Carlsbad plans to get people walking around town

CARLSBAD — Pedestrians may find the city of Carlsbad more walkable in years to come, now that City Council approved a new Pedestrian Master Plan.
The plan, approved at the March 17 City Council meeting, outlines where improvements are needed in the city and ways to encourage more pedestrian traffic. The plan not only identifies new pedestrian projects, such as sidewalks, but it outlines strategies to help create pedestrian-friendly routes for walking to school, or hiking on one of the many trails the city is eventually hoping will connect in a citywide trail system.
Marshall Plantz, senior civil engineer for the city of Carlsbad, said the plan also identifies local, regional, state and federal funding sources to build the infrastructure.
Having the plan in place will help the city qualify for state and federal grants.
The city received nearly all the funds to put together the $123,000 plan from the Transportation Development Act, through San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG.
The city’s General Plan does touch on pedestrian elements, within the circulation and land use sections of the General Plan, but does not go into as much detail, Plantz said.
“This new plan is built upon and expands upon the General Plan,” he said. “It doesn’t change the General Plan.”
The Pedestrian Master Plan also outlines the top 15 priorities, such as improvements to street crossings in the downtown. The new plan was developed after holding community workshops, working with school officials and reviewing the existing public access and trails.
Many of those attending the March 17 meeting were hoping to add more ideas to the plan, such as better beach access and railroad crossings.
It’s all about improving the walking environment, Plantz said.
The plan will now go before SANDAG for final approval.


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