ENCINITAS — The city held a special meeting Wednesday night to let the public know about changes to the corner of K Street and Coast Highway 101. The plan, which was already approved by the city, calls for putting in a landscaped mini-park where there’s currently a traffic island and right-hand turn lane. Also, a bus stop in the area would be relocated.
Stephanie Kellar, associate civil engineer with the city, said the intersection right now is “awkward.”
According to the city’s staff report, the traffic island currently has a bus stop in it. This is potentially dangerous because those waiting for the bus are only separated from cars by lane striping.
Further, the sidewalks north and south of K Street are misaligned, adding to pedestrian confusion when they enter the intersection.
The city is looking at what kind of trees it will plant in the grass park.
It’s also considering installing an extra streetlamp and putting in a bench.
Additionally, the city has yet to decide where the bus stop would be moved.
The nearby bike lane won’t be affected by the mini-park, city staff said.
The city was recently given a $97,000 community development grant for the $296,000 project.
To take advantage of the grant, the city will have to begin the project this summer. With summer crowds, Kellar said the timing isn’t ideal, but it’s unlikely the project will move forward without the grant money.
The remaining $199,000 for the project will come from the TransNet program, a county infrastructure fund that is supported by sales tax. Several residents at the meeting voiced their support for the effort.
But one business owner noted he’s concerned that the project entails removing five to eight parking spaces to put in the park and relocate the bus stop, especially since there’s limited parking in downtown Encinitas.
Ed Deane, senior civil engineer, sympathized with parking worries.
But he said that the project was already vetted by the public as part of the streetscape plan for Coast Highway 101 more than six years ago.
If the community wants to revisit the process, the project probably won’t happen given that the grant will disappear, he said.
Deane said construction would likely last for 40 to 60 days, though that’s a loose estimate.