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Plans for temporary train stop come to a halt

DEL MAR — Plans to construct a temporary train platform south of the Del Mar Fairgrounds have been placed on hold, and possibly abandoned, according to officials from North County Transit District.
Matt Tucker, NCTD executive director, said he directed his staff on Nov. 18 “to focus 100 (percent) of our attention on advancing the downtown platform based on our ability to move that project forward faster.”
NCTD has simultaneously been exploring additional train stops to provide more direct access to two areas — the fairgrounds and downtown near the Convention Center, Gaslamp District and Petco Park.
“With limited resources, we now have a project we can get moving on,” Alex Wiggins, NCTD communications director, said about the downtown platform.
“We have support and funding so we are going to throw our efforts at that project,” he said.
“Our efforts are going to focus on a more permanent solution for Del Mar,” Wiggins said.
The San Diego Association of Governments recently allocated $7 million to NCTD for preliminary planning and environmental studies for a permanent station and platform north of the river and west of the fairgrounds.
Estimated to cost about $80 million, that long-discussed project includes double tracking and replacing the bridge to raise the trestles out of the flood plain.
“We are hopeful that SANDAG will receive additional funding to advance the bridge replacement and station construction after completing the environmental and planning process,” Tucker stated in a recent e-mail.
NCTD was proposing to build a temporary train stop east of the beach colony community at 21st through 24th streets to provide more direct access to the fairgrounds during its two main events — the county fair and horse races.
NCTD hoped to increase ridership and revenue and decrease traffic and pollution by getting cars off the road.
About 300 Del Mar residents signed a petition opposing the stop, saying it would increase noise and pollution. They also feared it would become the “beach train,” resulting in more people crossing the tracks illegally and trespassing through their neighborhood.
“We are excited about the prospect of better serving the downtown market and hopefully the Fairgrounds in the future,” Tucker stated in the e-mail.

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2 comments

Rational thought November 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm

What a bunch of elitest hypocrites!!! Setting up a train stop to take people to the fairgrounds so they don’tneed to use a car will "increase noise and pollution"??????
That’s the saddest example of warped, tortured logic I’ve heard in a VERY long time.
If that’s the Del Mar approach to transit, their City Council needs to immediately stop pretending to be a "green" City Council.

MadDuck November 21, 2010 at 9:20 am

Actually, the citizens of Del Mar were only against the "temporary" train stop; they were advocating for the "permenant" train stop. The difference between the two is less than 1000 feet (and a bit of $$$), but the permenant option drops people right at the fairgrounds parking lot. The temporary one requires them to walk along the side of the road for 3/4 mile.

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