Carlsbad parking lots undergo improvements

Carlsbad parking lots undergo improvements
Carlsbad city crews give the Ocean Street parking lot a facelift, which is adjacent to Frazee State Beach, with a new walkway, benches, better access to the trail, widening entry to the lot, resurfacing and additional disabled parking spaces. Courtesy image

CARLSBAD — On the heels of one completed costal project, the city is prepping for another.

Last month, city crews gave the Ocean Street parking lot a facelift, which is adjacent to Frazee State Beach, with a new walkway, benches, better access to the trail, widening entry to the lot, resurfacing and additional disabled parking spaces.

Assistant City Manager Gary Barberio said the upgrades were needed and add better accessibility to the lot.

The city owns half the lot, while the state owns the other portion.

“We have created better beach viewing and made it more attractive,” he said. “The parking lot was a little tired and needed to be patched. We think it was a great success.”

Now, the city is seeking input from the community on conceptual design options for improving safety, traffic flow, parking and coastal access in the area around Carlsbad Boulevard and Cannon Road, otherwise known as the Terramar neighborhood. A public meeting will be held Nov. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave.

The project’s boundaries are Carlsbad Boulevard between Manzano Drive and the warm water jetty across from the power plant, the bluff area across from the power plant and Cannon Road between Carlsbad Boulevard and the railroad tracks, according to a press release.

The city gathered input this summer from more than 1,000 people who participated in a neighborhood meeting, online survey and on-site interviews. Based on this data, the project team created designs ready to be presented to the public for feedback.

“We have a lot of opportunities along our coastline to improve safety, especially for bicyclists and pedestrians, ease traffic flow and create a better experience overall,” Barberio said. “Before we make any changes, we want to make sure we have considered the input of everyone who uses the area.”

Among the proposed improvements on Carlsbad Boulevard are sidewalks on the east side, where none currently exist, wide walking paths on the west side of the street, buffers between walkers, bikers and motorists, improved parking and features to discourage cars from cutting through the Terramar residential neighborhood. One option features roundabouts at Cannon and Cerezo, while the second maintains traffic signals at those intersections.

On the bluff across from the power plant, the public stressed the importance of maintaining the natural feel of the area. Three proposed concepts include wider sidewalks, various natural surface trails on the bluff top and an area for people to unload their beach gear after parking without getting in the way of people using the sidewalk. Three different options for small seating and gathering spaces are also included, as are two paths to the beach.

The city of Carlsbad is working on a number of initiatives to make it easier and safer to get to the beach and travel along Carlsbad Boulevard, the old Highway 101, whether by car, on a bike or by foot. The projects are all based on the Carlsbad Community Vision, a set of nine core values developed through a two-year public outreach process. The vision emphasizes maintaining Carlsbad’s small-town beach community character, sustainability, walking, biking and public transportation, open space and the natural environment, and active, healthy lifestyles, among others values.

“Each of these projects will be designed in collaboration with the community to ensure we preserve Carlsbad’s unique coastal character,” Barberio said.

The city of Carlsbad just completed a series of improvements to enhance safety and beach access in the Ocean Street parking lot, adjacent to Frazee State Beach. The improvements included installing a new walking path, installing new benches, enhancing access to the existing beach trail, widening the main entry to the lot, sealing and restriping the parking lot, and adding an additional disabled parking spot.

Other completed improvements along Carlsbad Boulevard include a new roundabout, landscaping, public art, sidewalks and bike paths at Carlsbad Boulevard and State Street; new crosswalks between Oak and Hemlock avenues; and improved bike lanes along the entire 6.5-mile length of Carlsbad Boulevard. Through a partnership with the state parks, which controls most of the beaches in Carlsbad, the city also renovated and took over maintenance of the Tamarack restrooms, the bluff between Tamarack Avenue and the area north of Pine Avenue and the landscaping on the upper sea wall.

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