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Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail Case Study

Decent Essays
Shelby Forsythe
Economics/ Machado
Period 2
January 7th 2016
Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail The City Council voted 3-2 on May 20, 2015 to build the rail trail. The first leg of Encinitas’ coastal rail trail could possibly go on Coast Highway 101.
The Coastal Rail Trail located between Oceanside and San Diego. They are starting the construction by doing segments of the project at a time.
The Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail is used to provide an easy bike riding environment for everyone that would connect many communities along the way, including the Downtown Encinitas COASTER station, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, the Santa Fe Drive rail undercrossing, Swamis Seaside Park, the future Montgomery Avenue undercrossing, George Berkich
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North County Transit District said that any portion of the rail trail that is next to the tracks would need a small fence.

Cars park all along the rail corridor and can face the ocean. With the new rail trail this won’t be possible in many places. The plan is for the parking to be standardized, with parallel parking on San Elijo Avenue. Displaced parking spots will be relocated as much as possible. Ideally the rail trail will include benches so those who park can get out and sit to look at the ocean. As for train horns, we will be pursuing a “quiet zone” to reduce the noise impact.
These issues and many others will be fleshed out as part of a $175,000 Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning grant we’ve secured to come up with a comprehensive Rail Corridor Plan. With information presented comprehensively at community meetings, the Council and the public will be able to discuss the possibilities for long-term solutions such as trenching (as in Solana Beach), more under-crossings like the Swami’s pedestrian underpass at Santa Fe Drive, and all other options. Over the past 30 years, the city has seen multiple studies, and those results will be compiled and presented as part of the Rail Corridor
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(Thank you to the local volunteers who maintain this.) But we can’t follow that path north all the way to Santa Fe without dodging onto the street and skirting around parked cars, which means the current path doesn’t effectively connect the two towns of Encinitas and Cardiff.
To put it simply, I’ve wrestled with the trade-offs associated with building the rail trail in the railroad corridor for many months. My overriding feeling is that this is an opportunity to leverage outside funding to improve our community that won’t come around again any time soon. When I look at Solana Beach, I see visionary planning in their decision to leverage railroad money to create a beautiful rail trail and a trenched railroad track. Choosing the east-of-the-tracks option seems to be the best decision for our city, even given the trade-offs.
I’m very grateful to my two colleagues, Councilmembers Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz, for their vision in supporting this option and for their work as the SANDAG and NCTD representatives to make the plan viable. A few days before the vote they said they walked the approximately 2.5 mile loop first along Highway 101 and then back in the rail corridor to make sure their choice was the right
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