Sunday, December 21, 2008

Residents with a different view

These letters were published in The Coast News.

Encinitas needs to listen to residents
After attending Workshop No. 3 for the Leucadia 101 it is evident that the Encintias city staffers need to learn to listen to those they serve: the people of this town. The overwhelming majority who attended were first time attendees, packing City Hall to voice their concern that the city is misguided in its vision for Leucadia and reckless in it hiring of consultants pushing for major development. Most outrageous is the proposal to include single lanes and five double-to-single land roundabouts, which would equate to 12 serious bottlenecks in this 2-mile corridor. The proposed plans are perfectly designed to send overflow traffic through many neighborhood streets. Workshop No. 3 was an obvious wakeup call for everyone. The plans do not address the I-5 overflow, the problems of Leucadia Boulevard at the railroad track, the Vulcan Avenue corridor, nor the safety and quality of life for those who live along these corridors. Perhaps the city staffers can stop pushing the theme of Greek gods and spiritual revivalist, and start looking at the future that attainable.

Mike Farber

Proposed improvements good for business?
Coast Highway 101 businesses in Leucadia must be doing great in this economy. They have too many customers and want less business. By permanently closing down one lane of Highway 101, they lose thousands of cars a weekend that want to cruise the coast, choose a slower, more scenic option to I5—stop, shop, and eat along the way. Those thousands of visitors won’t be parking miles away to walk, bike, or take the bus to an airy-fairy “village” concept. But I’m sure Leucadia merchants will attract a whole new crop of visitors that just can’t wait to experience driving around and around and around in the five traffic circles planned.

Ken Harrison


  1. After reading last weeks letter from Mr. Harrison and Ms. Marr, it appears that the options on the Leucadia Streetscape plan and why they are offered are not clear to them.
    The public should be aware that the third workshop did offer and encourage public input, the signatures mentioned in a survey were signing a survey that stated such things as Leucadia Blvd. would dead end at the tracks, most of the trees would be felled and other misleading statements.

    What would create bottle necks are stop signs, not roundabouts. Drive up Leucadia. Boulevard, through Del Mar or Bird Rock. You drive through the roundabouts and stop and wait at the signs. Roundabouts are safer for drivers, walkers, bikes, increase traffic flow even at lower speeds, offer landscape beatification options and are wiser environmentally. One lane going north would allow for the canopy to be restored, increase parking, provide safe bike lanes and allow for a trail on the east side. NCTD is not going to replant trees. Issues such as saving the canopy, parking, safe traffic for cars and people walking or biking were brought up when the Specific Plan was drafted and when the public was invited to participate in the design. The city, staff, Peltz and Associates have done a commendable job in taking all these issues into account in the design options and getting input from hundreds of concerned citizens.
    I encourage interested parties to get involved and be well informed.
    Visit the City web site or for detailed information.
    Support the long awaited and well deserved Leucadia Streetscape

  2. I've known and liked Ken since High School but I think he's way off on this one. Likewise I disagree with Mr. Faber. The only bottle necks in town that make traffic back up are caused by STOP LIGHTS and STOP SIGNS - not roundabouts. As far as traffic backing up "at least 2 or 3 times a month" from "Marchetta Street to past Encinitas Blvd" (as someone has claimed), businesses at Encinitas Blvd have yet to see that ever happen. But in the event it would ever happen, the STOP SIGN at Marchetta St. would be the reason, but it doesn't happen.

    The four proven elements that make for more effecient and safer traffic flow in other cities are:
    * Slower speed limits
    * Fewer Stop Signs
    * Fewer Stop Lights
    * Roundabouts

    If that's not true, I've been elaborately lied to by Peltz. If it is true, where's the evidence for Ken and Mike's argument?

  3. We would have world peace if they installed roundabouts in the Middle East.

  4. Walker O-

    No but traffic would be calmer than with a signal or stop sign.

    The authors of these letters do not present accurate information.

    "Most outrageous is the proposal to include single lanes and five double-to-single land roundabouts, which would equate to 12 serious bottlenecks in this 2-mile corridor."

    This is a ridiculous statement. All you need to do is drive down Leucadia Blvd. There is never a bottleneck at the roundabouts. The only bottlenecks happen at the Signals and all way stops. And the Signals at Vulcan Avenue and Orpheus Avenue have 2 lanes going in each direction and they still back up traffic.

    This one stretch of Leucadia Blvd. along with the proven performance from the Bird Rock project dropping from 5 lanes down to 2 lanes, prove the roundabout will work great.

    Ken and Mike- I suggest you go drive Leucadia Blvd. to gauge how well the different intersection control function.

    If the project did include Signals or all way stops, then the project will have bottleneck. Thankfully, that is not the case.

  5. Funny that people are now lobbying for stop signs on the coast highway considering how much everyone hates the stop sign at Marchete in Leucadia and the stop sign at H st in Encinitas.

  6. Most folks don't want stop signs, traffic lights or roundabouts. It takes the rural character out of Leucadia's stretch of 1o1. What's wrong with lowering the speed limit along this stretch of road before spending untold millions on this project?
    Both of these letter writers have my respect as they at least signed their names to what they profess.

  7. "What's wrong with lowering the speed limit along this stretch of road before spending untold millions on this project?"

    Nothing is wrong with lowering the speed limit, but it won’t do any good. People drive at whatever speed they feel is safe for a road. That road was designed before I5 was in place and for 70mph traffic.

    The road needs to be modified to make people slow down.

    To prove my point, how many people travel under 65 mph on an open I15 or I5?

    I get passed regularly when I am cruising at 80 mph.

    The speed limit on N. Coast 101 is 40 mph. People regularly go 50 mph plus on that wide straight road. Lowering the speed limit will do nothing, unless you change the road and make people want to drive slower.

    The current conditions are deadly as proven time and time again. Roundabouts work great. Keep the project moving forward, before more Leucadians die.

  8. Roundabouts are functional in all directions if there is no primary arterial. On Santa Fe, the primary flow is east and west, so the north and south flow is frequently stopped waiting to duck into the roundabout. Maybe the roundabouts would function more efficiently on 101 where there would be only three access points. Bottom line, roundabouts are not historic. Either fess up to wanting to build a commercial corridor, or let the historic straightaway be. Roundabouts will be the death of funky. Why cruise north county if it looks the same as all the developed coastal properties to the south. Planted medians of Home Depot drought resistant plants and concrete curbs... barf.

  9. 9:17 - careful what you ask for. Traffic calming on Rubenstein means expanding the right of way of the road, so homeowners have had to cut down and/or eliminate hedges, parking and trees and give up land to an expanded right of way. This is so the City can now put in new hedges, parking and trees. What happened to good old fashioned speed humps...seems to work on Crest and they are much cheaper. Oh, guess with speed humps the "consultants" wouldn't need to get involved.

  10. I never noticed it before, but Mike does kinda resemble Jack, at least the smile.

  11. The Coast News appears very bias to the Streetscape plans. It has kept the Andreen rant on their web for 18 days and has offered a lot of space in letters for the uninformed negative public comments. Ms. Marr gets letters in every other week. I don't believe that there are only negative letters submitted.
    Has anyone written positive notes that have been omitted?

  12. As managing editor of The Coast News, I can assure you that I print every letter I get as long as I can verify verbally with the sender and it fits our 300-word limit. If the letter is more than 300 words, I give the writer a chance to revise it. I have not received any positive letters on the subject.

    Laurie Sutton

  13. Mr. Change-at-any-cost schooled again.

  14. Mike looks more like the pimple on my butt!

  15. hiring a traffic cop solely for 101 writing tickets would be way cheaper than installing roundabouts -- at 2 million each, that's 6 million for 3. A traffic cop (could easily find a retired cop to do this work) at 50k per year would be employed for 60 years -- maybe by that time the speeders would get the message -- and the area would be much safer with a police cruiser patrolling by alternating days and nights.

  16. 7:31-

    Way off.

    Roundabouts $200,000 to $600,000 depending on design and the art you put in the middle.

    Traffic Cop, try $250,000 per year when including cruiser, pension, healthcare and other union perks.

    Learn the facts. Roundabouts are the way to go. Functional, cost effective, safe, efficient, and look great.

  17. OMG- Someone wrote CHANGE again. Call 911... I hate that word..... And so should you.

    Whenever I hear that word, I break out in a cold sweat.

    I can barely stand to change my underwear more or else change my daily ritual or my outer garments.

    Lord help us all if someone in the neighborhood paints their house or decides to re-landscape their yard.

    Why does everybody accept change so readily?

    Change is the enemy. Lets remember the '60s. Yeah baby, yeah...

    Can’t we all live in the past like me?

  18. 7:31

    Ask the families of the many who have been slaughtered on 101 from speeders what the price of a roundabout is compared to the lives of their loved ones. That goes for you too if you love anyone.

  19. There's a huge difference between the streetscape in the real downtown and the one proposed for Leucadia, like the one we have now benefits a thousand times more people. The Leucadia plan is only for those with substandard parking or nonconforming uses. 2.5 miles of all new roadway with 5 roundabouts seems like overkill for just a few lucky property owners. I drive the highway almost daily and don't see the need for more parking at most motels, the gas station, Roberto's, the post office, those funky joints next to the post office, the Pacific Inn, Coast News center, Sub Palace, and on and on. Maybe if each business provided their own parking or the city enforced the existing codes we wouldn't have to spend untold millions on welfare for a select few.

  20. 6:19-

    I agree. You are being silly and your comments make no sense.

    Try not to fear all change, and your life will improve immensely. Remember some change is good, like curing cancer, or fixing an unsafe condition.

  21. I like roundabouts but feel 3 would be enough. I also see a need to spruce up Coast Hwy. Sidewalks are a needed trees need to be replanted and traffic needs calming. All can be accomplished by working together without the red state blue state B.S.

  22. 6:19

    "Maybe if each business provided their own parking or the city enforced the existing codes we wouldn't have to spend untold millions on welfare for a select few.

    "existing codes" lololol
    With all the loopholes in Leucadia's current Specific Plan, the city doestn't give a turd about adequate parking for newly built and planned structures. Just check out how much parking they robbed with the 3 story McMonster on the 1200 block.

  23. How come that piece of %#$@ has so few parking spaces? Why does the city require so many spaces at one project and hardly any at another? Does staff randomly pick and choose who it treats like royalty and those it craps on? Its definitely not fair! Is money changing hands under the table? Has any asked the city manager why some get anything they want while others have to jump through hoops?

  24. Reducing northbound to one lane on No. Hwy. 101 is a bad idea.

    Roundabouts that encroach on private property are a bad idea.

    I think that traffic could be slowed by adding a couple of stop signs, if necessary, and some u-turn lanes, and having the current speed limit enforced.

    I think that those people who pick on "personalities" and can't stick to discussing the issues, show the weakness in their "case" for development of roundabouts.

    Most logical people feel that five roundabouts in just over two miles would result in more traffic backups. Right now there are only two on Leucadia Blvd, and one stop sign, at Hygeia, which is a safer place for pedestrian crossing.

    If the stop sign at Marchetta does not result in back ups, then why would one at Grandview, for example? Stop signals are a bad idea as people do speed up to try to "catch the yellow."

  25. The roundabouts on Leucadia Blvd cost more than $200-600K each.

    You can verify by taking a look at the recent figures that the City released . . . a couple of Council Meetings back.

  26. The roundabouts on Leucadia Blvd. probably cost around $400,000. The much bigger costs were for the full width improvements of landscaping, and sidewalks from Hermes to Vulcan and reconstructing the intersection at Vulcan Avenue.

    If you put in the stopsigns, we would still put in the landscaping and nice hardscape and lights so the cost will still to some be considered high, but worth it.

    In my opinion the existing roundabouts in Encinitas work great and I welcome them on Hwy101. It’s much safer to walk across the 15 feet of unprotected traffic, verses 60 feet of hell when there is no roundabout.

    Go walk around roundabouts on Leucadia and then go walk at the all way stop at Hygiea and the signal at Vulcan. The roundabouts are far superior to either two alternatives.

    Build the roundabouts, its what the smart majority support.

    You can never please all of the grumps, but you can please a majority and address much needed improvements.

  27. People who prefer roads without roundabouts are stupid, grumps, idiots, afraid of change, etc., because I say so! Roundabouts are superior, because I say so! Discussing issues on this blog is like talking to a two year old sometimes.

  28. "People who prefer roads without roundabouts are stupid, grumps, idiots, afraid of change, etc..."

    Thats the most accurate statement I have heard.

  29. 10:17

    Don't upset my two year old.

  30. What happened to the big tree at the Santa Fe roundabout? A pedestrian almost got hit there because of poor vision, I wonder if that's why the city removed it.

  31. I am so glad the City is supporting Leucadia in this effort.

    Those who oppose obviously don't live here, and don't want to have any improvments made to our cool beach town.

    Let's slow down the traffic, make it more walkable and bikable and it will be 10 times better than it is right now.

    Go overseas and see their great sidewalk cafes and yes, roundabouts that work day in and day out and don't creat "chokepoints". That is clearly wrong - stop signs and signals are "chokepoints", not roundabouts.

    Write a letter to The Coast News and other papers and don't forget the City Council. Show them you support a Leucadia Streetscape.

    We can do this!

  32. People can support a walkable Leucadia, slowing down the traffic, preserving and protecting the canopy, and still not be in favor of five roundabouts in just over two miles on North Coat Hwy. 101.

    This is not "black or white." It isn't five roundabouts or bust (blight). We need more alternatives that include planting more natives trees, and other plants in the medians, and preserving what is left of the canopy.

  33. At the risk of inviting attack by the resident 2-year old, why isn't Solana Beach a good model for Leucadia? Seems like a similar stretch of highway, but the they have sidewalks, parking, and stop-lights. I don't see the blight there.

  34. Good point anon 603.

    Captain roundabout you are closing in on reaching Lynn status.

  35. 6:03-

    Solana Beach recognizes its Hwy101 is a speedy death trap and bad for business and its residents. Solana Beach is in the process of completing its own streetscape.

    Their streetscape will likely include roundabouts and will slow traffic greatly.

    Oceanside is also planning many roundabouts along their Hwy101 because they work.

    La Jolla has 5 in place and they are working great along Hwy101.
    Sorry some don't like to yield, but I love roundabouts and they work great. They are much safer and I don't need unnecessary stops like at signals and stop signs. They are much better for the environment and are superior in every way.

    Everyone should let there comments be know during the workshops. In the end, we will have a great community based design. The design team has listened and is doing a great job.

    You can never please 100% of the people on any issue, but you can please a majority. I bet the majority supported roundabouts will carry the day because they are the best option, look the best, and are the best for our community.

  36. The tree on Santa Fe fell earlier in the year from a rain storm.

  37. Anon 9:33-

    Which Captain roundabout are you referring?

    There is an army of roundabout supporters.

    The range of people supporting roundabouts is consistantly between 70% to 80% in communities that have roundabouts.

    The support for roundabouts is much greater than the alternatives (Signal or Stop Signs).


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