Community Commentary

The plan now being discussed for the Leucadia 101 corridor is exciting news for downtown Leucadia. The Leucadia 101 Streetscape plan involves thoughtful and relevant planning for our community. The Streetscape plan is just that: a plan for enhancing the 101 corridor between La Costa Avenue and Encinitas Boulevard.
This is no modern brainchild of some out-of-town developer wanting to bring in big box businesses to Leucadia. This is a plan the city of Encinitas planners have been hard at work on for years. The 1997 community vision and specific plan for Encinitas and Leucadia is the basis for today’s “101 Streetscape” design and goals. The local community has participated in three public workshops, sponsored by the city of Encinitas.
The Leucadia Streetscape plan calls for some fantastic Highway 101 corridor improvements and enhancements starting with the planting of 1,000 trees to provide additional greenery and to replace the existing tree canopy now sadly reaching its end of life. It proposes bike lanes to accommodate the thousands of bike riders, myself included, who enjoy our 101 corridor on weekend rides and daily commutes. The plan includes the installation and widening of new and existing sidewalks to engender a pedestrian-friendly community that also encourages more outdoor cafes and local retail business for our merchants. It involves slowing down the traffic (originally designed for 70 mph before the I-5 was built) and “traffic calming measures” including the possible elimination of one northbound lane. It aims to beautify and preserve our downtown community in a way that while respecting our current “culture,” better supports businesses so they can prosper and thrive in today’s competitive world while better serving the community and generating tax dollars for our city. It’s about enhancing the 101 corridor. Just imagine …
While some may disagree with the proposed elimination of one northbound traffic lane (to accommodate wider sidewalks and bike lanes); they can see it works in other areas along Highway 101 (in Cardiff near Swami’s, through Carlsbad between Palomar and Cannon, and in Del Mar). Of course, there will be vibrant (and hopefully friendly and reasonable) discussion over these points. And that’s what is needed. Others may be less enthusiastic concerning the creation of “roundabouts” proposed along the 101 corridor. Afraid of change and perhaps inexperienced with roundabouts, this too is a normal reaction. In the end, as drivers affirm, roundabouts make perfect sense for many reasons: 1) they keep the cars moving, 2) they cut back on emissions (stopping and starting), 3) they keep the noise down (no accelerating from a stop), and 4) they allow for larger traffic volume compared to stop lights. The concern about the loss of our tree canopy is a valid concern. Most of these trees are at the end of their life and non-native as well, and will be replaced with 1,000 new trees. If this plan helps enhance our community and the greening of it, and makes it more pedestrian and biker friendly, this alone merits community involvement and support. Just imagine …
This is a historic opportunity for us to improve Leucadia. It could be decades before we revisit this topic again. The good of the community and the future is at stake here. Now is the time to move forward in support of the Leucadia 101 Streetscape final planning process and have some productive discussion about it in the name of the greater good and the future for your children and certainly while the city of Encinitas has committed the funds. Let’s all proactively become involved and support Leucadia 101 Streetscape so Leucadia can thrive and prosper through positive change that in the end will add more beauty, culture, life, business prosperity and overall enjoyment for all. The city of Encinitas is committed to this project and the tax payers deserve some return for their many years of property taxes. And bikers, walkers, surfers, gardeners, artists, community members, property owners, renters and visitors to Leucadia, please join in on this wonderful opportunity to support and be part of this historical moment. Just imagine …
Please visit www.leucadia101.com for the date of the upcoming planning meeting.

John Thompson has been a Leucadia resident for 22 years.

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  1. Lynn Braun Marr says:

    This commentary makes some incorrect assumptions and puts a “spin” on the facts. Over 60% of the people filling out the surveys at the last workshop were not in favor of five roundabouts in less than two miles. Public speakers weren’t then allowed, but when Council later voted to award more money to consultants, who have already spent well over $500,000, for preliminary plans for the streetscape, from A street to El Portal, many speakers didn’t want roundabouts on Historic North 101, and did not want to reduce northbound traffic to one lane!

    Logically, traffic would get clogged during rush hour, particularly in the summer, during racetrack season. Traffic isn’t moving too fast, then, anyway. It’s unfair that a few longtime commercial property owners would get substantially more parking, at the expense of the General Fund. Also unfair is that some businesses, such as Leucadia Glass, would have property taken away by City encroachments.

    The owners of Leucadia Glass and Sub Palace have collected over 1000 signatures in opposition to roundabouts and reducing traffic lanes. Many business owners oppose this plan. As an alternative, the City could put in one or two more stop signs, and u-turn lanes. Also the Sheriff could be more proactive in citing speeders.

    We don’t want Encinitas to escalate City spending on high priced “out of area” consultants and contractors. With the money already spent, we could have planted thousands of trees, and flowers in the medians, and watered them from water trucks, if necessary, using reclaimed water. People who oppose the roundabout plans are not in opposition to all change. We want change that will enhance our quality of life, and that will not cause further traffic deadlocks, and force more cars onto Neptune and onto Vulcan, our residential neighborhoods.

  2. valid says:

    I agree with John, completely. Well stated, John.
    I may add that roundabouts are safer for cars and pedestrians and bikes and offer an opportunity for attractive landscapes and art. Those who say they don’t like roundabout can not seem to give a valid reason. You may not like vegetables, but that doesn’t mean they are not good for you. As for the one lane north: there is not room for the appropriate improvements identified years ago and recently by the public, (revive the tree canopy, safe bike lanes, parking opportunities, pedestrian friendly environment and more), without one lane. It works elsewhere on our coast. Change can be good, too.

  3. your "spin" says:

    Lynn Braun Marr wrote on Monday, Aug 31 at 03:49 PM »
    Ms Marr writes “This commentary makes some incorrect assumptions and puts a “spin” on the facts.”
    Apparently Ms. Marr does not want to restore the tree canopy, offer safe bike lanes, create needed parking opportunities, or improve traffic flow.
    Adding more stop signs instead of roundabout would create far more interference to an easy flow of traffic. Just drive up Leucadia Blvd. Safely flow through the two roundabouts and stop at the stop sign. When no one is there, do the same thing. When there is traffic, you do the same thing.
    Other Marr statements: “It’s unfair that a few longtime commercial property owners would get substantially more parking, at the expense of the General Fund. Also unfair is that some businesses, such as Leucadia Glass, would have property taken away by City encroachments.

    · The parking is needed for all in the area. This need was identified 15 years ago and now.
    · There is not or ever was any plans to take away any property by the city.
    “The owners of Leucadia Glass and Sub Palace have collected over 1000 signatures in opposition to roundabouts and reducing traffic lanes. Many business owners oppose this plan.”

    · The referenced petition stated that if you don’t want the majority of trees cut down, sign the petition. And sign if you don’t want roundabouts.
    · So those who signed may just not want all the trees killed.
    · It also stated Leucadia Blvd would not go through the tracks.
    · Beach access would be limited.
    · and other fallacies

    “People who oppose the roundabout plans are not in opposition to all change. We want change that will enhance our quality of life, and that will not cause further traffic deadlocks…”
    · Roundabout had been proven to allow more volume of traffic flow through an intersection even at a slower speed that stop signs or lights.
    · Stop signs and lights will “cause further deadlocks.”
    It seems that Ms. Marr has, in her own words, put ” a “spin” on the facts.”.

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