Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Community Commentary by Morgan Mallory

From this week's Coast News

Soon after the incorporation of the city of Encinitas, the city drafted the Specific Plans for Downtown 101 and the North 101 Corridor. I served on the North 101 Corridor draft committee and I am a business owner on 101. Meeting concurrently, the goal was to envision what issues need to be resolved in planning for our future and have these two drafts flow through planning, council approval and implementation simultaneously. What happened is the Downtown 101 Specific Plan was adopted, which has been very successful, having won the best award from the National Mainstreet Association. Then the Encinitas Ranch development was completed, Leucadia Boulevard went through to Coast Highway 101 but Leucadia is still waiting and their trees are going away.

The North 101 Corridor Draft identified the same issues back then that the public identified during the North 101 Streetscape Workshops recently. Most all agreed that maintaining, (now revitalizing), the tree canopy, calming traffic to design speeds of 25 to 30 mph, creating safe pedestrian friendly environments for businesses to thrive, safe bike lanes, identify parking opportunities and maintaining the character of Leucadia were all valid goals for our future.

Consultant Peltz and Associates has done an admirable job in addressing all these issues in the first four alternatives in different ways and responding to public input.

I admit, that I was not immediately comfortable with some of the concepts offered. The one lane and roundabouts were not what I had envisioned as options. Seeing examples of the effectiveness of these solutions in successful streetscapes in other communities with similar issues and driving up Leucadia Boulevard,( what is your least favorite intersection?), convinced me that they were good options. A larger volume of traffic can go through a roundabout at a slower speed and be safer than a traditional stop sign. Reverse angle parking? Parallel parking stops traffic too, but gaining better visibility when pulling out in traffic more safely is a positive. It works elsewhere.


The challenge is that there is limited space to accomplish all the stated goals, NCTD won’t plant trees on their right of way to restore the canopy and has not been a good neighbor, Leucadia’s rail crossing problems won’t be solved and there has been a lot of misinformation circulated and printed. The oft mentioned petition states the majority of trees will be removed, beach access will be limited, property will be taken by eminent domain, Leucadia Boulevard will end at the tracks, roundabouts are choke points and other fallacies. Amazingly the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce championed this un-factual petition and stated the plan would, “impede people from getting to downtown” and was initiated by a few business owners on Highway 101. The chamber’s streetscape “workshop” hurt the process. What motivated this business- unfriendly negative campaign is a mystery. In fairness there is a new chamber CEO, Marshall Weinreb. The bad apples are gone and I am confident that the chamber’s position has changed. I have met with Mr. Weinreb and he stated, “I will say that the overall concept is quite good” and, “I was surprised to find that when this project was previously discussed, this chamber’s management was quick to voice its opinions against the plan, with comments that did not seem to be entirely based upon facts.” I have high hopes for the chamber’s new leadership and direction.



I urge the community to get involved in this process and find out the facts and issues involved. The current plan calls for one lane north on portions of 101, (like Encinitas, Carlsbad, Del Mar, etc.), 10.5 foot lanes, (like downtown), roundabouts, (like on Leucadia Boulevard and Santa Fe and the world), revitalization of the tree canopying, (saving 93 percent of existing trees and adding a thousand more), safe bike lanes, slower traffic, create a pedestrian and business friendly environment and parking opportunities and roundabouts, (factually more efficient, safer for cars and people, wiser ecologically and offer more appealing artistic and landscape options). They are the opposite of choke points. And all of the plans will deal with flooding solutions.

If these are your goals, support a plan that you don’t compromise. We have an opportunity to create a wonderful legacy for our future generations. Get informed and involved.



Morgan Mallory owns the Corner Frame Shop at 1038 N. Coast Hwy 101 in Leucadia. 





11 comments:

  1. wonderful legacy for our future generations would be Alternative No. 4

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  2. Well said, Morgan Mallory! We must make sure that sensible and cool heads prevail in this situation, or we'll end up with either no progress or 'bad progress'. If that goofy petition gets any traction in this debate it will be a crime. As much as I don't want to make it personal, the crazy distortion of facts on their little 'information' sheet has led me to abandon the sub shop of my childhood and take refuge at La Especial. So, everybody go to the workshops, check out the plans, and make your decisions. Let's do this thing!

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  3. Now it would be advantagous to contact the council and share your feelings and thoughts.
    They are the ones that are going to make the final decissions.

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  4. Well said, Morgan!

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  5. I live near the Santa Fe roundabout, and so far I have not had any difficulty figuring it out. It does seem to keep the traffic moving in a more efficient manner, and tends to slow the traffic down. Is it a panacea for too much traffic? NO. Is it a way to calm the traffic down and still move, instead of sitting at a stop light? YES. I know I said I would make no more comments on something I know very little about, but I do drive the Santa Fe roundabout almost every day and so far it seems to be the best solution for the ever increasing traffic flow in our City. It might work in Leucadia as well.

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  6. Dr.Lorri-it does work in Leucadia, very well indeed.
    Come give it a go, I like to bring the out of town tourists and show them how progressive we are here in Leucadia.

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  7. Hi Dr. Lorri-

    Thanks. I feel the same way.

    Come visit Leucadia and drive down Leucadia Blvd. west of I5. We have two fully functioning roundabouts.

    I know you love Cardiff but you might enjoy seeing what all the fuss is about.

    Cheers,

    Anon

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  8. Great commentary Morgan!

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  9. Roundabouts are the closest that we will ever get to the Garden of Eden. The only thing that could make it better is if Barack Obama would drive his touring car to open them up!

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  10. Support the Streetscape!

    Invest in the future of our beautiful community. Don't buy into the lies, the manipulations and the nonsense.

    A thoughtful streetscape and infrastructure will improve our quality of life and the safety of our citizens.

    Invest in Leucadia!

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  11. Dr. Lorri-

    Your a classic act. I love honesty.

    I hope to see you at Saturday's Streetscape Workshop. There will be plenty of Leucadia characters there.

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