Coast Highway re-striped to two lanes

Coast Highway re-striped to two lanes
Coast Highway prior to traffic lane and bike path restriping. A section of the highway will pilot reduced lanes and wider bike paths. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Thursday evening motorists and cyclists were the first to drive on a re-striped Coast Highway 101 between Morse Street and Oceanside Boulevard. During the day the highway was narrowed to one traffic lane in each direction, and bike paths were expanded to 8 feet, with added 8 feet safety buffers between vehicles and bikes.

The highway pilot program will be studied to provide real time feedback on planned lane reduction and added bike paths to all of Coast Highway in Oceanside.

“I hopes this will prove we can do a two lane Coast Highway,” David DiPierro, city traffic engineer, said. “The public can see what a two lane Coast Highway would look like. If it does not work, as we intend it to work, we can revert back and study it more.”

Traffic lights will be adjusted over the next few weeks to mimic the traffic flow of planned roundabouts. Road signs will alert drivers of the road narrowing to one lane in each direction.

A crosswalk with rapid flashing beacons is planned be added to the stretch of road. DiPierro said the City Council is scheduled to approve $60,000 for crosswalk, ramps, medium island and pop out curbs construction in April.

The city website says construction of the crosswalk may begin in four weeks. The crosswalk will provide safe access to the Loma Alta Creek footpath to the ocean.

Traffic flow on the restriped highway will be monitored 24/7 through a BlueTOAD system. Visual vehicle, bike and pedestrian counts will also be taken. Gathered information will be compared to prior traffic flow and travel patterns.

Data will be shared with council in September to determine whether to allow road improvements to stay in place for another year.

Current vehicle counts are 16,200 cars a day in fall, and 19,100 a day in summer.

Fall counts also logged 247 bicyclists and 332 pedestrians a day. Forty pedestrians a day crossed the highway at the location of the planned crosswalk.

The city is looking to move forward with complete streets improvements to all of Coast Highway in order to slow traffic and improve bike and pedestrian safety. Changes will mirror pilot program improvements. Nine roundabouts, wider sidewalks and streetscaping are also part of the plan.

DiPierro said city staff will present planned Coast Highway complete streets improvements and collect feedback at a workshop April 13.

3 Comments
  1. Jan Neff-Sinclair 10 months ago

    I think this is a terrible idea. There are far more cars on the Coast Highway than there are bicyclists. I don’t understand the logic behind making a road more hospitable for a few hundred daily users to the disadvantage of thousands of vehicles. Due to the extremely clogged conditions on I-5, many citizens in Carlsbad and Oceanside use the Coast Highway for local errands. Why should they be slowed down and inconvenienced?

  2. Dave 10 months ago

    I think this is a great idea. The traffic on coast highway is generally filled with cars driving much too fast, showing little concern for pedestrians (cyclists too).

    If people would drive more responsibly then this type of action may not have been needed.

    I am thrilled to see Oceanside on the right side of safety when it comes to considering ‘Complete Streets’.

    Let’s see what this study comes up with. Often times in places MUCH bigger and busier than Oceanside (like NYC), the reduced lanes do not slow commute times. I know those are just numbers and math, but if it works in NYC, it can work in Oceanside.

  3. Jen 9 months ago

    Summer is almost here-looking forward to bumper to bumper traffic in my neighborhood-bad idea.

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