Temporary barriers aren’t coming down, district says

Temporary barriers aren’t coming down, district says
The North County Transit District is keeping the barriers along the bluff on San Elijo Avenue up as a safety measure. File photo

ENCINITAS — The North County Transit District is not budging on its decision to place more than a dozen barriers along the edge of a bluff along San Elijo Avenue, despite calls from neighbors and city officials to remove them.

The Transit District said it placed the orange-and-white barriers along the stretch of dirt, where cars frequently park to access local beaches, in response to an immediate public safety threat, and won’t take them down until a permanent solution is reached.

“The barriers will be taken down once a more permanent solution has been identified and implemented,” NCTD spokeswoman Katie Whichard wrote in an email.

North County Transit District’s insistence that the barriers stay in place has riled residents and officials in Cardiff, which see them as an unnecessary eyesore.

“The barricades create an unappealing, industrial look for the nearby property owners and recreators, and obscure views of the beach,” Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear wrote in an email Dahvia Lynch, the transit district’s chief planning officer. Blakespear in the email asks that the district take the barriers down.

“I believe the people who park and recreate along that corridor have been adequately warned and reminded about the danger posed by the bluffs, and we should not allow one driver who parked precariously to result in a long-term eyesore for the community,” Blakespear wrote.

Bart Denson, a local resident, had even stronger words about the barriers.

“Talk about visual blight! Only in the mind of a government bureaucrat/bureaucracy can there be a problem when one doesn’t exist in the real world,” Denson wrote in a letter to The Coast News. “In my 50+ years living in Encinitas, I’ve only seen one car going over the embankment along San Elijo and it didn’t come close to getting onto the tracks.”

Denson also warned that the district’s permanent solution should take into account the sandy soil along the stretch.

“The cure (and lots of money) could be worse than the problem that doesn’t really exist,” Denson wrote.

Whichard said the district is working with the city and other key stakeholders to develop a permanent solution.

“Safety is NCTD’s top priority,” she said.

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