CARLSBAD — A proposal for traffic calming measures on La Costa Avenue — a heavily trafficked second arterial in south Carlsbad — received initial, albeit divided, support from City Council on March 22.
Council voted 3-2 in favor of an $112,000 consulting project to prepare the “road diet” for La Costa Avenue, between El Camino Real and Rancho Santa Fe Road.
Traffic calming measures would take the four-lane road down to just two lanes.
Mayor Matt Hall and Councilmen Mark Packard and Keith Blackburn supported the proposed long-term project that would start with restriping the road pending input from consultants and residents.
The restriping plan would be brought to council for approval in June.
“I have been persuaded that it would be in the best interest of both the city and the residents that we go down this path,” Packard said.
Mayor Pro Tem Ann Kulchin and Councilwoman Farrah Douglas did not support the item because they wished to see the city move forward with restriping efforts on La Costa Avenue as soon as possible.
“I can’t go along with saying, ‘No we can’t do it right now’,” Kulchin said. “I live down there and I’m concerned about safety.”
Restriping would reconfigure the roadway from its current four-lane design to a two-lane road. The outer lanes would be reallocated for parking and bike lanes, traffic calming expert Pat Noyes said.
The city will host public outreach meetings to gather input from residents regarding roundabouts, medians and other “creative ideas” to slow down traffic, Noyes said.
“The more input we get and the more perspective we get from those who actually live on the street, the better plan we can really develop,” Noyes said.
Residents who have asked the city to make improvements on La Costa Avenue for years were pleased to see council take initiative with the traffic calming measures.
“The community is willing to work with you in any way possible to come up with the best solution that addresses safety and cost,” La Costa Avenue resident Phil Jones said. He initially spoke to council four years ago about safety and speeding on the road.
While council members were originally concerned with the amount of time and money required to complete the project, including the public outreach meetings, they agreed that it was important to do whatever necessary to improve safety on the road.
“I came in very skeptical but as some point, I have to turn to the experts,” Blackburn said. “This is such an important project and I don’t want it to be done incorrectly.”