The Coast News Group

Traffic Commission OKs stop sign, no parking zone

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas Traffic Commission endorsed a pair of measures at its recent meeting, one that will slow down traffic in one part of the community, and one that will keep it moving in another area.

The Traffic Commission unanimously voted to recommend the City Council install an all-way stop sign at the intersection of Melba Road and Evergreen Drive, and to expand a no-parking zone on Cereus Street near Paul Ecke Elementary School.

Nearly a dozen residents spoke at the March 14 meeting, largely in favor of the respective actions.

Neighbors along Evergreen Drive and Melba Road thanked the commission for considering the stop sign, which they said was badly needed to avoid the potential of children getting injured during their walk to school.

“This has been a concern of ours for a while,” said Martin Shaker, a teacher at San Dieguito Academy who lives along Melba Road and has two young children. “The conditions have been a source of frustration to many of the children in our neighborhood.”

Residents along the streets signed a petition urging the city to install the stop sign.

The commission then turned its attention to Cereus Street, where parents at Paul Ecke Central spoke about the need to keep traffic moving along the street during school hours.

Currently, the city prohibits parking along a portion of the block-long street between Hygeia and Hermes avenues between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and noon and 3:30 p.m. to accommodate the heavy traffic that piles up on both Hermes and Cereus during those times.

The commission’s recommendation would expand the prohibition to the entire north side of the street.

The north side of Cereus Street has no sidewalk, and when cars are parked on the north side, the already narrow street essentially shrinks to one lane of traffic.

That’s not a problem most of the day, but during school hours, city officials said, it causes traffic jams as cars have to traverse the opposite side of the road to get through the street.

The gridlock often stretches into the intersection of Cereus and Hygeia, creating additional safety concerns.

The commission’s vote on Cereus came with a recommendation to the council to consider the creation of a residential parking permit district along Cereus Street to preserve the limited parking left for homeowners.