ENCINITAS — A study presented to the Encinitas City Council gave several alternatives to possible future changes to the Rancho Santa Fe corridor that would aim to improve the mobility of the roadway.
The Rancho Santa Fe Road Task Force was started by the City Council in 2019 to hold public forum discussions about the stretch of the road from Avenida La Posta/Calle Acervo to Encinitas Boulevard. In late 2019 the council funded a corridor analysis of the road to come up with different solutions to traffic problems.
No cost or feasibility analysis has been made on the alternatives presented to the council.
Currently, the stretch of Rancho Santa Fe Road consists of seven all-way stop signs and in every alternative presented, at least two of them would remain.
The preferred alternative determined by the task force included adding roundabouts at Lone Jack Road and El Camino Del Norte while keeping the rest of the all-way stops in place.
The study also looked at other improvements such as painting crosswalks and conducting a new speed survey for the corridor.
“Once all these other improvements have gone in, the ones other than the intersection control modifications, we can conduct another speed survey and see if we can lower the speed limit on the roadway,” City Traffic Engineer Abe Bandegan said. “Hopefully, I’m very optimistic. We’ve been successful previously.”
Bandegan said that while the intersection control improvements need full feasibility and cost analysis studies done, the improvements to crosswalks and shoulder and walkway enhancements could be funded in the next fiscal year.
While Bandegan said the task force preferred to keep the all-way stops only unless they were replaced by roundabouts, public comments were strongly against keeping so many stop signs along the busy stretch of road.
“The number of times a car has to stop in response to a stop is multiplied from one needing to stop to as many cars as there are between the two stop signs,” resident Wayland Meyers said. “Just as an example, a trip from Encinitas Boulevard to El Camino Del Norte, which normally takes about four minutes during non-rush hour, can take up to 20 minutes during the p.m. rush hour and require a car to come to a complete stop 50 times. That’s an awful lot of stops and starts.”
Councilmember Joe Mosca represents the area of Encinitas the road travels through. Mosca acknowledged that while there is not a consensus on how to address the issue, the community is together in its desire to see a change come to the corridor.
“The task force is made up of people who live on Rancho Santa Fe Road, off of Rancho Santa Fe Road, have been in the community for 40 years, 10 years, five years,” Mosca said. “So there is a diversity. We have surveyed the community and there is support for what we’ve been talking about.”
Mosca also urged the City Council for support to fund the addition of crosswalks in the corridor this fiscal year.
“There are no crosswalks throughout this entire corridor,” Mosca said. “And we’ve unfortunately had a number of serious accidents and fatalities.”