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Encinitas weighs diagonal crossing in downtown

ENCINITAS — Downtown Encinitas could be the latest city to employ diagonal pedestrian crossings in the latest efforts to make it easier for people to cross Coast Highway 101.

The city Traffic and Public Safety Commission is taking up the topic at a special meeting on July 2.

At the request of the council and traffic commission, city staff evaluated diagonal crossing, known as “scramble crossing,” at the D, E and F street intersections of Coast Highway 101.

Carlsbad employs scramble crossing in Carlsbad Village, and San Diego has a pair of such crossings in the Gaslamp District.

Staff also evaluated an exclusive pedestrian crossing signal phase that did not include diagonal crossing.

The analysis showed that both changes would result in some traffic delays during the morning and evening peak hours, but that the delay wouldn’t be significant.

Staff said that the scramble configuration is more convenient and clearer for both pedestrians and drivers.

But staff is only recommending the city move forward with diagonal intersections at D and E streets that would be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which are more heavily used than F Street, and complete F Street in a second phase.

If the Traffic Commission OKs the recommendation, the City Council could vote on it as early as the fall. City staff estimates it would cost $80,000 to implement the new intersection improvements.

The Traffic and Public Safety Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. July 2 at City Council chambers, 505 S. Vulcan Avenue.