Commission to consider no parking zone expansion

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas Traffic Commission is considering expanding a no-parking zone on Cereus Street to ease gridlock on the street during drop-off and pick-up times at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School.

Currently, the city prohibits parking along a portion of the block-long street between Hygeia and Hermes avenues between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and noon and 3:30 p.m. to accommodate the heavy traffic that piles up on both Hermes and Cereus during those times.

The north side of Cereus Street has no sidewalk, and when cars are parked on the north side, the already narrow street essentially shrinks to one lane of traffic.

That’s not a problem most of the day, but during school hours, city officials said, it causes traffic jams as cars have to traverse the opposite side of the road to get through the street.

The gridlock often stretches into the intersection of Cereus and Hygeia, creating additional safety concerns.

Recently, planning commissioner Tasha Boerner Horvath, who has spearheaded safety efforts around Paul Ecke Central, suggested expanding the restrictions to the entire north side of the Cereus Street.

City traffic engineers said the expanded restrictions would result in the loss of four parking spaces during those times, but city staff in its recommendation for the change said that the safety concerns outweigh the temporary loss of parking during that time.

The traffic commission will vote on the recommendation to the City Council at Monday’s meeting.

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