ENCINITAS — The white and orange barriers that have lined a bluff along San Elijo Avenue and have riled residents over the perceived visual blight will be coming down soon, officials with the North County Transit District said this week.
A transit district spokeswoman said the district and the city are exploring options for a new temporary barrier that will satisfy the transit district’s desire to keep the public safe and the residents’ desire to have a less unsightly barrier in place.
“Our goal is to expedite the process and meet both NCTD’s immediate safety concerns and address the community’s interest,” transit district spokeswoman Katie Whichard said.
Whichard said there was no set date for the current barriers to be replaced, but indicated that it would be soon.
Transit district crews placed the barriers along the bluff, which is owned by the district, in early spring, after concerns arose that drivers were parking too close to the bluff’s edge and could potentially drive over it, crashing onto the train tracks below.
Residents immediately panned the barriers, questioning the need for them and saying that they degraded the views and the appearance of the area.
One of the harshest critics was Encinitas Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who wrote a letter to the Transit District in March asking for the barriers to be immediately removed. The Transit District rebuffed the request, again citing safety concerns.
Blakespear, who said Wednesday that she heard that a change was potentially on the horizon, said she hopes the transit district makes the change soon.
“I am really thrilled they are going to replace those things,” Blakespear said. “Right now, it just makes the bluff look like industrial, blighted rail corridor, which is not what we want in our town.”
The change in temporary barrier is just one of the issues that the city and transit district will be addressing as part of a recent cooperative agreement between the two entities. Encinitas officials adopted the agreement in April, while the transit district board of directors ratified the agreement this week.
This story has been modified since its original posting