OCEANSIDE — Downtown Oceanside is a step closer to becoming a more walkable community with City Council’s OK to make Mission Avenue west of Interstate 5 a one-way street with wider sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly shade trees.
The OK to reclassify Mission Avenue from a two-way major arterial road to a one-way secondary arterial road came in a 4-1 vote Dec. 14, in which Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no.
Mission Avenue from Clementine Street to Cleveland Street will soon carry one-way traffic westbound and Seagaze Drive will move one-way traffic eastbound.
Benefits will include better traffic circulation, improved pedestrian safety, increased business activity and improved aesthetics. The goal is to make the downtown area more inviting for people to get out of their cars to walk and shop.
“Mission Avenue is the gateway to downtown,” Kathy Baker, Oceanside redevelopment manager, said.
OK’d roadwork will begin soon. First, signage to direct traffic along the one-way street will be posted, followed by construction that will add sidewalk pop-outs, storm water improvements, traffic signals, drought resistant landscaping and canopy trees.
The plan includes a 14-foot-wide striped-in bike lane on the north side of the road and reverse angle parallel parking on the south side of the road.
“I support a shared lane,” Howard La Grange, co-chair of the Oceanside Bicycle Committee, said. “With a speed limit of 25 miles per hour, it will be very easy to share the lane.”
Despite cyclists’ support, Sanchez said she voted against the one-way road because the painted in bike lane “doesn’t go far enough” to separate cyclists and motorists.
Improvements to Mission Avenue have been in the design and review stages since 2008. Speakers at the Dec. 14 meeting were supportive of the road improvements that have been reviewed at numerous community input workshops.
“This is a vital link to businesses east and west of Coast Highway,” Rick Wright,
executive director of MainStreet Oceanside, said. “It’s time to act boldly and get this thing done.”
Construction along Mission Avenue will be completed in two-phases. The first phase will be from Clementine Street to Coast Highway 101, followed by construction from Coast Highway 101 to Cleveland Street.
The entire project will cost more than $3.6 million and is expected to be completed by summer 2013.