Every 75 to 100 years communities get a chance to make a significant difference in their built environment,
As examples, it was 1937 when the current road configuration that we drive on today was installed. In 1937 they widened US Hwy 101 from 2 lanes to 4. When we completed the downtown Encinitas streetscape we replaced crumbling sidewalks from 1927.
The conditions in Leucadia in 1937 were that Leucadia was a sparsely populated rural outpost of San Diego, an area around Hwy 101 (very few buildings) and the burgeoning adoption of the automobile. Hwy 101 was a US Hwy designed for a speed of 70mph and cars were king.
The conditions today in Leucadia are vastly different than in 1937 over 80 years go.
Today Hwy 5 is the Interstate Hwy where cars are king, Leucadia is now a community with 15k to20k residents- a real vibrant and diverse neighborhood where people live, work and play and Hwy 101 is the main local road, traversing this neighborhood, not a state Hwy or an Interstate Hwy.
So here we are. We are at that point in time every 75 to 100 years where we get to make a significant difference in our built environment. It a huge challenge and a great honor for all to be participating in this effort. Our role is to successfully interpret our community today, our opportunities and constraints, and the gifts that the land, the buildings and the people of Leucadia have to offer. To apply a road design that best represents our interpretation of our community and city.
Like a river, no two shores are alike, for a road no two streetscapes are alike. We can learn from others but the key is interpreting our stretch of the river so to speak.
Today, Leucadia is vastly different than it was in 1937. The community question is how do we best balance this road for Leucadia 2009, and for the Leucadia of the next 70 years?
To quote a colleague: "If you design for the traffic, you will get more traffic. If you design for the people who live there, you will get a neighborhood.
I believe if you design the road and keep the road in it's current configuration, that
will be an opportunity lost, and for the next 70 years you will have a road similar to today, a road a road designed to serve the Leucadia of 1937, A US Hwy with a design speed of 70mph.
I believe today that Leucadia can balance the road to embrace the current life of the community. That a walkable, bike-able, drivable road with a design speed of 30mph can happen and that Leucadia can enjoy their commercial corridor in a manor similar to Downtown Encinitas which went through this same exact process in 2001-2002.
I think the results in downtown Encinitas speak for themselves.