E3 Cluster traffic plan hits skid

E3 Cluster traffic plan hits skid
Discussions over an ambitious traffic calming project along a north-south thoroughfare in Encintas is tabled for now. Photo by Tony Cagala

ENCINITAS — An ambitious plan to calm traffic along two major north-south thoroughfares in town hit a snag at a recent Traffic and Public Safety Commission meeting, as the commission voted to table the discussion.

The E3 Cluster’s traffic calming plan for Saxony Road and Quail Gardens Drive, which were unveiled during the spring, included five roundabouts, several raised crosswalks and two all-way stop signs in an effort to slow down traffic along both streets.

The Traffic Commission, however, unanimously delayed the matter, citing concerns that the proposal did not include analysis of how slowing down traffic on two of the city’s major north-south streets would impact nearby streets or the surrounding area.

“You can’t look at this in a vacuum,” Traffic Commissioner Dave Hutchinson said. “In order to make an informed decision, that information about the impacts is vital.”

Six organizations comprise the E3 Cluster: The Magdalena Ecke YMCA, the Leichtag Foundation, the Encinitas Union School District, San Diego Botanic Garden, the San Dieguito Heritage Museum and Seacrest Village retirement home.

The groups organized in an effort to improve safety along both of the streets, which they said has become increasingly worse over the past few years as increased number of motorists have taken to the streets to avoid traffic on Interstate 5.

Over the past year, the City Council has improved several traffic calming measures, including 25-mile-per-hour speed limits along stretches of Saxony and Quail Gardens, but the E3 Cluster has stated its ultimate goal is to implement traffic-calming measures that will ultimately allow the city to lower the speed limit to 25 miles per hour for the entire stretch.

When the item returns to the Traffic Commission, its recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council.

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