Encinitas’ overhaul of the Highway 101 streetscape through the north part of the city remains a long way from completion.
The City Council, however, authorized funding Wednesday, May 8, intended to bring some interim relief to the northbound stretch of the coastal route through the Leucadia community.
Council members voted 5-0 to authorize $435,380 for the environmental analysis, design and traffic engineering on the proposed temporary installation of parking spaces and a pedestrian trail between the highway’s east side and the coastal railroad to the immediate west.
The temporary measures are intended to jump-start some of the improvements envisioned in the city’s North Coast Highway 101 Streetscape Project, also known as the Leucadia streetscape.
The project would revamp the highway through Leucadia with the goal of providing safer bicycle and pedestrian use while reducing conflicts between cyclists and walkers with motorized vehicles.
Encinitas’ Lecuadia streetscape plan, however, has gotten bogged down because it is intertwined with regional plans to expand the coastal railroad and extend the Coastal Rail Trail, a pedestrian and cyclist path paralleling the train tracks through the city.
In approving funding for the temporary improvements, council members agreed with Mayor Catherine Blakespear’s suggestion that the interim trail should be expanded beyond its 5-foot width wherever possible as long as it doesn’t delay the long-term streetscape plan.