Traffic-calming plans for Saxony, Quail Gardens take shape

Draft plans to slow down traffic on Saxony Road and Quail Gardens Drive — between Leucadia Boulevard and Encinitas Boulevard — were rolled out during a May 14 workshop at the Leichtag Foundation site.

Transportation firm Fehr & Peers distilled community suggestions from an April workshop into maps showing where traffic-calming devices like roundabouts and stop signs could go. The public was invited to peruse the plans and weigh in.

Among the potential infrastructure on Quail Gardens Drive was a four-way stop at Via Zamia, but resident Jane Hendricks said she would also like to see a roundabout farther north at Paseo de las Flores.

Hendricks said a roundabout would make it safer for pedestrians who cross the street there to access a walking trail.

“Crossing is a big concern with cars speeding,” Hendricks said. She added a roundabout would also calm traffic, which she said is especially needed given the nearby 69-home development that’s soon to debut.

Dawn Wilson, senior associate with Fehr & Peers, the transportation firm leading the workshops, told Hendricks that a roundabout would probably be too large for the intersection. She added that a crosswalk might work.

Wilson encouraged Hendricks to put recommendations on a comment card.

Fehr & Peers will go through residents’ comments and ultimately take a traffic-calming proposal to the council in the fall, according to Wilson.

“We’ll take the ideas that float to the top,” she said.

Wilson said it’s important that traffic-calming devices are evenly spaced on the two thoroughfares. If bunched, “you end up creating speeding between the devices,” she added.

She said there were plenty of good ideas from residents at the April workshop, though some weren’t workable. For example, it was decided “rumble strips” — raised pavement markers — would be too noisy for surrounding neighbors.

Fehr & Peers was hired by E3, an education cluster made up of six groups in the area. E3’s goal is to reduce the speed limit from 40 mph to 25 mph on both thoroughfares.

“From the perspective of the garden, traffic calming would make it easier to leave and enter the garden,” said Julian Duval, executive director of the San Diego Botanic Garden, which belongs to E3. “It can be difficult with cars going so fast.”

The other E3 members are Encinitas Union School District, Leichtag Foundation, Seacrest Village, Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA and the San Dieguito Heritage Museum.

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