Saturday, May 31, 2008

Some Leucadia Streetscape Images & Thoughts

First, I must apologize for the lack of images of the Streetscape workshop. Unfortunately my digital camera is broken. Our friend Fred Caldwell e-mailed me these pics. Hopefully it will all be on the city website soon. If anyone has images to share please e-mail them to me.

Some thoughts I have about the proposals,

*First, if we really want roundabouts we need to fight for our rights and try to get the NCTD to give us that 9 feet of dirt. I say no roundabouts if we have to start clipping corners of buildings. It's not cool to the property owners and I don't think the city can afford to buy them out anyway.

*Personally, I don't like the one lane north or one lane south ideas. I want to keep two lanes both directions but with a lower speed limit (35 mph or lower) with narrower lanes and the painted red bike lane. Peder Norby mentioned that there are parts of our coast highway that are one lane, south of Swami's, but I hate that part.

*Don't move the center median in north Leucadia. Don't destroy the tree tunnel canopy, add to it! Only a few center median trees are nearing the end of their life cycle. Most of them have decades ahead of them, especially the young Torrey Pines planted in the 1990's.

*South Leucadia doesn't have a tree canopy and has the busy restaurant and shopping zone with all the chaotic traffic so this is a good place to make big changes with center medians and traffic lanes. And this is where we need more street parking (I'm shocked the NCTD allows nighttime restaurant parking on their property, especially since they are so hostile about everything else). I'm thinking two different plans for north and south Leucadia.

*The Leucadia Blvd/Hwy101 intersection is the key to the streetscape working or not. What is the point of all these groovy roundabouts and traffic measures if the intersection continues to create long backups?

*Check out photo 3, it's a redesign of the Leucadia Roadside Park. I like it. What do you think?

*All the talk of roundabouts and art nodes and pocket parks are really nice, but at what point are we going beyond enhancing Leucadia and completely blowing it up and creating a new whole new town?

*Of the 3 plans presented there was no discussion of the difference in cost. We can't just shoot for the moon. We still have to build the Hall Park and maintain all of Encinitas. What is the financial plan for the Leucadia Streetscape?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Leucadia Streetscape Workshop Reactions

Thursday night's Leucadia Stretscape Workshop was a packed house at city hall. It was great to see Leucadia's finest representing.

The designers presented 3 different concepts.

Design #1 Coast highway roundabouts and moving center median and replacing tree canopy.
Design #2 Coast highway stoplights and moving center median and replacing tree canopy.
Design #3 Coast highway roundabouts and preservation of existing tree canopy.

Of course there were many different details but that is them in a nutshell.

You are probably asking yourself, why move the center median? Yeah, me too.

The thing that really stuck with me when I walked out of there is just how selfish and evil the NCTD really is. The easiest and best way to make the roundabouts work would require the NCTD to give us 9 feet of their property. But nooooo, the NCTD values their dirt and weeds far too much. How dare we encroach on NCTD's scorched earth?

So now the roundabouts have to be moved 9 feet to the west which would require taking out and purchasing corners of private property on the business corridor. This of course, is going to cause a lot of drama and add a ton of cost to the streetscape project.

What do you think?

*The city website does not have the streetscape plan online yet.
City of Encinitas website,

Boathouses Photo op

EDITORIAL: Roses and Raspberries

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Leucadia Agenda items, ENC city council meeeting Wed. 28th

There are three items pertaining to Leucadia at this week's city council meeting.

View Agenda items.

Agenda item #8

These mid-century modern duplexes on north Vulcan Ave are going to be torn down to make way for 2 story condos.

Agenda #9 The Beach Shuttle idea presented by 101 Coordinator Peder Norby.

Agenda #10 The Hillcrest railway pedestrian crossing discussion.

The Terrible Condition of Leucadia's Hwy101

The entire strip of Leucadia's historic 101 coast highway is in horrible condition. It is plagued by large cracks and small potholes and scared by poor patch jobs. The entire strip needs to be repaved and repainted.

Thousands of cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses use Leucadia's coast highway. Everyday the highway slips into further disrepair and this in turn, puts extra wear and tear on our tires and lowers the fuel efficiency of our vehicles. The poor driving conditions also create extra noise pollution, making sidewalk dining unpleasant (the aggressive train horns aggravates this as well).

This Thursday evening at city hall is the second major Leucadia Streetscape workshop. I am interested to see what concepts are proposed for our beloved coast highway. Hopefully we won't have to wait too many years for improvements to be made.

The Leucadia Blvd/Hwy101 intersection can't wait much longer, it needs to be repaved and repainted ASAP. story about using recycled tires to repave roads: REGION: Green approach produces quiet streets

Related links:
Leucadia Blog: Thursday, May 29-North Hwy 101 Streetscape Public Workshop #2

Leucadia Blog: The Lonely Pedestrian

Leucadia Blog: Just Fix It

Monday, May 26, 2008

Beach Shuttle Proposed ENCINITAS: Council to consider pilot beach shuttle program


Teresa Barth formed this sub-committee as part of the Tourism and Marketing Committee. The intent is to get some real data on ridership, community support, sponsorship potential, etc. $25,000 is a lot cheaper than hiring a consultant to "model" the idea.

The Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association has agreed to manage the contract. The sub-committee is asking the city for the initial funding. If it proves to be successful it should be nearly self-supporting in the future.

The sub-committee is still looking for a company that has a natural gas, hybrid or bio-fuel shuttle, but if this is approved for this summer it will probably be a traditional gas mini-bus.

The shuttle would have a minimal cost and is directed to locals and visitors. Someone living in Leucadia could take the shuttle to Seaside Market, or Cardiffians might want to doing a little shopping downtown.

The proposed hours are 10am - 8pm Saturday and Sunday.

Some people have suggested a shuttle along Encinitas Blvd or the El Camino Real corridor. Great ideas, but the beach route had more potential sponsorship support for a pilot project.

Community input is needed for this project. E-mail the council
  • or speak at the council meeting this Wednesday.

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    Art Wars at Leucadia 7-11

    left-Jeremy Wright, Art Wars General. right-Mike Murphy, 7-11 manager and Art Wars Special Forces.

    photos by Mary Fleener.

    Saturday, May 24, 2008

    Encinitas: $53.5 million budget

    LINK: Council passes $53.5 million budget
    Burning Questions:

    Is there money or political will to repave and paint lines on the Leucadia Blvd/Coast Highway intersection?

    How is the Leucadia streetscape project funded?

    Is the city being overly optimistic about future sales tax income in a slumping consumer spending economy?

    Was any money set aside to help create a rail quiet zone near the Pannikan coffee shop like Jerome Stocks was talking about last year?

    ETA blog.

    Also in the SDUT: Tourism tax benefits Encinitas and visitors By Jerome Stocks

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    $4.00+ Gallon Gas has arrived in Leucadia

    The Leucadia Blvd/Orpheus Shell station finally crossed the $4 mark the other day.

    Regular is now over $4 bucks.

    We pay lots o' taxes on gas.

    The new Mobile station on the coast highway was $4.01 this afternoon so you can save a little if you go there.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Toxic Train Derailment in Louisiana, Will it ever happen in Leucadia?

    News story: Louisiana Train Derailment and Acid Spill
    Monday, May 19th, 2008
    A six-car train derailment that caused one of the cars to rupture and leak hydrochloric acid, resulted in the evacuation of thousands this weekend in Louisiana. The acid formed a yellowish pool on the ground and spread a large, toxic cloud over Lafayette, a southern Louisiana city about 125 miles west of New Orleans. A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company train was responsible for the derailment and spill.

    An evacuation order was enacted early on Saturday morning after an estimated 11,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid leaked from the ruptured rail car. Hydrochloric acid can cause respiratory problems and irritation to the skin and eyes. Cleanup crews used lime to neutralize the chemical, while contractors for the rail company excavated the acid for disposal. According to the state Department of Environmental Quality, the railroad company intends to dig out and dispose of the resultant material. According to state police, over half of the 11,000 gallons of acid has been removed so far.

    The derailment and spill affected a large scope of Louisiana’s Lafayette Parish area and, following the derailment, approximately 3,000 residents and businesses in northwest Lafayette—all those within a one-mile perimeter of the derailment—were displaced.

    Burning Questions:
    Are the city of Encinitas emergency responders trained and equipped for an event like a train derailment with a toxic spill?

    What if the late night Santa Fe freight train derails and unleashes a toxic cloud over coastal Leucadia at 2 am?

    What would a coastal Leucadia evacuation look like, especially if the Leucadia Blvd intersection was closed?

    Leucadia Roundabout Landscaping Thefts

    There have been several thefts of plants and trees from the new Leucadia roundabouts. If your neighbor just acquired a new tree that looks like the one in photo #1 then please rat him or her out.

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Joe Sheffo Launches Website & Blog

    2008 Encinitas city council candidate Joe Sheffo has launched a new website and blog.

    Sheffo's first blog entry addresses some stuff he read about him in the comments section of this blog. click here.

    Other post:
    Joe Sheffo Announces Bid for Encinitas City Council

    Sheffo Applauds San Diego County Taxpayers Association and San Diego Tax Fighters for Opposing Propositions F & G

    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    "We have a glass that is full and overflowing."

    Quote from city council member and former Encinitas mayor, Dan Dalager describing the current state of the city budget, "We have a glass that is full and overflowing." source

    Okay, question #1, if our budget is "overflowing" then why is the extremely high traffic Leucadia Blvd/Hwy101 intersection so dilapidated and dangerous?

    Question #2, If the budget is "overflowing" then why is everyone lobbying for new taxes?
    ENCINITAS: Voters to decide on taxing short-term rentals
    OPINION: Yes on Encinitas Props F and G

    I believe that our local high profit short term rentals should be on an equal playing field with our hotels and motels. But, if our budget is "overflowing" then why not cut the motels and hotels a break and repeal the Prop R sand tax? This would make them more price competitive with our neighboring cities like Carlsbad.

    This concept was brought to the council's attention by Kevin Cummings but was not well received, ETA Watchdog Report No Break for Local Businesses.

    The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce (which receives tax money from the city) has an ad for props F & G on their e-mail newsletter, view here.

    Burning Question: Is it ethical for the ECC to lobby for new taxes?

    (The Prop R sand tax pundits are taking full credit for the success of Encinitas but that hubris is a topic for another blog post).

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    NCTD Executive Director Resigns!

    From the Encinitas Taxpayers Association blog:

    NCTD: A New Chapter

    NCT Transit district leader announces resignation

    North County Transit District Executive Director Karen King announced Thursday she was resigning, at a meeting where the financially struggling district unveiled a proposed $91.3 million budget featuring fare increases and bus-route cuts.

    King said she would leave the district June 20 to become chief executive officer of Golden Empire Transit District in Bakersfield, one day after news broke that three other top transit district managers had been laid off because of mounting financial problems.

    SD Union Tribune: Transit district chief resigning

    King, who began her transit career 30 years ago as a bus driver in Utah, said the district's focus will be on operating the Sprinter, the Coaster train line between Oceanside and San Diego, and its Breeze bus system.

    ***Leucadia desperately needs someone at the NCTD helm who will put an end to the horrid scorched earth policy against us.

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Olivenhain to Leucadia, Your water is funky.

    ENCINITAS: Olivenhain water district votes to sue county water authority

    ENCINITAS ---- Olivenhain Municipal Water District's board of directors unanimously voted Wednesday to sue the San Diego County Water Authority to prevent the agency from transferring allegedly contaminated water from Lake Hodges to Olivenhain Reservoir.

    The district board says the plan to transfer at least 17,000 acre-feet of water from Lake Hodges will degrade the quality of its customers' drinking water. An acre-foot is enough water for an average family of four over a year.

    The district said in a Wednesday press release that 78 federally listed hazardous waste contaminants have been found in Lake Hodges over the last 10 years.

    More information can be found at the district's Web site at

    View Larger Map

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Thursday, May 29-North Hwy 101 Streetscape Public Workshop #2

    As you are aware the City is initiating the North Coast Highway 101 Streetscape Project and is scheduling a number of opportunities for community involvement.

    Community Participation Workshop #2 - Thursday, May 29, 6:00 pm - 8 pm at Encinitas Civic Center. Please spread the word regarding this workshop to have as much public participation as possible.

    Leucadia Blog: Leucadia Streetscape Saturday

    Tale of the Tree

    click for full size view

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Workshop and discussion about Undergrounding Utilities

    The city is having a series of workshops about undergrounding utilities. Please click this link for the schedule: City of Encinitas pdf file.

    Check out the hack job they did on this telephone poll on the corner of Phoebe and Neptune, one of the wealthiest streets in Encinitas. Where is the duct tape?

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Busy Bees

    A lot of micro-managing goes on in the city of Encinitas:
    ENCINITAS: Council to weigh in on Lumberyard performances

    The Lumberyard has to higher a consultant to monitor acoustic street musicians playing by the fountain. Meanwhile, 500 ft away a massive train is blaring it's obnoxious horn while motorcycle clubs rumble down the coast highway. How the hell can anyone even hear the musicians?

    Encinitas passes ban on novelty lighters

    Novelty lighters are banned! I ask, has any kid in Encinitas actually bought a novelty lighter? Who the hell would buy one of those crappy lighters anyway? How much income do liquor stores make a year off those goofy things? How many times have you heard Encinitas city council members say outloud "I am a free market kind of guy?" Now I can't light up a grit at the beach with a lighter shaped like a dolphin? I feel safer already.

    Speaking of smoking at the beach, the giant ashtray that is Moonlight Beach has been replenished with that itchy crappy sand the city's Prop R Sand Barons love, Grainy gift for Moonlight. It's funny that would dump ashtray sand on the beach the same year they banned smoking at the beach. This "replenishment" comes during a spring that has our local beaches covered in bountiful natural sand. I haven't seen this much sand down at Swami's since the 70's. Meanwhile, the Sand Barons are taking credit for all prosperity in Encinitas in this funny op-ed piece, Mike Andreen lobbies for more taxes in Encinitas.

    More "free market" Encinitas news, we are banning new billboards. Okay, I support this because I find billboards to be crass and obnoxious. I despise the billboard above the cool Yu Me Ya Sake House restaurant on Leucadia 101. Not only does it look tacky above a mom&pop business, the owners of that billboard keep chopping down trees that don't belong to them. I personally boycott any product or service that appears on a local billboard, so there!

    The city of Encinitas held it's public budget workshop on a Tuesday at 3 pm in the afternoon when everyone has a lot of free time to attend stuff like this.

    Oh yeah, and your sewer rates are going up, ENCINITAS: Sewer-rate increase

    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Walking the Limbo Path

    Between the 4 lane pacific coast highway and the train tracks,