The Coast News Group
The two proposed pedestrian railroad crossings are located between La Costa Avenue and Leucadia Boulevard. Stock photo
The two proposed pedestrian railroad crossings are located between La Costa Avenue and Leucadia Boulevard. Stock photo

Encinitas seeks public feedback on pedestrian railroad crossing sites

ENCINITAS — After developing several options for at-grade pedestrian and bicycle crossing locations in Leucadia, the city wants to hear from residents about potential sites.

The city of Encinitas is hosting a Leucadia community meeting at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 at City Hall to gain public feedback on several options for at-grade crossing locations.

The city hopes to combine community feedback, design concepts and other data analysis to make its case for Leucadia railroad crossings to the California Public Utilities Commission.

The Encinitas City Council approved the project’s first phase, during which staff developed site analysis and concept designs.

“There is a lot of need for these crossings,” said Matt Widelski, principal engineer for the city. “We want to have it done safely and legally.”

Pedestrians have been known to cross the railroad tracks despite a lack of crossings in the Leucadia area, which is illegal and dangerous.

Widelski said the city wants something similar to the at-grade pedestrian crossings in Redlands, California, which include descending gate arms and flashing lights warning of an approaching train.

In Encinitas, the two proposed crossings would be located between La Costa Avenue and Leucadia Boulevard.

The northern railroad crossing is close to the pedestrian crossing at Grandview Street and Coast Highway 101, connecting to Vulcan Avenue on the east side of the tracks between Coral Cove Way and Hillcrest Drive.

The first option for the northern railroad crossing is adjacent to a proposed roundabout on Coast Highway 101 as part of the city’s street improvement project, positioning the rail crossing closer to Coral Cove Way.

Alternatively, the northern crossing could be installed halfway between Coral Cove Way and Hillcrest Drive, requiring a ramp to access the lower-graded area of Coast Highway 101.

The southern location is proposed at the Phoebe Street and Coast Highway intersection, connecting to Vulcan Avenue between Glaucus and Jason streets. The first option is closer to Glaucus, with a ramp coming down to the Phoebe Street pedestrian crossing. The second option installs the railroad intersection next to the Coast Highway 101 crossing at Phoebe Street.

“Highway 101 is significantly lower than the railroad tracks here, so the grade we know is an issue here,” Widelski said about the potential southern crossing location.

After collecting public feedback about the options, staff plans to summarize all of its findings, including the input, into a memo in February. Then sometime in March or April, the city wants to hold a site diagnostic meeting with representatives from the Public Utilities Commission at the potential crossing locations. The next phase involves the formal application and presentation before the commission.

If the city receives approval, the following phases would include environmental review and design work before moving into the final construction phase.

For those unable to attend or have questions prior to the meeting, please contact Project Manager Matt Widelski by email, by phone at 760-633-2862, or by mail at 505 S. Vulcan Ave, Encinitas, CA, 92024, to provide your input.