Monday, August 04, 2008

Leucadia Streetscape "Alternative #4", Preserve the 101 Tree Canopy

I have been one of the most vocal advocates for a streetscape program in Leucadia, but be careful what you wish for. 2 of the 3 designs offered to us will mean removal of our iconic tree canopy in north Leucadia.

The Leucadia Streetscape design presented to the city of Encinitas by Dan Burden and Peltz & Associates offers only 3 "alternative" designs for Leucadia's highway 101 corridor. All 3 "alternatives" offer only a single north bound lane, 2 of the "alternatives" will mean the removal of the existing center median and destruction of the remaining tree canopy.

I attended the streetscape workshops and during the presentation when it was revealed that the center median would be moved and the trees cut down the audience let our audible gasp of disgust and anger. Yet, the majority of the 61 people who voted (out a crowd of hundreds) chose alternative #1.

There are several reasons for this,

*Most of the crowd attending did not like the 3 options and did not vote at all.

*The language on the choices was unclear. People saw that Alternative #1 offered roundabouts and over 300 additional parking spots with no clear mention of the center median removal.

Alternative #1 was preferred by 77% of the respondents,
1 northbound lane, two southbound lanes
5 roundabouts
1 stoplight
328 parking spaces

Alternative #2 was preferred by 4% of the respondents,
1 northbound lane, two southbound lanes
0 roundabouts
4 stoplight
350 parking spaces

Alternative #3 was preferred by 19% of the respondents,
1 northbound lane, two southbound lanes (meandering slightly to preserve existing trees)
5 roundabouts
1 stoplight
261 parking spaces

*Alternative #3 offered only 261 parking spaces and makes mention of two southbound lanes (meandering slightly to preserve existing trees).

I believe that people voting for voting Alternatives 1 and 2 did not realize they were voting for removal of the tree canopy.

Alternative #1 should have read,

1 northbound lane, two southbound lanes
5 roundabouts
1 stoplight
328 parking spaces
Removal of center median and existing trees and moving center median one lane east.

I would like to suggest that Peltz & Associates design us an Alternative #4 with 2 southbound lanes and 2 northbound lanes so that our heritage tree canopy can be preserved, maintained and improved.

What if we remove north Leucadia's beloved tree canopy and,

...end up with this style of stark looking median like in Carlsbad?

I support a streetscape for Leucadia's merchants but not a radical realignment of our coast highway and destruction of our heritage tree canopy. E-mail the Encinitas city council and Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association and let them know what you think,


    See also: Leucadia Blog: Remove Leucadia's 101 Center Median???


    1. I was at all of the workshops. I voted for #1 because it had more parking spaces for business. As I understood it some trees would be removed but not all and that it was not a set in stone design yet: there would still be meetings and workshops. What I was positive about was that I did not want choice #2.

    2. Give it up dude.

      The Eucalyptus trees are PROBLEMATIC and dangerous.

      They need to be scraped and replanted with correct to scale trees.

    3. To scale trees -- sounds like a developer posting here -- what exactly would the replacement trees scale to?

    4. Good designs thrive on restraints - like preserving existing trees and retaining historic structures.

      This is looking more and more like big box, cookie cutter, mediocre design solutions (a favorite for architects and developers because profits are maximized.

      It is our city, we pay for it, give us what we want and stop whining all of you who are defending the service providers instead of your fellow citizens. You don't get to tell us what we should be feeling.

    5. Carlsbad looks good and it is very functional. It lets both sides of the road have a good ocean view as they driving on that part of the road. Why are these trees sacred? They are ugly and cause serious maintenance problems.


      Why can't the city get part of the NCTD right of way for street widening?

      Why is more parking for business the public responsibility? Why don't the merchants pay for their own parking?

      why are there more s/b lanes than n/b lanes? Does that have anything to do with the morning commute?

      How does any plan fit with a rail trail?

    6. Can't we get the trees designated historic? According to JP, Roosevelt drove under them along 101 -- some of those trees are still alive.

    7. yeah I'm a developer...August 04, 2008 4:21 PM

      Anon4:16- Historic trees?? Try the giant redwoods of northern cal, some of which are 2000+ years old. A bunch of ugly old dying eucs are not historic!! Scrap 'em and start new.

      Yeah I'm a developer, whadda gonna do about it!

    8. I for one find the Euc's beautiful an d would like to see more planted. The Euc's grow fast and are drought tolerant. The City should be replacing the Monterey Cypress and planting more Torrey Pines as well as Coastal Oaks and Sycamores. I'm glad J.P. posted this and I'm in full agreement no Orange Countification of Coast Hwy in Leucadia.

    9. Mr. Developer- offer you a nice clean room at the Best Western next time you attend a Planning Commission meeting. And a condom?

    10. The eucalyptus trees are trashy and dysfunctional, but they give Leucadia the distinctive character that we all know and love. And, fortunately, due to Leucadia's topography, they don't obstruct ocean views (unlike eucalyptus trees in Cardiff).

      Change the trees and you change the town.
      Just imagine a Liquid Amber Leucadia.

      To Anon 4:00--Carlsbad "looks good"?
      That town is an example of what happens when developers run amok.
      Why do you think people pay the higher rents to live in Encinitas?
      Carlsbad is a low-rent Coronado.

    11. It is the tree canopy that is historic not the trees themselves. Leucadia means "sheltered place" and over time sycamores and coastal live oaks could shelter Highway 101.

      I will actively oppose any streetscape plan through Leucadia that does not preserve and restore the historic tree canopy.

    12. Speaking of preserving history:
      Isn't anyone concerned about what might become of the Daley Double?
      (it's in escrow, I think)

      I'm all for private property rights, but that place equals the boathouses or even La Paloma in terms of historical significance.

      Somebody told me that the tile floor dates back to pre-1930's; not to mention, the hardwood bar, historical paintings, etc.

      Hey, maybe Bob can give those paintings a home. Does the coffee house have any spare wall space, Bob?

    13. If the city maintained Leucadia's big trees then they would look beautiful. The city needs to trim the dead branches, remove the dead bark, clean up and weed the medians and water the trees. You know, basic easy stuff Leucadia's local property taxes pay for in other parts of Encinitas.

    14. longtimelistenerfirsttimecallerAugust 04, 2008 7:06 PM

      Not all the trees in the medians are eucalyptus.

    15. The Double may be historical, but it's got a bathroom that only RSPB could appreciate.

    16. The oleanders that have been trimmed to look like "trees" need to go - they're actually shrubs and one of the most poisonous of all plants. Leaves, flowers, roots, sap, bark - all poisonous.

    17. I am with Bob-

      Let keep it historic like it was before they paved over paradise and made it a 70mph freeway.

      The 2nd lanes in each direction are completely unnecessary and only serve Carlsbad commuters.

      I say let them stay on I5.

      Keep the existing trees, remove the unnecessary traffic lanes on each side restoring it to its historic glory days and plant more canopy trees.

      The Preferred Alternative No. 4 should be

      • Keep the existing healthy trees,
      • 5 planned roundabouts
      • re-establish the historic one lane in each direction,
      • bike lane,
      • more landscaping,
      • pedestrian improvements
      • parking so people can get out and enjoy beautiful Leucadia.

      Email Council, the planning commission and L101 mainstreet. Demand that they make sense and build the preferred alternative described above.

    18. Hey JP-

      Your suggestion is almost like Option 2 which got 4% of the vote.

      They could call your alternative the do nothing approach. Your alternative is even worse because it keep the death trap in its current condition.
      I bet if they showed your alternative it would get even less than Alternative 2.

      Restore the roads former glory. Restore one lane in each direction and keep the existing tree canopy.

    19. Bob Nanninga, (not Bob the Dip Shit Moron whose real name is probably Rupert), is the tree canopy declared an historic feature, and if not, why not? Dude, you are the answer man!

    20. No, the City of Encinitas has yet to craft a heritage tree policy, hence the reason the trees are under attack and the canopy unprotected from the likes of NCTD and city contractors.

      The city has also failed to create a tree policy of any sort.

    21. Add to option 4 sidewalk cafes to the closed lanes and cobblestone to remaining two lanes. Plant Torrey Pines. They are good looking trees and will grow in Leucadia.

      Tax the business owners to maintain the trees and the cobblestone streets.

    22. Anon 6:35 is right. The trees need to be pruned and cleaned up. I think you go through and remove any diseased, damaged, or dangerous Eucalyptus, keep the real nice specimens. Remove the Oleanders also. Once you have your core group of nice big canopy trees, design around them. I just think it would be a shame to remove all those old trees. Does anyone know what trees are on the new plans?

    23. Designing a street scape plan that has to work around trees that will be dead naturally anyway in 5 to ten years, is not wise.

    24. Keeping the unnecessary 2nd south bound lane is not wise. Use the excess carlane for landscaping, bike lanes and walkways.....

      Restore some of the paving over paradise that occurred over the last 50 years.

      Keep LA away.

    25. Stop drinking the NCTD and city kool-aid. The big trees are NOT at the end of their life cycle. Trees are not like people, they don't just drop dead after 100 years. If trees have all the elements they need they will live on for 100's of years.

    26. JP-

      That first picture is now historic.

      Long Board Grotto Gone.

      In its place. 3 Story building like next to that cool red vet building...... Ugggg.

      I think the City needs to start working on revisiting N. Coast Hwy 101 specific plan.

    27. My plan is worse than nothing? Why, it still includes major landscaping beautification and roundabouts.

      Mark my words, everyone is going to be shocked the minute after we cut down all of the trees. The NCTD wasteland will really stand out, there will be no shade, driving the corridor won't be memorable to tourist and locals-it will just be another random part of the coast highway. The tree canopy is north Leucadia's signature. I have friends from up north like to stay in the north Leucadia motels instead of downtown Encinitas because of the rural atmosphere. Don't be so hasty to chop down our classic trees. You would be surprised how much nicer they would look if we took care of them.

    28. I attended all the workshops. My main focus has always been slowing down traffic and restoring a tree canopy that I remember from my first visit to the area in the late 60's. I did vote for option #1, not realizing it would mean the removal of the "historic" medium. What I did like were the changes proposed for the south end of the corridor, Encinitas Blvd to No. Court. This will be the first part of the Streetscape plan and in my opinion any change to enhance the community for this area would be welcome. It is my understanding that the start of this project will take at least 18 mo. and that we are easily 5yrs(more like 8+) from any changes to the North end of the corridor. I would hate to see the entire Streetscape plan stalled, or scraped because of the concerns many of us have for the northern part of this plan. Why can't we continue with discussion and ideas for the northern end of the corridor, while the first part of the steetscape begins. I'am sure I will be more informed as the steetscape begins, to the changes I would like to see at the north end of the corridor. In the meantime, I would,and have, asked the city to SLOW DOWN TRAFFIC,PLANT TREES AND MAINTAIN THE MEDIUMS AS THEY ARE NOW.

    29. North of Leucadia Blvd. and South of Leucadia don't have to be the same.

      North of Leucadia Boulevard, they should keep the existing median trees, and reduce the south bound lanes to one lane. That would keep the existing historic canopy.

    30. Patricia, your comments are spot on target.

      The phase that is being constructed first is from A St. to North Ct. There are no medians, no trees, only asphalt. Future phases will hopefully follow as funding allows. We have a while before we get to the medians with existing trees.

      In my mind, 90% of the historic canopy along the entire corridor is already gone. It has been dwindling for the past fifty years. We cling steadfastly to the remaining portion saying don’t you dare take another tree out.

      The preservation of the existing 10% is great, but the strong emphasis should be on recanopying (if that’s a word) 100% of the corridor, If that means that some of the old trees stay, some get moved, and some get removed, so that we can recanopy and make the road a local road, narrowing the lanes, narrowing the asphalt for cars, and increasing the width of landscaping, sidewalks and bike paths….well that is a better option.

      Hwy 101 in it’s current config. was established in the late 1930s as a 4 lane U.S. highway with a design speed of 65mph. That is what we live with today essentially unchanged. Prior to that it was a two lane road, prior to that it was a dirt path.

      In the early 1960’s Interstate 5 was built that superseded the US Hwy system. Highway 101 was no longer a US route and reverted to state control. North of Hollywood, the old 101 is still a State Hwy (it looks like I-5) as it hugs the coast and I-5 takes an inland route towards Sacramento. South of Hollywood the road was deemed redundant by the state as it parallels the I-5 and the roadway reverted to local control.

      What it is by definition is a local arterial road. What it is today in reality is a 4 lane U.S. highway with a design speed of 65mph.

      We can, we should, balance the road so that it serves the pedestrians, the bicyclists, and the auto at a reduced design speed of 25 to 35 mph as a local road.

      The difference between the northbound and southbound lanes are this:

      1.The traffic counts southbound are 25% higher than northbound.
      2. Driving northbound you have two points of interaction with cars, Leucadia blvd & La Costa ave.
      3. Driving southbound you have 500 points of interaction. Each parking spot, driveway, and road are interaction points.

      An interaction point will clog and slow traffic as the merging car fits in to the flow. One lane with that many interaction points would be very difficult.

      The corridor is asymmetric with businesses on one side, rail on the other. Given the lower counts of traffic northbound and only two interaction points, a one lane config with ¼ mile long two lane approaches to La Costa and Leucadia Blvd to accommodate the right turn, is the best option and is supported by the conditions and local road classification.

      The total of a three lane config. with narrower lane widths, allow for more landscaping, bicycle lanes in both directions and diagonally parked cars in the existing right of way. (reclaiming asphalt used for cars to now be used for people, bikes and trees) All of these are components of a slower road speed and a local road design.

      Whew, that was more writing than I had intended.

    31. It's south Leucadia's restaurant row that really needs the extra parking. I can't believe the amount of cars parked in the NCTD zone at night (with girls in high heels trying to cross the busy, dark highway).

      I'm okay with 3 lanes in south Leucadia, but I don't want to see the north Leucadia center median and it's big trees moved.

    32. J.P.

      This blog is a great discussion place.
      Thanks for the love and work keeping it on top of the news. Much more info here than in the newspapers.

    33. Anon 7:57 is right.
      All of the big, old eucalyptus trees of my childhood are still alive and well 40 years later. Left alone, those trees will probably outlive our grandchildrens' grandchildren.

    34. Leucadia isn't exactly a destination. Sometimes, if I'm shopping at Costco or Walmart, I'll take the scenic route south through Leucadia and maybe stop at the Longboard Grotto or Juanitas.

      Impede the flow of traffic and people will stop considering Highway 101 as an alternate travel route.
      For example, travelling north on the I-5, I would NEVER ever consider exiting at Carmel Valley Road and taking the scenic route through Del Mar. That's mainly because I don't want to deal with the single-lanes and stop signs on HWY 101 near the racetrack.

      Slowing down traffic might make things quieter and more relaxed for locals, but I think it is bad for business.

    35. The residents of Leucadia are trashy and disfunctionable as well.

    36. Why is the south part being done first -- if there is money available, do the north part first because the trees need help now, the speeding is a problem now, and the gross NCTD area needs to be addressed now. I can see the south part being done, and then that plan continued northward because that's "obviously what the residents wanted."

    37. this blog is stupid

    38. to answer -

      "Slowing down traffic might make things quieter and more relaxed for locals, but I think it is bad for business."

      quite contraire-

      Slowing down traffic will improve the business along the cooridor.

      Lower speeds and you create more of a destination that people want to visit and spend time because its pretty more peaceful and fun to hang out. Lower traffic speed and the whole business corridor will prosper.

      Look what happen on Cedos Avenue in Solana Beach or Birdrock. They lowered speeds and low and behold a successful business district formed.

      Cut through traffic actually harms business. The numbers prove it.

    39. Think of how stupid a person is that follows this blog if they find it stupid

    40. Anon 12:17-

      Your logic is fairly good, but you’re missing a few key points.

      The 25% increase in southbound traffic was pure I5 cut through traffic. That no longer is the case with higher gas prices. I5 is gridlocked less often and we are experiencing less cut through traffic. With the developing the developing Asia (mostly China and India) oil demand will continue to increase, you will be seeing even higher gas prices in the coming years.

      Traffic flow along the alignment is and always will be governed by the capacity and number of lanes through the intersections. The intersections receive most conflicting movements.

      If the intersections are one lane in each directions, than the road beyond the intersection only needs to be one lane.

      This is proven in real life by the recently completed birdrock traffic calming and streetscape improvements. They have high traffic flows, business with driveways all along their alignment on both sides of the street and they dropped a 4 lane road it to one lane in each direction with roundabouts.

      If it is currently working in Birdrock with higher traffic volumes, it will work even better in Leucadia.

      Since the new Birdrock Streetscape is working beautifully, its proof that there is no need for the second south bound lane.

      Maybe you can explain to me why it built and working fine in Birdrock with higher traffic volumes than Leucadia but it would not work in Leucadia?

      Bonus- If we drop one lane south bound notth of Leucadia Blvd, we can easily keep the center median and historic canopy. If the traffic qurus feel that 2 lanes southbound on Hwy 101 south of Leucadia Blvd., then so be it. You will not be killing any trees.

      I think we should mix up the design a bit. It does not need to be identical all along the corridor. In fact, having one southbound lane north of Leucadai Blvd. transitioning to 2 southbound lanes south of Leucadia Blvd. seems to make the most sense to me.

      Anon 12:17- I look forward to your response.

    41. Anon 3:12- If you are going to use psychobabble words, please, at least spell them correctly. Disfunctional is spelled Dysfunctional. And, the people of Leucadia are not Dysfunctional. Do you even know what it means.? Sorry folks, I am feeling a little dysfuntional today myself.

    42. Rumor is that Jim Bond pulled his papers to run for City Council today. Does anyone know if this is true?

    43. Bond did pull his papers today is what I was told. He keeps forgetting he is not running again.

    44. God the poor old guy has dementia. Maybe he will forget what City he lives in. He has been quoted as saying numerous times that he is not running. He either forgot or he is a huge liar.

      The fire department and City Manager must have talked him into it. Both have a great thing with him and Jerry in place. Both Jim and Jerry can't think for themselves.

    45. Anon 4:03.

      Fairly good? Just kidding!

      I would say most of the reason there is more traffic on the southbound lanes is the fact that100% of the businesses are on the southbound lanes side. Some of the reason is cut through traffic, more in the morning going south and lighter in the evening coming north.

      Also, traffic in the summer is super intense and it is not cut through freeway avoidance traffic. It is visitor and local traffic looking to spend time at our beaches and do a little shopping or just recreating down the 101.

      I would encourage everyone to visit the Birdrock area, it’s so close, and try out the new street lane & roundabout configurations. I have, it works and is a great improvement. It’s also part of historic Hwy 101.

      It is mostly residential in my opinion as opposed to mostly commercial. Residential may have several car trips a day leaving the home and coming home plus small trips, but commercial may have 50 to 200 (or more) customers a day per store arriving and departing.

      Even in a one lane each way config, there would be need to be a generous pull over area southbound to get out of one lane of traffic and do the maneuver to park diagonally. So it’s essentially nearly as wide as two lanes.

      I Like J.P.’s and your idea of mixing it up a bit. It’s a few miles long and does not have to be all the same.

      I would also say if we self destruct and fight each other, any rhetoric of the city trying to keep us poor and not spending any money in the area should cause us to look in the mirror.

      The city is trying, they did a great job on the interim sidewalks, Leucadia blvd is looking great with the roundabouts and sidewalks. They have held really good well attended workshops on the streetscape, and I believe they are listening and trying to do what most people want.

      I’m sure on this blog that last paragraph is going to be ripped apart.

      Come on Jim, You told us you were not going to run, over and over again. The retinue of North County politicians who can’t walk away is tiresome. Buddy Lewis, Ann Kulchin, Jim Bond, Corky Smith, Gloria McClellen and on on. Some die, some get voted out, but for most it’s their way of staying relevant in their golden years in their own private club.

      It’s time for fresher faces.

    46. Wow 6:15-

      Good stuff. I fully agree.

      Encinitas political debates will be more fun than a new episode of LOST!

      I can't waite.... I bet 50% odds, Bond blows an aneurism from the pressure he will now feel for his 12 years of sorrow and poor decisions. Additionally, is he going to illegally pollute all of Encinitas with his huge signs again this time?

    47. True,

      ENCINITAS: Bond to seek re-election for a fifth term
      Field of council candidates grows to 10
      By RUTH MARVIN WEBSTER - Staff Writer | Tuesday, August 5, 2008 4:15 PM PDT ∞

      Encinitas Councilman James Bond said he is running for re-election. ENCINITAS ---

      In a surprise turnaround, four-term Councilman James Bond said Tuesday that he will run for re-election in November.

      Bond, 69, had previously indicated that he would not run for another term. He has served on the panel for 16 years and is a resident of Olivenhain.

      "I really had no intention of running this time, but I was besieged by so many folks and it finally got to me," Bond said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I took a week's vacation and thought about it a lot and ... I have some unfinished business to do on the council."

      Two-term incumbents Maggie Houlihan and Jerome Stocks have also pulled papers signaling their intent to run for re-election. That brings the total number of potential candidates to 10 for the three council seats being vacated this fall.

      Houlihan said she plans to make an announcement regarding her candidacy at 5 p.m. Wednesday at a news conference to be held the C Street overlook near Moonlight Beach.

      Newcomer Betsy Aceti also pulled papers to run for City Council. Aceti, the wife of California Coastal Coalition director Steve Aceti, officially announced her candidacy Tuesday.

      A homemaker, artist and school volunteer, Aceti is also a member of the San Diego Historical Society and Quail Botanical Gardens.

      Bond is the only person to ever have served four terms on the council. He said he considers the post similar to any other kind of public service, much like volunteering for the Rotary Club or the Lions Club.

      Bond said key issues for the council in the coming months include how to address the region's water shortage and what to do about sand replenishment along the entire coastline, specifically in Encinitas. He also said it was critical that a park design be approved for the Hall property.

      Bond has served as business and finance chairman of the Metropolitan Water District board of directors and has served on work committees for the San Diego Association of Governments since 1993.

      Under state election laws, candidates must file papers by August 8 to run in the Nov. 2 election. If an incumbent declines to run again, the filing deadline is extended to Aug. 13.

      Candidates also recently filed campaign disclosure statements for the period ending June 30. The next deadline to file campaign contribution statements is Oct. 6, with another contribution statement to follow on Oct. 23. Campaign contributions of $100 or more are a matter of public record.

      Contact staff writer Ruth Marvin Webster at (760) 901-4074 or

    48. Roadside Park BumAugust 05, 2008 9:08 PM

      Bond running for council does not bode well for BOB nor the city of Encintias. Will any of those people that urged him to run for re-elections please come forward and identify yourselves. I need a good laugh!!

    49. Roadside Park BumAugust 05, 2008 9:32 PM

      BTW- The NCT no longer accepts my posting under comments, nice form of censorship. I guess the thought of a homeless bum with a lap top is too much for them to contemplate. That or someone with reason and logic justs scares them too much.

      PS- Encinitas does NOT need James Bond!!


    50. If 3:12 moved to Carlsbad, he'd raise the IQ of both places!

    51. Years ago when Bob and Jim were running for council at the same time, there was a forum at Pinots Restaurant one morning. Someone asked Jim what he would do about over-population. He said: "Bob has an idea. Shoot a pregnant woman." Then he looked at the reporters as everyone's mouth was dropped open and said: "Jesus, don't print that!" And they didn't.

    52. Historic Hwy101 loverAugust 07, 2008 9:38 PM

      Anon 6:15-

      Your writing is well but your facts are off.

      your second two paragraphs are BS.

      You know its booonk... the rest of your statements are good.

      All the business traffic in Leucadia would equate to less than 1000 trips per day. (they actually wish they had that kind of business)

      Birdrock has successful businesses and restaurants on both sides of the streets and draws a much higher traffic count than Leucadia.

      One lane in each direction would work excellent in Leucadia....

      Let’s restore some historic dignity to this town and return our mainstreet to one lane in each direction.

      To do otherwise would be criminal.

    53. the people who want to tear down the eucs are dorks and drones in fat ugly pickups who deserve to be flattened by a falling tree.


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