Comments to CCC Regarding Leucadia 101 Streetscape LCP Amendments
August 8, 2018 California Coastal Commission Meeting
Agenda No. W18f
City of Encinitas LCP Amendment LCP-6-ENC-18-0034-1
I oppose the project.
I support denial of the amendments.
California Coastal Commissioners,
I urge the commission to reject the proposed amendments outright.
The city of Encinitas has pursued the ill-conceived Leucadia 101 Streetscape project the amendments would allow for about 12 years. If it were a good, legal project, it would have been implemented long ago. The city has wasted millions of dollars on a project that the majority of residents don’t want and that would violate the Coastal Act.
If the commission were to approve the amendments with the modifications the staff suggested and the city were to pursue achieving those modifications, the traffic reports would inevitably show that the project would be inconsistent with the Coastal Act in these respects:
• It would restrict beach access by reducing a four-lane roadway to a two-lane roadway and by stuffing it with roundabouts, four of which would be in the first public road. It would make the current traffic jams more frequent and worse.
• It would increase transit time through the Leucadia 101 corridor individually and, if Carlsbad and Oceanside were to implement similar projects, cumulatively.
In both respects, the effect would be to restrict public access to and enjoyment of the coast.
I’ve lived in Encinitas for 49 years. For 21 of those, I’ve lived west of 101 and north of Leucadia Boulevard. I worked in Carlsbad for 15 years. Carlsbad, Leucadia and Encinitas 101 were my commute route. Cumulatively, I’ve driven, biked and walked the route thousands of times. I know the traffic patterns 24/7/365.
Anybody with driving experience and a lick of common sense knows that a four-lane road accommodates heavy traffic better than a two-lane road. Widening roads lets traffic flow better. Narrowing roads congests traffic.
The traffic study the city commissioned was done in April 2015. It omitted summer traffic, so its results have no validity. If the city commissions an inclusive, truly objective traffic study, it will inevitably show the current frequent congestion, especially when nearby I-5 backs up. If the study projects the current situation into the future, including reduction from four lanes to two and addition of six roundabouts, it will inevitably show frequent, unacceptable LOS E and F levels.
Parking is another thorny issue in the Leucadia 101 corridor. There is nowhere near enough parking capacity now. The project the proposed amendments would allow would confine parking on the east side of Leucadia 101 to three parking bays. It would prevent east-side parking anywhere else. That would reduce the corridor’s parking capacity, thereby restricting public access to and enjoyment of the coast.
Setting a bad precedent is an overriding issue. If the commission were to approve the amendments with the suggested modifications and the city were to achieve those conditions and implement the project, that would mean any coastal city could make Highway 101 anything it wanted. Trends and whims would potentially be indulged. There would be no more iconic, historic Highway 101.
I respectfully urge the commission to deny the proposed amendments outright for the reasons I have stated.
West of 101