Saturday, August 21, 2010

Encinitas Locals Want to Send Cars Back to 101

Over 300 people were there to hear from health and transportation experts in a Solana Beach Town Hall meeting this week. Many in attendance were from Encinitas, including Teresa Barth.

There is a growing movement to resist SANDAG's plans to add up to 10 additional lanes.

At the 8-18 council meeting members of the public asked the council to agendize the issue of the I5 expansion. People also presented a petition with additional signatures in support of a public discussion.  The council majority of Stocks, Bond & Dalager said it wasn't necessary. There will be a presentation from CALTRANS at the Sept. 15 meeting but it will not be an open discussion with an opportunity for public questions.

The council recently changed the rules on how things can be added to an agenda. You now have to have a majority of the council to have it heard. Hum...  

It would be cool to hear what the public and council think about increasing the congestion on the I5  and how that won't pour more rushed commuters on our surface streets/arteries (101 & vulcan) and side streets as they try to bypass the stop and go freeway traffic.


  1. I understand the need to limit the size of I5. The Noise is horrendous. With the ever ending montra more is good, congestion will just get worse. More houses, more people, more cars, more pollution, more water use for them, more water restrictions and higher water prices for you. It never ends.

    The way you control traffic flow on our streets is through interesection designs. The interesections can be designed to all a certain number of cars per minute to go through all day.

    City's can control the flow of traffic on their own street. They can't control growth and traffic demands outside their own City.

    The widening of I5 will happen. I just wish they would use a quieter pavement like the rubberized asphalt that they used on Encinitas boulevard.

  2. Cars are still considered essential because poor urban planning and a lack of investment in public transportation has practically guaranteed sprawling development. Quite simply, if folks didn't need them to get around they wouldn't use them as much. So do we want to continue to perpetuate a time-consuming, polluting, oil-dependent, pedestrian- and environmentally-hostile commuter lifestyle that we have built for ourselves based on outdated and unsustainable mentalities, or do we take the information currently available to us and try to improve quality of life for people in the future?

  3. "They can't control growth and traffic demands outside their own City."

    To the extent that land is currently zoned, I agree. Are you ignoring upstream upzoning? The city, our SANDAG reps, and citizens can and should be involved in upstream upzoning decisions. When those upzones cost us money and create congestion we aren't doing our watch-dogging.

    Cars are ... essential because poor urban planning and a lack of investment in public transportation has practically guaranteed sprawling development.

    The decision to sprawl along the coast was made decades ago. We are now "sprawled" and our daily destination points ARE scattered. I've not heard of any plans to change that (& I didn't see much effort to avoid that). Making Downtown or the ECR high density doesn’t reduce the number of scatter destinations or shrink distances to the destinations here in Encinitas.

    Urban planning "solutions" seem to be most applicable to the clean slate scenario.

    As for public transportation. I spoke with Move San Diego about what they thought an ideal transit system in Encinitas might look like (the system that we would have if, "we only gave enough funding to transit"). Their spokesperson was much more realistic than I had expected and didn't think we could convert Encinitas into a town with empty garages.

    Since then I've been thinking about what a transit system in Encinitas would look like if all the people in town said they wanted that to be a priority. I've had a hard time drafting one that would be affordable and desirable.

    If you've got an idea for a transit system that would work for north county, or even just encinitas send me your design at

    We'll post it up.

  4. In 1965 when fwy 5 opened, you could hear a pin drop on 101. Not long afterward, one night my mother told my father "We've got crickets!". So you could imagine the constant noise, day and night prior to 65.
    In fact that was the turning point that killed nearly all gas stations on 101. Even today, our Mobil station in Leucadia is the only one on 101 between Oceanside and La Jolla, and it's unfortunately not setting records. Only a few years ago, signs were put up by the Pannikin and other sides streets on N. 101 threatening cut-through traffic on side streets for certain hours of weekday mornings.
    More recently, Solana Beach and Del Mar have added an extra southbound lane on fwy 5, and since then southbound 101 congestion on 101 at 8:30am has remarkably improved. that 5"s southbound lane is more like a turning lane for a few miles, but it does the trick in relieving a lot of congestion on 5 and 101 . Adding 8 to 10 lanes sounds nuts to me, but I think one or two more on 5 through Encinitas would create less people using 101 as an alternative commute and alleviate future gridlock on 5.

  5. Here's a video with some thoughts about trying to transform sprawl into something else. It focusing on cities of Fullerton and Ventura, and how to use infill on large parcels.

    "Choices and Transformations"

  6. I agree with All... You have no idea what the "No Cut Through" signs have done to relieve the traffic on Melrose Ave. Prior to these signs, there was a back up of morning commuters from the Pannikin to the Stop Sign at Sylvia on Melrose Avenue. It was crazy! Being a commuter to Mission Valley for the past 3 years... I've seen a nice improvement (at least Mon-Wed... Thurs & Fridays still suck!) in North Bound traffic on the I-5 since the lanes were added... but, the new choke point... north bound in the evening rush hour... is Manchester. This is where the carpool lane ends. I'm not sure I understand the arguement that widening I-5 would push traffic to the 101. What needs improvement... badly... is the on-off access to the I-5 at Encinitas Blvd. I hate the noise... it used to be quite. Sometimes I think it's the ocean and then... bummer. I can't offer any public transit ideas for Encinitas that don't already exist. I think most (not all) of the 101 traffic conjestion here, in Enci, is due to tourist and local commuters. More than traffic... I'm dealing with massive parking problems. Maybe we discourage the tourist traffic to Encinitas and put the public transit system to our destination to work in the outlying towns... Escondido, San Marcos, Carlsbad. Create more "naturel gas" shuttle options within our community. Create a drop point like La Costa Ave and shuttle to the beaches, and 101 locations from there. I don't know the answers... I do know I'm astounded by the gridlock on the 5... I'll cross over the Leucadia overpass and see a parking lot of cars... at all times of the day. Where the heck are they all going. Is it LA/Orange County commuters?


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