ENCINITAS — The Encinitas City Council voted this week on the addition of an all-way stop sign at the intersection of La Costa Avenue and Vulcan Avenue and will return within six months with further evaluations in the latest development regarding the La Costa corridor in the city.
Council was provided with three different scenarios that also included the possibility of adding a traffic light or a roundabout at the intersection.
Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz, a strong supporter of roundabouts, has hopes for the addition of more roundabouts along the corridor as part of traffic improvement projects.
“There are traffic mitigation funds that are going to be available for this corridor and it is my hope that we would accelerate the conversation about some of these solutions to include a roundabout at Sheridan Road,” Kranz said.”I think it’s critical that we look at La Costa Avenue in a holistic way traffic-wise.”
The corridor has been subject to much interest by the public in recent months with traffic increasing causing more accidents along the roadway.
Encinitas resident June Honsberger spoke to the council letting her feelings known about the need for a stoplight at the intersection she frequents as a resident of Leucadia.
“I am not in support of a stop sign permanently but as a temporary measure, I think it is a good idea,” Honsberger said. “This intersection is dangerous and it is only going to get worse. We need this stoplight now. We cannot wait for any more study of this intersection. It is dangerous. There are accidents, there are near-accidents almost every day and we cannot get in and out of our neighborhood.”
City Traffic Engineer Abe Bandegan told the City Council that if a traffic light was to be chosen to be installed it would take 12-18 months to finish installation due to wait times for the traffic poles themselves.
Mayor Catherine Blakespear, while not a fan of stop signs, was also not keen on any of the other scenarios for the intersection at this time.
“I just really don’t like (stop signs). But I also don’t feel like these other options are likely,” Blakespear said. “They’re too much right now given the information we don’t know.”
The scenario chosen by the council was slightly modified to include the formation of a subcommittee with Deputy Mayor Kranz along with Councilmember Joe Mosca to come back to the council at a later date after finding more information on their options.
The scenario included a timeframe to return in six months but Mayor Blakepear and others expressed their hope for another discussion sooner.
“I really feel like it could be a decade before we have everything ready to go forward with roundabouts,” Councilmember Kellie Hinze said. “So I just hope that my colleagues do return in six months with a recommendation that won’t delay the traffic signal.”
Kranz said he thinks a six-month time frame is a good one in this case.
“I would endeavor to be able to bring back more information in that period of time,” Kranz said. “If it’s going to be a traffic signal, I don’t want to delay the ordering of the poles if there is going to be a waiting list.”