SAN MARCOS — A quarter-mile stretch of road once dominated by delivery trucks and empty lots will become one of San Marcos’ first “complete street” projects.
City officials last week announced the closure of the eastbound lane of Armorlite Drive between Las Posas and Bingham drives to accommodate the construction of an eight-food wide bicycle lane and other pedestrian improvements. The closure will last until January, at which time the westbound lane will be closed for planned improvements.
The $2 million project is expected to be completed in spring.
“Streets are a vital part of livable, attractive communities,” San Marcos Public Works Director Mike Edwards said. “The Armorlite Drive changes will enhance the overall connectivity in the area and give everyone safer transportation alternatives.”
Development around the stretch Armorlite Drive has necessitated the change. Previously, the street was home to industrial properties and a fast-food restaurant, and was a popular stretch of parking for students at Palomar College.
Today, however, two massive housing and commercial projects have sprouted in the area, which is also just south of a Sprinter train stop. Palomar Station, the 370-unit mixed-use luxury apartment project, is nearing completion and Davia Village, an adjacent project, have attracted hundreds of new residents to the area, many of whom attend the college and walk the street, which currently has no sidewalks or pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.
The project also includes an eight-foot wide sidewalk along the north side of Armorlite, a 10-foot-wide sidewalk along the south side, two crosswalks with flashing beacons that alert motorists of oncoming pedestrians and angled and parallel parking stalls.
City officials acknowledged the construction will inconvenience businesses and residents along the street, but said the long-term trade off far outweighs the short-term hassle.
Motorists are asked to use Los Vallecitos Boulevard as an alternative route. Residents and businesses will have access to the street throughout the project.