The Coast News Group
Consultant Neil Payton explains roadway options. Workshop participants designed how they would like to see Coast Highway. Photo by Promise Yee
Consultant Neil Payton explains roadway options. Workshop participants designed how they would like to see Coast Highway. Photo by Promise Yee

Groups divided over Coast Highway workshop

OCEANSIDE — The second Coast Highway Corridor Study workshop gathered community input on preferred sidewalk and roadway layouts for Pacific Coast Highway on May 15.

Community preferences will be boiled down to two options that will be presented to City Council, along with the options of adopting changes spelled out in the Coast Highway Vision Plan, or leaving the highway as is.

The Coast Highway Vision Plan was adopted by the city in 2009. This option considers vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and access to mass transit. It also looks at preserving neighborhood character, maintaining views, safety and green space.

Changes include wider sidewalks, landscaping, reduced traffic lanes and marked bike lanes on the highway.

The vision plan also recommends replacing almost half of the traffic lights on Coast Highway with roundabouts. The eight traffic lights in the downtown area between Surfrider Way and Washington Avenue would remain.

The “as is” option would leave the highway with a vehicle oriented layout of two traffic lanes in each direction, on-street parking and no marked bike lanes. Sidewalks and landscaping would also remain as is.

It will take some analysis of workshop input before the two “community choice” options are determined.

The nine workshop feedback groups varied greatly in what they wanted to see.

To illustrate the diversity in thought, one group designed the highway with on-street parking downtown, wider sidewalks south of Wisconsin Avenue and marked bike lanes along the entire highway.

Another group proposed reduced traffic lanes and on-street parking along the entire highway, and limited marked bike lanes to south of Morse Street.

Feedback from two of the nine groups shows them on the same page with on-street parking downtown, and bike lanes south of Morse Street.

Analysis will determine the top two ideas the nine feedback groups have in common.

A summary of feedback from the first Coast Highway Corridor Study workshop held in February shows some emerging trends.

One popular option is to widen sidewalks, include marked bike lanes and reduce traffic lanes.

Another equally popular alternative is to leave sidewalks “as is,” accommodate bike traffic on other streets and maintain the four lanes of traffic.

Once two corridor options are determined the Steering Committee — comprised of residents; SANDAG, NCTD, police and fire personnel; and other key stakeholders — will meet to review the two corridor plans.

Steering Committee member John McDonald said the committee would fine-tune the options.

The next steps are a final community workshop and one more Steering Committee review before the item goes to City Council in August 2015.

There is no timeline on when the roadway and sidewalk improvements will be made. Implementation will depend on securing funding.


Colleen Balch May 26, 2014 at 9:35 am

I sit on steering committee and I agree with both of the above comments. We have only had one meeting and that was after the first two workshops were held. We are not steering anything we are also being steered toward the road diet concept. There are more city employees and non residents then there are residents and business owners on the committee. The best I can recommend is to contact the city council with your opposition or comments and have your friends and other business owners to do the same. Go to all the workshops and find other people on the steering committee that you can give your opinions to so they will be passed on. Petitions will also help. Voice your opinions.

Mandy Barre May 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

This “plan” is absolute junk. Business owners and taxpayers in the City should have a say. the hand picked “committee” isn’t reaching out to very many in the community. You want to totally isolate and destroy downtown, do a lane diet and see how well that works with a blockage on I-5. NO ONE will ever come back to Oceanside and residents will avoid downtown like a plague..who is going to support businesses downtown if the residents won’t even venture down there due to traffic/parking issues? Which residents want cut through traffic on their small, sleep streets? That’s right. No one!

LeftOut May 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

Those who attended heard PCH BUSINESS OWNERS complain that, not only did they NOT receive any notices about proposed changes, meetings, etc., but they were NOT invited to participate in the Steering Committee driving these changes. Imagine a business owner who suddenly finds reverse-angle parking (planned all along PCH), lanes narrowed, etc. greatly impacting his/her business, with NO ability to affect those decisions. (Multiple choice answers on a pre-determined plan are NOT the same as “Public Input” – Don’t Be Fooled!”) Attendees were told that questions about plans for traffic overflow from the 5 Fwy. or emergency evacuation if 2 lanes are removed and traffic is slowed were “irrelevant!” Bet the Firefighters don’t think they are “irrelevant” questions and neither will anyone needing an ambulance or to evacuate in wildfires when freeways are CLOSED. DUMP KERN & FELIEN IN 2014.

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