The City of Carlsbad held the last in a series of three community meetings to develop a plan to reduce speeds and improve safety on La Costa Avenue between El Camino Real and Rancho Santa Fe Road. Approximately 50 members of the Carlsbad community attended the June 23 meeting. City staff and their consultant reviewed the planning process and how the input from the community survey and first two workshops were used to develop the draft plan presented at the meeting.
The planning objective for the La Costa Avenue Improvement Plan is to develop a cost effective, community-preferred plan to address traffic speeds and safety on La Costa Avenue in a way that respects the residential character and arterial function of the roadway. This objective was further defined through the first two community workshops and the following planning objectives provided the basis for developing a draft plan:
• Increase safety for all users
– Accommodate all modes of transportation (auto, bike, and pedestrian)
– Reduce travel speeds
– Increase sight distance for driveway access
• Design a roadway in keeping with the residential neighborhood
– Accommodate on-street parking in front of residential areas
– Minimize the number of traffic signals
– Increase landscaping
– Design improvements to be effective without enforcement
• Don’t divert traffic to other residential streets
– Do not penalize drivers traveling at the posted speed limit (i.e., design should be consistent with high volume roadway classification)
– Avoid congestion
• Develop a cost effective plan
The draft plan for La Costa Avenue was presented for discussion and refinement. This conceptual plan reduces La Costa Avenue to one travel lane in each direction between Fairway Lane and Esfera Street. The lane configuration will allow a bike lane in each direction of travel and roundabouts as an alternative to traffic signals. The roadway capacity will be maintained near the primary entrance points at El Camino Real and Rancho Santa Fe Road. The traffic flow has been analyzed and is expected to meet the City’s level of service standards under existing and forecasted conditions. The proposed plan is estimated to cost approximately $3 million, depending on engineering design considerations. The city currently has approximately $1 million in the budget for traffic signals on La Costa Avenue and it is anticipated that these funds will be re-allocated toward these long-term improvements. Participants were asked to provide input on potential phasing preferences.
The community members attending the meeting generally supported the proposed plan, but there were still concerns about longer travel times resulting from congestion and the proposed speed reduction measures, The next steps will be to review the public comments on the draft plan to finalize the community-preferred improvement plan. The plan will be included in a Final Report that is tentatively scheduled to be presented to the Traffic Safety Commission and the City Council for acceptance in September.