By Julie Thunder
Council votes unanimously (again) to build new bike lanes and narrow existing vehicle lanes, aka “lane diets”.
South Coast Highway 101
The City Council voted unanimously to create a lane diet by re-striping Coast Highway 101 between Cardiff and Solana Beach in an effort to provide safer bike lanes in each direction, with a $500,000 price tag.
The new bike lanes will be Class 4 lanes and will have the usual green plastic bollards providing a barrier between cyclists and vehicles. The far-right lane in each direction will also be painted as “sharrow” lanes, to accommodate faster cyclists.
For southbound cyclists, the protected bike lane will be placed between parked cars and the new walking path along the highway, which concerned many of the speakers at the Council meeting on September 25th.
I would like you to send this project back to staff. The problem is south of the [lagoon] bridge [where the bike lane goes] between parked cars at the beach. That lane will be filled with people with surfboards, boogie boards, dogs on leashes, chairs. It’s not safe for the faster riders and you know we have a large population of cyclists that move through quickly.Eric, a speaker at the City Council meeting
Mayor Blakespear, in support of the re-striping and the new bike lanes, acknowledged that less than one percent of Encinitans ride their bikes, but she hopes that more bike lanes will increase that percentage.
We want a different reality in this city. In order to create that, we have to make these decisions and we have to move forward with them.Mayor Catherine Blakespear at the September 25th Council meeting
El Camino Real
Beginning early next year, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District will begin replacing water lines beneath El Camino Real in Encinitas. Following this project, the City will begin re-striping the road to create a lane diet from Encinitas Blvd to Leucadia Blvd. In some areas, the bike lane will be marked off with green bollards, the plastic re-erectable posts seen on Leucadia Blvd, near I-5.
The re-striping project is a result of a “walking audit’ done by Dan Burden, an expert in livable and walkable communities, who was hired by the City Council to evaluate parts of the City for walkability and safe cycling.
Many of the businesses that front El Camino Real are unhappy with changes, claiming they will create more traffic problems and less customers.
The changes in the striping are not really extensive, but they will have a traffic calming effect…. so it’s not a drastic change like we are proposing for 101.Abraham Bandegan, City Traffic Engineer
Following this project, the City will install a light-controlled pedestrian crossing, called a “Z-Crosswalk”, located between Encinitas Blvd and Via Molena, that will be activated when a person wants to cross the street.