New intersection upgrades planned for El Camino Creek Elementary School

CARLSBAD — Parents can expect some new intersection upgrades at El Camino Creek Elementary School. 

Recently, Carlsbad City Council members agreed to install all-way stops at this busy intersection.

Presently, the Via Adelfa and Paseo Aliso intersection has a stop sign on Via Adelfa but the city decided to do more.

“City Council approved installing stop signs on Paseo Aliso to make the intersection an all-way stop controlled intersection,” said Bryan Jones, deputy transportation director with the city. “In addition, the city of Carlsbad will be installing a crosswalk across Paseo Aliso.”

Jones explained that installing an all-way stop intersection requires a city ordinance. The protocol to propel this project forward is to adopt the ordinance and then have it go into effect 30 days following the adoption.

Once that is completed, the new upgrades will follow.

Last December, a child was hit by a car near the El Camino Creek Elementary School locale. Jones pointed out that the mother of this child told City Council members that her child darted out into the roadway.

“This collision was not the main reason that the request for an all-way stop was made to the city of Carlsbad,” he said, adding that the Dec. 2, 2011, incident was the only one in the last five years. “We completed an engineer evaluation that included not only looking at the collision history, but also looked at sight distance, speed on the roadway, design of the roadway, vehicle traffic volumes and pedestrian crossing volumes.”

Based on the study, the conclusion of adopting an all-way stop was unfolded. Research also showed that during the afternoon “peak hours” about 90 pedestrians were using this intersection.

The upgrades would also be helpful outside normal school business hours when children are taking part in sport activities or other special events.

Jones said that stop signs have the ability to slow down traffic on roadways and are used as one tool in their Carlsbad Residential Traffic Management Program.

“We currently have 85th percentile speeds on Paseo Aliso of 34 miles per hour — that is 85 percent of the motorists drive at or below 34 miles per hour,” he said. “Typically, stop signs can have an impact on speeds for 400 to 700 feet depending on the particular roadway.”

Jones said he believes that this new all-way stop will enhance safety by stopping motorists at an intersection where there are a number of pedestrians crossing the roadway.

Over the years, parents expressed concern about this hectic intersection. Although many are relieved that something is being done about it, some wonder why there was a delay. Jones said that in the past, the city was looking at the issue from a vehicle point of view.

“The city of Carlsbad has now made complete and livable streets a priority and we are looking to enhance and encourage all modes of transportation whether on foot, on bike, or in a vehicle,” he said. “It made sense to install a crosswalk and stop signs to enhance the safety for pedestrians accessing the school.”

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