CARLSBAD — The city is pitching its latest concepts to improve the Tamarack Avenue and Carlsbad Boulevard intersection.
The city held a community meeting on Jan. 11, and will also have a presence near the restrooms by the entrance to the beach on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13. The city will set up from 1 to 4 p.m. on Jan. 12, and 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 13, according to the city website.
The latest concept shows a wider sidewalk on the west side of Carlsbad Boulevard, south of Tamarack Avenue, including over the lagoon inlet bridge, where pedestrians routinely use the bike lane to avoid the congested narrow sidewalk. The extra space is created by reducing the number of lanes on Carlsbad Boulevard from four to three, one southbound lane and two northbound lanes, between Tamarack Avenue to about 100 feet south of the lagoon bridge.
According to the city, the project has a $2.9 million budget including funding from the SANDAG Transnet Active Transportation grant program, which might cover approximately $1 million.
The city scrapped a roundabout option with a four-lane configuration. Technical analysis showed the roundabout wasn’t viable due to the sloping topography along Tamarack Avenue and into the Tamarack Beach parking lot. The four-lane road configuration would not enhance the experience for all users as much as the three-lane configuration, plus it was more expensive.
The city plans to widen sidewalks and improve bike lanes throughout the area, along with adding new parking spaces on Tamarack Avenue and Carlsbad Boulevard.
In addition, bus stops will be relocated and a new crosswalk added across Carlsbad Boulevard south of Sequoia Avenue to the lagoon trailhead.
After sharing the latest design concept with residents, the city will complete the necessary environmental and construction documents. Construction could start in the fall and would take about eight months to complete. The city would schedule construction to avoid peak beach-going times of year.
The city of Carlsbad is working on a number of initiatives to make it easier and safer to get to the beach and travel along Carlsbad Boulevard, the old Highway 101, whether by car, bike or foot.
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 and public transportation; open space; natural environment; and active, healthy lifestyles, among other values.