Who is responsible for building this project?

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the lead agency responsible for constructing the project; SANDAG will continue to collaborate with the City of Encinitas throughout the process. 

 

What is the first Encinitas segment of the Coastal Rail Trail and where will it be built?

The first Encinitas segment of the Coastal Rail Trail is proposed as a 1.3-mile Class I shared-use path along the ocean bluff, and buffered bike lanes on Coast Highway 101, between Chesterfield Drive and the Santa Fe Drive Undercrossing. The project is intended to provide a comfortable environment for people of all ages and abilities to ride their bikes and walk.

 

Has feedback been solicited from the community?

SANDAG, in collaboration with the City of Encinitas, has hosted three public workshops since 2013. SANDAG also has presented to Encinitas City Council and numerous groups in the community. SANDAG also participates in the City’s Coastal Mobility and Livability Study Working Group. Community feedback is an important part of the planning process and interested parties will have additional opportunities to provide input as the project progresses. 

 

How was the alignment along Coast Highway 101 selected? 

In 2014, a concept was developed for the Encinitas segment to be a Class I (completely separated from vehicle traffic) shared use path in the North County Transit District’s (NCTD) railroad right-of-way. In April 2015, SANDAG presented two options at a community meeting: 1) along Coast Highway 101 and 2) a revised version of the previous concept in the NCTD railroad right-of-way, along Vulcan and San Elijo avenues. In May 2015, Encinitas City Council directed city staff and SANDAG to develop plans to implement the second alignment option. 

In March 2016, Encinitas City Council voted to have SANDAG shift the alignment westward to follow Coast Highway 101, and utilize the concept presented at the April 2015 meeting as the basis for the west side project design.

 

Why is this project needed and what are the benefits?

This project would provide safe and convenient connectivity for people walking and riding bikes in Encinitas. The proposed path will help to create a network of facilities to offer people transportation options in the community by providing safe routes for people to walk and bike to parks, shops, schools, and restaurants. 

The project will help fulfill the vision laid out in the San Diego Regional Bike Plan to make riding a bike a useful form of transportation for everyday travel by connecting people of all ages and abilities to many community assets, including beaches, schools, neighborhoods, transit, employment, and other key destinations.

 

Will this project affect parking?

The project does not propose any changes to parking along the corridor. 

 

Will this project affect emergency vehicle access?

No, this project is not anticipated to impede emergency vehicle access to nearby homes and neighborhoods. SANDAG and the City of Encinitas will continue to coordinate with local first responders to inform emergency service providers of the project plans. 

 

Will this project impact traffic?

The project is intended to improve transportation options in Encinitas and, in particular, create better connections from neighborhoods to key destinations throughout coastal communities for people biking or walking. Planned changes to the roadway may lower driving speeds, increasing the safety of all road users; however, traffic flow is not expected to be negatively impacted.

 

Will there be a fence constructed alongside the rail line for this project?

The project does not propose a fence along the NCTD right-of-way.

 

What is the project status?

The project is currently in the preliminary engineering phase, after which the project will transition to final design, then construction. The SANDAG Transportation Committee approved the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption for the project on January 20, 2017. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2018 and the project is expected to be completed in 2019.

 

What is the project’s environmental review process?

Following the completion of conceptual planning and beginning the preliminary engineering phase, the project’s state-level environmental review was performed in accordance with CEQA. SANDAG’s Transportation Committee approved the CEQA exemption for the project in January 2017. The project will also undergo environmental review in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Before construction, the project will obtain all required permits and/or approvals related to the protection of plants, wildlife, water quality, and other environmental resources.

 

How is the project funded?

Design, engineering, and construction of the Encinitas segment of the Coastal Rail Trail are funded by federal, state, and local funds, including the regional TransNet half-cent sales tax for transportation administered by SANDAG.

 

How can I stay informed about the project?

Visit KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/CoastalRailTrail or contact the Project Manager, Chris Carterette, at chris.carterette@sandag.org or (619) 699-7319 to sign up to receive email updates.

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