Carlsbad seeks public input on design options for beaches

CARLSBAD — The city is seeking input on updated design options for the seven public beach entrances and stairs along Ocean Street from Oak Avenue to the north. The designs have been updated to reflect community input received last December.

To address community input, the city:

• Replaced proposed 15-foot mosaic entrance markers with wooden signs, similar in size to those in the downtown village, and that will be a better fit for the local neighborhood.

• Reduced the number of mid-level outlooks to reduce noise and gathering between homes.

• Added decorative concrete between sets of stairs and increased the number of pedestrian ramps at street level to make entrances more attractive and inviting.

• Removed the shade structures, which members of the public thought weren’t needed and could affect views.

• Added drinking fountains to the upper platforms where feasible.

• Added utility connections for a possible future restroom (adding a restroom is beyond the scope of this project).

“In addition to a much needed rehab of rusted railings and cracked concrete, this project will make the entrances more inviting and functional,” said Kyle Lancaster, a parks superintendent who is overseeing the project for the city. “We want to check back in with the public to make sure we have incorporated their suggestions.”

The city is providing two ways to provide input, an online survey and a community meeting. The meeting is at 6 p.m. April 19 at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave., while the survey is on the city’s website.

In addition, the city is also working on a number of initiatives to make it easier and safer to get to the beach and travel along Carlsbad Boulevard. 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, public transportation, open space, the natural environment and active, healthy lifestyles, among other values.

“Community input is critical to making sure this project preserves Carlsbad’s beach community character,” Lancaster said.

Earlier this year, the city 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, 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 state parks, which controls most of the beaches in Carlsbad, the city also refurbished and took over maintenance of the Tamarack restrooms, the bluff between Tamarack Avenue, the area north of Pine Avenue and the landscaping on the upper sea wall.

Once the beach entrance designs are finalized, the city will plan construction in phases to avoid closing all the entrances at once and to avoid peak beach-going season.

The budget for this project is approximately $2.5 million.

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