What is “mobility?” Simply put, mobility refers to how people get to where they want to go. Since transportation is responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions (think: air pollution), the City of Carlsbad has adopted a set of policies and goals to ensure people can get around town in a way that is safe and convenient for them, while reducing negative impacts on our environment. Carlsbad’s approach to mobility is outlined in its recently updated General Plan Mobility Element. Here are some of our current initiatives:
Carlsbad Sustainable Mobility Plan
The city is working to expand our city’s network of smart travel options and continues on the long-range planning and comprehensive analysis of the City’s transportation network. Through the its Sustainable Mobility Plan (SMP), Carlsbad continues to evaluate, adjust, plan, design, and expand to continually offer better options that uphold the Council Goal to “Become a leader in multimodal transportation systems and creative approaches to moving people and goods through and within Carlsbad.”
Complete streets, also called “livable streets,” is an approach to road design that makes sure people can get around in a way that works for them, whether it be by car, on a bike, by foot or using public transit. Simply put, a “complete” street is accessible and inviting for everyone.
Changes in our transportation system are advancing rapidly with many new ways to move around such as car share, bike share, Uber and the beginning phases of “autonomous transportation technology,” such as self driving cars. The Carlsbad Coastal Mobility Readiness Plan was developed by city staff and industry experts to lay out a vision for a coastal transportation system that connects people, creates a sense of belonging and closely links quality of life issues to economic growth. Each of the ideas in the plan will undergo further study to see if it’s feasible, what it might cost and whether or not the community thinks it’s a good fit for Carlsbad.
Transportation Demand Management
“TDM” is government jargon for reducing the number of trips people make alone in their cars, which is one of the most inefficient ways to get around when it comes to energy use and air pollution. Carlsbad is working with large employers to develop programs like carpooling, bringing common errands to workers instead of the other way around, and encouraging alternative work schedules. And, we’re doing the same for our own organization.
Traffic Signal Coordination
Not only is stopping at red lights bad for your blood pressure, it’s bad for the environment. That’s because every time you accelerate, you put more pollution in the air. Carlsbad has already invested in new technology to better coordinate traffic signals. Now we’re stepping things up by equipping signals with smart technology so they can “talk” to each other and make real time adjustments as needed.
Connecting the “Last Mile”
The City of Carlsbad, North County Transit District and the San Diego Association of Governments launched a pilot program called Carlsbad Connector, which offers the convenience of ridesharing with the sustainability of transit services. Launched in August 2019, the Carlsbad Connector provides flexible shuttle service from the Carlsbad Poinsettia COASTER Station to Carlsbad business parks in and around Palomar McClellan Airport and along the coast.
As another “last mile” solution to make transit more convenient, the city is studying the feasibility of a trolley service, with the goal of getting people closer to where they want to end up when they take public transportation.
City staff are working on installing two new electric vehicle charging stations, one in the Village and one at Stagecoach Community Park. The city's first charging station was installed at the popular Alga Norte Community Park in 2015. Find charging stations in the area.
ADA Beach Access Improvements
The city is working on a number of initiatives to make it easier and safer to get to the beach and travel along Carlsbad Boulevard, the old Highway 101, whether by car, on a bike or by foot. The ADA Beach and Lagoon Access Feasibility Study will examine the feasibility of constructing ADA accessible ramps from Carlsbad Boulevard down to the beach, as well as the feasibility of a trail connection from the Agua Hedionda North Shore Hubbs Trail along Agua Hedionda Lagoon to the Tamarack State Beach. The limits of the projects are from the Cold Water Inlet Bridge north to Pine Avenue. For information about this project, please contact Nathan Schmidt, Nathan.firstname.lastname@example.org.