the West side of El Camino Real would mitigate the gross LOS figures generated by the Walgreens to a certain extent, but whatever that extent would be, it would not mitigate the the driveways at peak hours AS THE TURNING MOTION REMAINS THE SAME. In fact, a dedicated right hand turn lane without an island preventing those leaving the El Camino Real driveway of the BofA from attempting any other action other than turning right may well make the problem worse.
3. This project is not one where "no alternatives exist" or an "overriding need can be demonstrated".
4. The alternative of closing the BofA El Camino access has not been discussed, whether in the context of moving the BMW driveway to alignment with the MacDonald's driveway on Encinitas and signalizing it to provide access to all or with no further changes. The Staff report indicates the only other option would be to change or remove the existing BofA building. They have failed to consider any other possibilities and have been deaf to the community.
I propose that each of you respond to this letter in writing so the citizens of Encinitas can understand your views. I suggest that you do this without help of staff or counsel, though the response of staff could certainly be included as a separate response. I suggest you respond to the applicability of the General Plan in general as well as this specific example. Ms Barth is excused from this exercise as she voted for the appeal against this project based on other General Plan provisions - though she is welcome to provide input. Since the Traffic Commission will review this project, their participation is also voluntary.
I have contacted J.P. La Pierre and he will post this letter and your responses on his "Leucadia!" website so the community can better understand your point of view. For years I have presented you with these General Plan provisions and have never received a written reply. I believe you owe me and the citizens of Encinitas a specific reply outlining your views.
See Herb's previous letter about Walgreen's: Leucadia Blog: Do we need tax monies so badly that we are willing to shoehorn in an unneeded business on an illegal lot?
ENCINITAS: Walgreens gets green light