Traffic Commission says ‘no’ to permit zone

ENCINITAS — A proposal to create a resident-only parking zone along Cereus Street did not pass the Encinitas Traffic and Public Safety Commission, which unanimously rejected it.

The commission was considering for the second time in a month a proposal to consider a no-parking zone on Cereus and a small portion of the west side of Hermes Street, this time shortening the hours they previously recommended to the council, as well as considering staff’s recommendation against the permit zone.

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.

Staff recommended shorter windows in the morning of 7:30 to 8:30 and afternoons of 2 to 3 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and a 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. window on the Fridays when school was in session.

The shorter times were considered a compromise with neighbors, who would lose street parking in front of their homes during the window of time.

Neighbors requested at a March commission meeting that a permit-parking zone be set up to further offset the loss of parking.

According to the staff report, Cereus Street did not meet the city’s criteria for a permit zone, namely that the residential street was being used for commercial parking and that the non-residential parking was adversely impacting the quality of life of the residential zone.

“We don’t really have that here,” city traffic engineer Rob Blough said to the commission.

Nine people spoke to the commission on the topic, half were connected to Paul Ecke Central Elementary School and were in favor of the staff recommendation. Several residents also spoke and urged the commission to reconsider the parking permit issue.

One neighbor, Mark Freeman, said he was against the parking restriction, calling it an “extra layer of bureaucracy that seems unnecessary.”

The City Council will consider the commission’s recommendation at a future council meeting.

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