On Nov. 20, the city, San Diego Association of Governments and North County Transit District are hosting a public workshop on Nov. 20, 6 - 8 p.m., at the Harding Community Center, 3096 Harding St. to inform the community about a potential project that lowers the railroad tracks below street level in a trench through Carlsbad Village and the Barrio.
Train traffic through Carlsbad is expected to double by 2035. To accommodate the increase, SANDAG is planning to build a second set of tracks along the San Diego segment of the rail corridor that runs from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. Since the railroad crosses through two of Carlsbad’s oldest neighborhoods, the Village and Barrio, the planned expansion poses unique challenges to the city.
In 2014, the Carlsbad City Council made it a city priority to explore lowering the tracks below street level in a trench through the Village and Barrio. A study conducted by the city, SANDAG and NCTD determined in 2017 that lowering the railroad tracks into a trench is technically feasible.
Two alternatives are now under consideration:
A short trench running from Carlsbad Boulevard to the north side of Tamarack Avenue
A long trench running from Carlsbad Boulevard to the south side of Tamarack Avenue
Lowering the railroad tracks below street level is reported to have a variety of benefits, including:
Improved roadway circulation
o Eliminates the need to stop at crossing gates multiple times a day, improving traffic circulation for drivers, public safety and first responders
Increased car and pedestrian safety
o Creates a positive barrier separating cars and pedestrians from crossing the tracks
Decreased environmental impacts
o Reduces noise impacts from train horns and eliminates the need for crossing bells
Positive economic impacts
o Considers the value of lives, time saved, walkability and railroad operations
This project is in the preliminary planning phase. A timeline for final design and construction has not yet been set. Community members are invited to attend the public input workshop on Nov. 20 to learn more about double tracking and the two alternatives under consideration.