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The Carlsbad City Council approved a feasibility study for the Grand Avenue promenade, which would close the eastbound lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. Photo by Steve Puterski
The Carlsbad City Council approved a feasibility study for the Grand Avenue promenade, which would close the eastbound lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Carlsbad council advances changes to Grand Ave, Tyler Street

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad City Council approved several policy changes and project adjustments in the Village and Barrio Master Plan during its Nov. 16 meeting.

Two of the biggest adjustments include accelerating a feasibility study for the Grand Avenue promenade and turning Tyler Street into a one-way road. Other priorities seek to designate parts of the Village and Barrio as a historical district, encourage “vital uses,” develop better parking and continue outdoor dining and shopping, to name a few.

The council opted to not move forward with several items, such as reducing building height limits, a street tree program and limiting the types of businesses in the Village General district.

“We got some general timelines and some will be refined as we get consultants on board,” Eric Lardy, the city’s principal planner, said of the amendments.

As part of a number of changes to the Village and Barrio Master Plan, the Carlsbad City Council approved making Tyler Street into a one-way road. Photo by Steve Puterski
As part of a number of changes to the Village and Barrio Master Plan, the Carlsbad City Council approved making Tyler Street into a one-way road. Photo by Steve Puterski

The Grand Avenue promenade was put into the master plan as a possibility of closing down the eastbound lanes and repurposing those for pedestrians and cyclists. Staff recommended a two-year pilot program as a method to measure how closing the southern (eastbound) lanes would impact traffic, allow the city to collect data and create a financing strategy.

Instead, Councilman Peder Norby said it would be better to conduct the study without a temporary closure as a way to speed up the project, citing the cost difference as a factor. The study will take between eight and 12 months with an estimated cost between $150,000 to $200,000, which is nearly $200,000 to $300,000 cheaper than the pilot program, according to Eric Lardy, principal planner for the city.

“It sounds good for the pilot project … in a tactical deployment and it very seldom works,” Norby said. “The fear I have … if we striped it and coned it off … you’d create a lot of anger from drivers. If that feasibility study showed there are some issues then we can go to a pilot project.”

As for Tyler Street, 44 residents sent letters to the city requesting a change to the street, which is a narrow two-lane road between Chestnut and Oak avenues, with a small alley connecting to Carlsbad Village Drive. Lardy said it has not been determined which direction the one-way street would run and will be studied before returning to the council in eight to 12 months.

Staff did not recommend the modification to Tyler Street, which is estimated to cost between $45,000 to $70,000 to implement.

Also, the council discussed current projects such as the objective design standards review committee, more fluid movement throughout the Village and Barrio, arts and culture district and a historic properties designation, which would five owners of historic properties the option of taking a tax break on money used to maintain the property.

“We have quite a few projects that have been incorporated already,” Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel said.

Parking was also a hot topic with the council approving to update the city’s program for collecting fees from developers to be used for parking facilities and evaluating costs for underground and above-ground parking options or structures. Lardy said the fees will be updated and the parking management component will also come back to the council in eight to 12 months.

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