Oceanside looks to future as it considers improvements to Coast Highway

Oceanside looks to future as it considers improvements to Coast Highway
The Coast Highway Corridor Study Workshop will be held Feb. 11. Plans are to make the highway a pedestrian-friendly, bicycle-friendly, vehicle-friendly “complete street. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside will weigh how Coast Highway can best serve future development as it discusses highway revitalization plans Feb. 11.

Roadway improvements will reflect the city’s Coast Highway Vision and Strategic Plan.

This plan looks to replace current street-facing business fronts with community nodes, or mixed-use business hubs, along the highway.

To complete this vision the highway will be redesigned to be a pedestrian-friendly, bicycle-friendly, vehicle-friendly “complete street” that will allow room and safety for multiple modes of transportation.

Highway revitalization will aim to improve traffic flow with strategically placed roundabouts and single traffic lanes.

Improvements will also strive to increase business parking, enhance access to public transit, and encourage economic development through greater mobility and improved public streetscape.

John Amberson, city transportation planner, said roadway improvements would follow complete street guidelines that balance the needs of multiple modes of transportation using the roadway.

It is a new way of looking at Coast Highway that Oceanside has already begun to visualize.

“It’s in direct relationship to land use and the 2010 adopted Coast Highway Vision Plan to develop four nodes of development that are mixed-use in nature,” Amberson said.

The February workshop will be the first in an 18-month-long series of workshops that will look at how Coast Highway improvements can best serve future city development.

During the 18 months the workshop series is being held studies on present and projected future traffic flow will be conducted.

Study findings will be shared at workshops to help shape the revitalization plan.

Past traffic studies only considered vehicle traffic.

Traffic circulation studies done in 2006 showed Coast Highway at a “D” and “E” vehicle traffic rating.

A “D” rating is an acceptable level of vehicle traffic on the highway, at 2,000 cars a day.

An “E” rating, which Coast Highway received for traffic from Wisconsin Avenue to Oceanside Boulevard, showed that traffic exceeded what the highway could accommodate, at 2,300 cars a day.

Amberson said it is important to note that traffic fluctuates and currently Coast Highway has acceptable levels of traffic on the entire highway, at 1,900 cars a day.

It is also essential to note that pedestrian and bicycle traffic was not counted on the highway that is flanked by residential neighborhoods.

The complete streets study will consider all modes of traffic.

This is still an emerging methodology to look at transportation.

Amberson said cities are learning as they go and Oceanside will look at the successes and challenges neighboring North County coastal cities have had in improving sections of Coast Highway.

He added that community input is essential during the planning process.

Funding for Coast Highway improvements remains to be determined. Amberson said it is too early in the process to name funding sources.

Because Coast Highway is a smart growth corridor, state and federal funding will be sought to help fund the revitalization project.

The Coast Highway Corridor Study Workshop will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at South Oceanside Elementary School, 1806 S. Horne Street.

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  1. Laurel Kaskurs DeFalco says:

    The fact is that Coast Highway already has sidewalks and is about as pedestrian friendly as it’s going to get. When people used to walk and ride bikes on Hill St.(Coast Hwy.), they were stopped by police and questioned so much that eventually, they all got wise and bought cars instead. I don’t see a whole lot of bike traffic because, as anyone knows, it is safer to use Tremont St. or any of the other streets that run parallel to Coast Hwy. if bicycling is your preferred mode of transportation. It’s almost like the city is putting it’s head in the sand by saying, “There’s a lot of traffic, so if we reduce the number of lanes, make a big construction mess, and make bike trails, people will stop driving and all the traffic will magically go away!” It just does not work like that. People need to drive. We can’t go back in time to the days of horses and buggies. What WILL go away is business. The stores along Coast Hwy will suffer, just as the ones along Mission Ave. are now that a one way mess has been made of that street. Leave our streets alone please! It seems like every “Improvement” to roadways the city of Oceanside has made since I moved here in ’94 has made traffic worse! Doesn’t anyone use common sense these days. The population is only going up. We need more traffic lanes for cars, not fewer.

    • Augie Alvarez says:

      I absolutely agree with you, Laurel and I’m incensed that the consultation company hired to do the study is from Irvine!! Does anybody remember what it used to be like to drive through Irvine in the 1960s and ’70s? It was beautiful fruit trees and agricultural land. THe fact is that all of these developers are only here to rape and pillage our land. They look to build “UP” and spread homes all the way to the property lines. Developers form Orange County are trying to bring masses of people down here from Huntington Beach because guess what, Huntington Beach has become a nightmare to drive through. Reducing the number of lanes is insanity, just ry to evacuate from a tsunami or wildfire when the former traffic lanes are now restaurant patios!! Just try to walk your children to school through our once quiet neighborhoods now overflowing with frustrated drivers cutting through rather than enjoying a leisurely drive down Historic Coast Highway 101 and visiting our quaint shops and restaurants. Just another way to push cars and tourists to El Camino Real thoroughfare and making Oceanside another Del Mar.

  2. Laurel Kaskurs DeFalco says:

    The fact is that Coast Highway already has sidewalks and is about as pedestrian friendly as it’s going to get. When people used to walk and ride bikes on Hill St.(Coast Hwy.), they were stopped by police and questioned so much that eventually, they all got wise and bought cars instead. I don’t see a whole lot of bike traffic because, as anyone knows, it is safer to use Tremont St. or any of the other streets that run parallel to Coast Hwy if bicycling is your preferred mode of transportation.
    It’s almost like the city is putting it’s head in the sand by saying, “There’s a lot of traffic, so if we reduce the number of lanes, make a big construction mess, and make bike trails, people will stop driving and all the traffic will magically go away!”

    It just does not work like that. People need to drive! We can’t go back in time to the days of horses and buggies. What WILL go away is business. The stores along Coast Hwy will suffer, just as the ones along Mission Ave. are now that a one way mess has been made of that street. Leave our streets alone please! It seems like every “Improvement” to roadways the city of Oceanside has made since I moved here in ’94 has made traffic worse! Doesn’t anyone use common sense these days? The population is only going up. We need more traffic lanes for cars, not fewer.

  3. Promise Yee says:

    Correction traffic counts 20,000, 23,000 and 19,000.

  4. SeniorRights says:

    The public who attended on 2/11/14 were very displeased at the format for these meetings. Public input was via “clicker” in response to pre-determined multiple choice answers ONLY. When asked if written comments submitted by the public would be posted or included on their website, Mr. Amberson replied “No.” Questions: 1) Are the planners taking into consideration the population demographic (large senior population) [i.e., new $9 million "transit hub" located away from senior communities and shopping centers!]? and 2)What’s the plan for traffic overflow from the 5 Fwy. if PCH lanes are eliminated or narrowed? Even with trains, there’s no connections from trains to workplaces.

  5. SeniorRights says:

    The public was very displeased with the format of the 2/11/14 meeting. Public input was via “clicker” in response to pre-determined multiple choice answers ONLY. When asked whether written public comments would be posted on the website, Mr. Amberson responded “No, no provision had been made for that.” Questions: 1) Have planners taken Oceanside’s population demographic into consideration in these proposed changes (Large senior population, yet new $9 million “transit hub” is located AWAY from senior communities and shopping centers!]; and 2) What’s the plan for traffic overflow from the 5 Fwy. onto PCH during commuter hours if lanes are eliminated or narrowed?! Even with commuter trains, there’s no cross-town connections from trains along PCH to workplaces.

  6. LinLafayette says:

    Senior Right is correct. This was a pre-determined outcome meeting. The questions were rigged so that which ever way you voted, the Planners would have the results they wanted. The comments by Laurel are also correct. But she does not get what is behind this, as many others in Oceanside (or even our nation) don’t either. This is all from the United Nation’s Agenda 21 Sustainable Development Plan. This started in earnest in 1992. Please do the research. What you folks need to know is they want you (eventually) out of your cars altogether. Go to SANDAG and look for the transportation elements with regard to their own Activity Based Model. Then pay close attention to the 6 steps they want. I hope it horrifies you, and then wakes you up to these schemes.

  7. wake says:

    Plain and simple this is the worst idea I’ve heard of to date, look how those X cross walks are already screwing up traffic in Carlsbad.

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