The transportation "lecture" at the library was well attended, and included council candidates Barth and Kranz.
SANDAG and NCTD staff were there and gave pretty generic outlines. SANDAG's model for a pop growth of a million must be right because they always repeat it. They didn't really say what that means in terms of the quality of transportation in the future.
I was really hoping to hear some more meat about what faces Encinitas in the future and start chewing on possible solutions. Perhaps, that wasn't the purpose of the lecture. On the positive side, you could say they threw out some tools...
One idea is to include bike boulevards in the toolkit. It seems like this might work where there is grid flow traffic. He didn't give any suggestions on where in Encinitas they might go, but I have thought for years that the alley off the 101 could be a cool bike boulevard that gets peds and bikes separated from 101 traffic.
Our city has had the same traffic consultant since incorporation (Austin-Foust). A couple years ago we successfully got the city council and traffic commission to reject their city-wide traffic study because its underlying data were bad and projections questionable. Austin-Foust spoke last night and I'll post up their stuff later.
There was some talk about connecting people to where they want to go with transit. NCTD pointed out a whole bunch of key destinations, including Tri-City and Palmarado. They left out Scripps.
They had some cool maps showing work force density and residential density. North county's transit network is structured like a "boomerang" around the outside of the Vista/Carlsbad work center. There isn't good transit to North County's core work center.
Here are some options that NCTD might someday develop: shared taxi service and on call mini buses to cruz you around your zone.
NCTD also noted they are finally going to invest in some smaller buses for their routes that don't carry a lot of people. They are going to need to save some money and put it aside if NCTD is going to chauffeur 10 thousand senior citizens and school kids around town.
Dave Billings, Leucadian, spoke in favor of changing current polices regarding pedestrian crossing on the rail road right of way. He thesis was that it was poor form to have barriers in the way of using the transit system. He noted folks living on the east of 101 can't easily get to the 101 bus route without illegally crossing the rail road. He also noted that Vista has at-grade crossings, and wanted to know what it would take to make it legal to cross the rail road throughout Leucadia.
The NCTD guy said that the Sprinter is slower than the trains running the coastal corridor so its more dangerous to have at-grade crossings here. (UPDATE: He didn't explain how this could happen in San Clemente, click here)
The point was made publicly that 100's of people cross safely everyday and later to me that it is more dangerous to cross the 101 than to cross the rail road (deja vu: read our whole series on at-grade crossings.)
The NCTD guy says he crosses the tracks too.