Sunday, October 11, 2009

Streetscape Workshop 4: The Two Alternatives

A notion cannot be made to 'fall apart' simply by asking a question, but rather,
only by providing an adequate answer to the question posed.

The consultants started by pointing out that they really wanted to work on the big picture issues. Much of the presentation was general. I took that to mean that details like what is going into the plant palette are to be discussed later. However, there were very detailed maps with specifics out for review and that focused the attention of many.

The presentation itself was well organized and informative. The only thing I thought was missing was clear discussion of how the discussion would play into the process and how things would proceed after the workshop.

Objectives Determined
At the outset Peltz outlined the objectives. Sidewalks, trees, and sidewalk features are the old school streetscape makeover. When combined with the Specific Plan, Leucadia 101 is shooting for the New Urbanism make over. Walkable communities allow you to walk to where you need to go. Traffic calming means slower traffic with less friction. The infrastructure will be rebalanced away from automobile domination to more space for pedestrian and bicycle uses.

Increasing parking was also a priority and this leads to my first question. This goes out to those people who hope that walkable design induces people to leave their cars at home.

In other places, like Santa Barbara for instance, walkable community activists have pushed to reduce parking and to centralize parking. The thinking is would make it less desirable to drive and the expectation is that more people will walk, ride, or take transit.

Q1: Does designing for more parking promote an automobile centered culture and promote more driving?

Restoring the tree canopy was noted as one of the unifying concerns of Leucadians. I would have put that on top of the other objectives.

The city makes a big distinction between "restoring" and "preserving" the tree canopy. Q2: Why is that distinction being made now?

Q3: Are any of the large heritage trees slated to be cut down in either of the alternatives? Has anybody looked?

The Two Alternatives
The two alternatives overlap on a lot of features. Q4: If the meeting was about big picture stuff, how come the different features have to packaged? Why not allow people to consider 3 lanes and signals or 4 lanes and roundabouts?

Q5: Are there any local examples of roundabouts used to cut traffic speeds in configurations like that being proposed, and on an arterial with conditions similar to 101? Are people going to be able speed back up between roundabouts?

Bird Rock has roundabouts very close together.

The pedestrian path along the tracks doesn't go through the center part of leucadia, because the right-of-way is too narrow to handle the path and the Leucadia Blvd intersection.

I was sitting next to one of the most ecofriendly, walking path promotional Leucadian and he noted that forcing pedestrians to cross the 101 twice was a usage killer for the path. I've also thought it was weird to push a walking path across the street from all the action and across the street from where there better be a very nice walking zone.

If it sucks to walk along the west side of 101 when this is done we're all to blame for losing sight of what should be the first priority of the project -> good sidewalks on the west side of 101!

The walking path is going to be next to the NCTD dust bowl.

Q6: If we gave up the east side walking path could we assign more space to the bike lane?

Riding the 101 is seriously dangerous. Q7: Would it be safer if there were only one southbound lane?

The city says this is not a consideration because people parking would cause too much friction with southbound traffic. It would slow traffic. Two lanes are not as affected by people slowing to park.

The alternatives for major intersections were roundabouts and traffic signals, not roundabouts and stop signs. Q8: Why has discussion focused on roundabouts vs stop signs?

There were people who spoke of their motivation to send commuters back to the freeway. Q8.5: Would stop signs slow traffic down more and send more commuter traffic back to the I5?

20 comments:

  1. Do we want to end up looking like El Camino Real? If so support # 5.
    Stop signs hinder efficient traffic flow, round abouts do not.

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  2. Bad analogy. Carlsbad has signal lights. Solana Beach has signal lights. Del Mar has stop signs. Why bring up El Camino? Don't try to scare people.

    Stop signs hinder traffic flow. That is why Olivenhain has a ton of them. They want to stop commuters from coming through their town. We should do the same! I vote for stop signs!

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  3. STOPS SIGNS SUCK.

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  4. The only city council member I saw there was Teresa Barth. Where were the others?

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  5. Since you mentioned Carlsbad,

    They absolutly ruined Elm Ave. now Carlsbad Village dr, by taking the parking and bike lanes off the road, and by putting a traffic light on every corner.

    It is the biggest mistake every in there village.

    There was nothing wrong with Elm Ave either the name or the way it worked, mostly two lanes and diagonel parking.

    Calrbad made it auto centric with four lanes and killed the walkability, viability and feel of that road and town.

    Lets not make the same mistakes with lights and four lanes

    Alt 4 is the way to go

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  6. Q1 thru 8.5

    Who cares? The city going to do whatever they want anyway. These meetings are just put obn to fool you into thinking the city cares.

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  7. Solana Beach and Del Mar do not think their downtowns are walkable and balanced for their community enough and are both in the process of coming up with new plans within the next year. I can guarantee you that both will adopt streetscape plans that are much more focused on pedestrians, bikes and creating a more positive business community than what is being proposed for Leucadia.

    As far as Carlsbad. I hope we don't need to compare ourselves to Carlsbad.

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  8. well if we compare ourselves to El Camino real in terms of business climate we should want to be like that. Look at how well encintas ranch is doing! They are doing so good they are adding more square footage of retail space.

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  9. Kevin-

    Below is my best at answering your questions.

    Q1: Does designing for more parking promote an automobile centered culture and promote more driving?


    Good question. I think with each item you need to find a balance of interests. For Businesses, parking is THE NO. 1 issue. To have a successful business in autoccentric southern CA, you need business parking. I also think that additional parking along Hwy101 is good because people can use it to visit the businesses, the beach, and near by residents.

    Unfortunately, in our current car focused society and with the high density planned for that corridor, parking needs to be addressed.

    Q2: Why is that distinction being made now?

    My guess is the Citizens realize that most of the canopy has be decimation over the last 10 years, so restoration is now more important that preservation.

    Are any of the large heritage trees slated to be cut down in either of the alternatives? Has anybody looked? Another good question. I don't know, but someone should look into it.

    Q4: If the meeting was about big picture stuff, how come the different features have to packaged? Why not allow people to consider 3 lanes and signals or 4 lanes and roundabouts?

    3 lanes and signals probably wont work. You could have 4 lanes and roadabouts, but why? You don't need 4 lanes its just wasted space and costly to maintain. The reality is most of the initial issues were addressed in workshops 1 and 2. The consultant team is presenting their plans as outlined in their scope of work requested by the City. A planning project can go on forever if you don't define the process and deliverables.


    Are there any local examples of roundabouts used to cut traffic speeds in configurations like that being proposed, and on an arterial with conditions similar to 101?

    Leucadia Blvd has very similar speed and volume issues as Hwy101. Leucadia Blvd and birdrock roundabouts are very effective at addressing this objective.

    Are people going to be able speed back up between roundabouts? Yes if no other traffic calming is present. The narrower lane widths will help as well as canopy trees.

    Q6: If we gave up the east side walking path could we assign more space to the bike lane? Yes

    Riding the 101 is seriously dangerous. Q7: Would it be safer if there were only one southbound lane? Probably. If it provided a wider designated bike lane.

    Q8.5: Would stop signs slow traffic down more and send more commuter traffic back to the I5? Yes but a stop sign are not as efficient and effective as roundabouts and an all way stop will not make it past City Council.

    I hope it helps.

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  10. Yes they would send more traffic back to I5. That makes them more effective, not less.

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  11. I got sent this incredible news report this morning by one great neighbor that all locals should watch! (And not for the dancing cop, either).

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5377256n&tag=contentBody;featuredPost-PE

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  12. If you don't like this-how are you going to like the houses on (many)Pacific View?

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  13. Fred, what a great way to think about roundabouts - naked streets! Wonderful. The concept that signs and lights give a false sense of safety and security is accurate IMO. When we see each other's facing and communicate, there is less chance of collision and conflict.

    I really keep feeling that the resistance to 4A and roundabouts is really more about other anxieties and matters of trust. We have lots of reasons to be wary in a community whose leaders disregard the public good. Jerome Stocks (plus Mutt and Jeff and lately Maggie too) can be counted on to do the wrong thing while rambling on and on to assure themselves they are responsible.

    Great overview and conscientious questions, Kevin, from a thorough workshop. I wish we were also considering burying the train, utilizing the land above, reducing the lanes to 2 burying or relocating parking. That would be a plan for the mid-21st century and would be wonderful to envision and plan for it now.

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  14. Its pretty sad that when some property owners want to build or rebuild the city codes make them provide parking for their customers but with streetscape we as taxpayers are going to provide parking for those who bootlegged in extra rental space or didn't have enough parking to begin with.
    Downtown Encinitas has a lot more drawing power such as Moonlight, City Hall and a much larger mix of retail, office and residential to draw on. Leucadia 101 doesn't come close to that. Its 2.5 miles of businesses on one side of the highway. Walk two blocks downtown and you're at the beach or a Viewpoint or within a block of a half dozen restaurants. Walk two blocks in Leucadia and you go from the post office to the frame shop. Can't go east because of the tracks, the nearest beach is a half mile away at Beacons (no facilities)
    Is it really worth it to spend this kind of money for just a few property owners to cash in, or some old (and young) hippies who evidently can't stop getting high.
    Shoppers are still going to get in their cars and drive from one stop to the next when visiting Leucadia.
    We don't need roundabouts or traffic lights or stop signs to slow down traffic enough to get them to buy in Leucadia. We need businesses that draw spenders in. Open up something new, how much can funky antique and clock shops make anyway. If you build restaurants and shops that people want they will come. Or try to get someone else to solve your problems with taxpayer money.
    Traffic on 1o1 southbound in the mornings is way down from just a year ago now that the freeway is running smoother. When the widening of I5 is completed to La Costa there will be even less.
    Put in sidewalks and trees but keep it Funky. And pay your own way like the rest of us.

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  15. One Ringee DingeeOctober 12, 2009 9:34 PM

    753,

    Do you work really hard at pissing off Leucadia, or does it just come naturally?

    Paraphrasing:

    Leucadia you’re a shit hole dust bowl that does not deserve any civic funds, I don’t care if you do generate property, TOT, and sales tax, you just don’t deserve to have any of that invested back into infrastructure. We need to spend that money where it’s needed, like in my backyard.

    And tear down those crappy buildings built between 1910 and 1980 that don’t have any parking, because I don’t want to save any of them by providing public parking. You know that does not work in La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Carmel no sir.
    Tear em down and put up them new sparkely buildings with enough parking for my 3.5 cars. That's what we need!

    Streetscape, next thing you know you’re going want some other stuff like grade separation for the railroad at Leucadia Blvd.

    I best start splitting you up and get them residents pissed at them greedy property owners. That one worked for Lynne.

    Divide and conquer, I’ve been playing that game for years, works every time.

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  16. 753 has some good points. The parking is on the taxpayer dime, for the benefit of the business property owners. Is this bad? Depends upon the cost. Will shoppers actually walk from shop to shop, or just get back into the car and drive? Depends upon the type of businesses along 101. Are the businesses that exist now just dinosaurs? Hope not. Hope this improved streetscape doesn't draw in a Starbucks, or Borders, or Chicos, etc. Be careful what you wish for as you may get it.

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  17. Alternative 6 - "753" moves to Vista!

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  18. are you all shut ins?October 12, 2009 11:42 PM

    ooooooh nooooooo. We taxpayers have to pay for better parking with our taxdollars. oooooooh that will be terrible. What a crime oooooh. It will cost hundreds of dollars ahhhhhhh. Better parking will benefit those greedy restaurant owners that we eat at aiiiiihhheeeeee!

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  19. The best thing that ever happened to this streetscape is Lynn Braun, Sub Ray and Mike Andreen all support Alternative No. 5 concepts. You know how F'd up it must be.

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