The Coast News Group
Community Commentary

Neighborhoods want facts; self-determination on Leucadia streetscape

The lane-diet and traffic circle “Streetscam” plan for North 101 through Leucadia has stirred up much controversy. 

Roundabouts mean no comprehensive traffic study is required; they open the gateway to development without any responsibility for increased traffic and unwanted changes to our cherished community character.

Leucadia’s specific plan already includes high-density, mixed-use development. These lane-diet/roundabouts would accommodate developers, benefit a few businesses and property owners who’d receive additional, angled parking, and higher lease or re-sale property value at the expense of our safety, community character and quality of life! No special tax assessments are planned, although a few with businesses and/or property on the west side of North 101 expect decided monetary benefit at taxpayer expense.

A lane-diet and traffic circles would definitely slow already subpar emergency response times; they’d increase congestion, frustration and road rage. Place your fingertip on the end of a hose. Water will blast out either side, under greater pressure. If Interstate 5 slows to a crawl or a standstill, motorists will exit the freeway. If North 101 is congested, drivers will divert to Neptune or Vulcan avenues, which would further compromise safety in neighborhoods and a school zone.

When any vehicle breaks-down in a single-lane circle, traffic accumulates behind – causing a massive traffic jam! Further delaying emergency response times inevitably would result in unnecessary deaths, affecting not only neighborhoods west of 101, but thousands who flock to Leucadia’s beaches

“Neighborhood traffic circles,” primarily decorative, aren’t roundabouts, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. True roundabouts have wider radiuses, with added safety features. Roundabouts aren’t recommended near rail corridors or when side-street traffic is significantly less than the main corridor’s, as with our three-way intersections!

Neither a lane-diet nor traffic circles went through requested neighborhood needs assessment and/or analysis by City engineers, and never went before the Traffic Commission. On June 11, the Traffic Commission considered the issue of sharrows and bicycle safety signage, which we support, not a lane-diet! Traffic impact and collision data weren’t provided through City workshops regarding accidents and congestion relative to two existing traffic circles on Leucadia Blvd. and one at Santa Fe Drive, where the fatality of an off-duty fireman occurred. Data demonstrate Encinitas accidents and congestion actually have increased with lane-diet/roundabouts!

Most businesses oppose lane-diet/roundabouts due to potential lost business and private setbacks to be taken. Residents and businesses do support walkability and safety. We’re also concerned about the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, beachgoers, dog-walkers, and babies in strollers using side streets west of Hwy 101 for recreational needs, which would be negatively impacted by traffic racing through Leucadia neighborhoods.

At the most widely attended City Hall workshop (noticed with the help of Leucadia Glass and Sub Palace owners, who submitted over a thousand signatures in opposition), we endured a nearly two-hour “Disneyfied” presentation through Peltz & Associates, roundabout lobbyists. Although “time ran out” for public comments, nearly two-thirds of those taking the initial survey voted; we don’t support five roundabouts in a 2 1/2 mile corridor, leaving only one lane northbound on Leucadia’s Historic North Highway 101.

Results for a second survey were manipulated after we decisively rejected lane-diet/roundabouts through the initial survey. Subsequently, “deserves consideration” was wrongly counted as a YES vote for a lane-diet and five roundabouts! “Streetscam” allegedly “passed” by a small majority, the second-time around.

Less lane-diet/traffic circle opposition, including residents west of the highway, participated in this late-added survey. Leucadia Town Council and Encinitas Council were heavily lobbied by development interests, among them, Peder Norby. “Roundabouts” count as traffic mitigation; a corridor where they’re installed isn’t subject to environmental review grading, cannot receive an “F.”

Solana Beach has abandoned roundabout plans. Pam Slater-Price urges citizens in Del Mar to vote with her against a specific plan implementing lane-diet/traffic circles there. The proposed “roundabout” at 15th Street already has been eliminated.

Leucadians overwhelmingly support “keeping Leucadia Funky” and preserving what’s left of our canopy. We’re grateful for sidewalks now running along the west side of North Highway 101. Planting 101 trees was a positive, although they’re saplings and will take twenty years to become well established. Over 81 percent of Leucadia’s adjacent residents and a majority of business owners polled oppose “Streetscam’s” lane-diet and five traffic circles.

Lynn Marr on behalf of Leucadia Neighbors Steering Committee, including Bob Aronin, David Smith.



ikihi August 17, 2012 at 9:18 am

Roundabouts are much better than stop signs.

Leucadia Neighbor September 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm

ikihi, first of all, according to the U.S. Dept. of transportation, roundabouts are NOT the same as the five traffic circles planned for North Highway 101, in just over a two mile stretch of a Major Roadway.

Roundabouts have wider radius, and more safety features; they’re not recommended near a railway corridor or where the sidestreet, the street intersecting a major artery has much less traffic than the main road, as with our three way intersections. Only the intersection at La Costa is more than a three-way interesection!

Second of all, NONE of the planned five traffic circles are replacing intersections with stop signs, as is the plan in Del Mar. And in Del Mar the residents are getting to VOTE if they favor traffic circles and reduction of a lane on the Coast Highway.

No stop signs, near traffic circles are planned to be eliminated, either. There is a currently existing stopsign, at Hygeia, that was never replaced when the two traffic circles on Leucadia Blvd. were installed. In fact, there WAS a plan to replace that stop sign, in Phase Two of the Leucadia Blvd traffic circle plan, at which time more sidewalks were to be installed, facilitating beach access. Phase Two NEVER happened, and the money was diverted to the North 101 Streetscam Plan.

There is presently a stop sign, NOT to be eliminated, at Marchetta and Highway 101, near Juanitas. That stop sign will stay, although the first traffic circle is planned at El Portal, EXACTLY WHERE City traffic engineers recommended no “lane diet” should begin, due to already existing traffic back-up between the Marchetta three way intersection stop sign and the traffic signal at Leucadia Blvd. and North Hwy. 101. The plan DOESN”T make sense, except to a few pro-development advocates who seem completely unconcerned about adding to gridlock, cut-through traffic racing through our neighborhoods, and slower emergency response time.

The traffic circles would NOT be traffic calming. There is NO EVIDENCE that they would. Instead this issue pits a few merchants and property owners against the neighbors, who would primarily like to be “left alone.” We favor the rights of neighborhood self-determination, citywide. We don’t want and can’t afford to have these so-called “improvements” rammed down the throat of our neighborhood, at the expense of public safety and our peaceable dwellings.

ikihi September 14, 2012 at 11:42 am

I think you are making a bigger deal than there should be. I honestly don’t see any problem putting traffic circles in. I would prefer all stop signs taken out completely, its shame they are leaving those stop signs in. Stop signs slow traffic and are a hassle.
Also I don’t see a problem with the lane diet on the northbound lane. The 101 in del mar is a one lane road and it works fine. Plus we also have Vulcan running parallel to the 101 on the other side of the train tracks that people can use. Don’t forget also that the southbound side that is next to the businesses still has 2 lanes.

ikihi September 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm

The city of Encinitas refers to the traffic circles as Round-abouts. I also read the general plan for the street scape and they are removing some of the stop signs. I suggest you actually look at the proposals before coming up with these wild fantasies from your head.

Comments are closed.