Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Intelligent and Cautious

Letter to the Editor - North County Times

Let's use safer at-grade crossings

I am a resident of Encinitas for more than 30 years. I live north of Encinitas Boulevard, just east of Vulcan Avenue, and want to express my opinion regarding the at-grade crossings of the railroad tracks. I would also like to state that I am a physician, so I consider myself intelligent and cautious.

I frequently cross the tracks to get to the beach so I can take my daily runs. I carefully listen for the train whistles, look both ways, and then run across. Now there is a proposal to spend millions on a few below-grade crossings.

However, at the Coaster station, I am allowed to cross the tracks at a spot with a red light and bells, which is not at the "formal" crossing at D Street. Thus, we are allowing an at-grade crossing with warning bells and lights in our city.

Can we petition to allow multiple at-grade crossings with warnings such as these to be established throughout our community? It would be much less costly, safe and much more practical than the few pedestrian crossings that are planned. Why not make our beach as accessible as possible?

Arnold Markman


See also, Leucadia Blog: San Clemente At-Grade-Crossings


  1. That is way too logical for our current Politicians to understand and try and accomplish such a logical solution.

    I have heard the argument that the trains would have to blow their horns at every crossing, thus establishing a continual blowing throughout the whole length of Encinitas. However, this augment is flawed.

    The City could easily propose an at-grade crossing every other block and implement a quiet zone throughout the entire stretch of Encinitas at grade locations. This would establish easy downtown and beach access throughout Encinitas.

    The City of San Diego is close to establishing a quiet zone for more than 20 at grade crossings in downtown San Diego. Following that precedent, it would be easy to implement the at grade crossing and quiet zones throughout Encinitas.

    If we had the will, there is definitely a way.

    I would ask our City to get the WILL!

  2. It is all about Jerome Stocks and whether he wants to do what the citizens want or establish another monument to himself.

    At grade crossing make to much fiscal sense for the likes of Stocks to see. He would rather raise taxes and spend your money on the underpass boondoggle.

  3. The NCTD offered the City $300 thousand for studies to build pedestrian tunnels. They bit on it and are trying to find funding now. If they are built the tracks will never be lowered and they are off the hook for that.
    At grade crossings can be build, they just worry about being sued for anything happening at them in the future. NCTD built a new at grade crossing at the Pointsetta Coaster Station. Vista is asking for a crossing and will probably get it as the residents are just jumping the fences.
    How about just letting us cross over like people have been doing for hundreds of years all across America and the world.

  4. I agree. Don't change what isn't broken just because there is money to spend. (money that we are borrowing from our children).

  5. Just the FactsJuly 02, 2009 7:42 AM

    Speak at oral communications at the beginning of the council meeting. Ask the council to set-up a workshop to discuss at-grade crossings NOW.

    Get NCTD, SANDAG, PUC representives there to give real answers not Jerome's insulting remarks.

    The public has to get active on this...the city manager and the boys are stonewalling.

  6. Let's get something in place, either at grade or below grade.

    My family and I cross the tracks to get to the beaches at San Elijo. It's a ridiculous situation. Earlier this week the Sheriff was stationed there and I had to get in my car and drive around 3 miles to go to my beach that is 800' away.

    I am not clear on if the at grade crossing referenced are located only at/near train stations, or, somewhere that the trains are going 50 mph.

    The much referenced downtown San Diego quiet zone is in an area where the trains go no more than 10 miles per hour and blast their horns every block. I'm not sure that it's a good comparison.

    Personally, I'm all for the at grade crossings. We need better connections for pedestrians and bikes throughout the city in general. Either way, let's get something going.

  7. "The much referenced downtown San Diego quiet zone is in an area where the trains go no more than 10 miles per hour and blast their horns every block. I'm not sure that it's a good comparison."

    Why not? Its almost the same, but the trains are going 70 to 90 mph and blow their horns the entire time anyway

  8. The biofuel coastal cruiser should cruise Vulcan and san elijo and pick up pedestrians and drive them to the 101. It would be cheaper than tunnels.

  9. tunnels will never be built, studying them is just keeping people employed because they have nothing better to do

  10. I think almost everyone who dies on the tracks does so on purpose. Each time this happens, the trains honk longer and louder to punish the rest of us. I think they should affix an inflatable rubber raft to the front of each train to bounce idiots out of the way as needed. Then let folks cautiously cross at grade.

    San Clemente auricle:

  11. I agree with ribeye2K. Most people who get killed by a train are committing deliberate suicide. How many of us walk across the tracks every day and do not get killed? Why are we spending so much time and money on tunnels, when the simple fact is if someone is going to kill themselves they will. Trains, I guess, are an easy way out, although it would not be my preference.

  12. I have lived on Hygeia Ave. for 35 years and cross the tracks on a regular basis to get to the beach and L101 buisnesses, as many others do. I learned to Stop, Look and Listen in grade school. Crossing the tracks should immediately be decriminilized, and at grade crossings be established in the future. The tunnels are folly!

  13. Patricia-

    You are much to logical and have to much common sense.

    Government always needs something to study and send all the staff to conferences to learn about.

    The at grade crossings make way to much sense and with a quiet zone would be a huge improvement for all of Encinitas. That is unless you are a council member who lives east of El Camino Real and does not think train issues are a big deal.

  14. As a taxpayer, it makes me sick. I work so hard for my tiny little paycheck.


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