Various residents and groups are in favor of a new sidewalk on San Elijo Avenue, between Mozart Avenue and Montgomery Avenue, to improve safety and reduce congestion. Photo by Jared Whitlock

Residents call for Cardiff School sidewalk improvements

ENCINITAS — Residents would like to see final approval of a sidewalk adjacent to the western perimeter of Cardiff School.

The sidewalk, which would run on the eastern portion of San Elijo Avenue, between Mozart Avenue and Montgomery Avenue, is designed to alleviate safety concerns in the area, said resident Brett Farrow.

Right now, he explained that most parents park on the west side of San Elijo Avenue when dropping off or picking up their kids from school. So, students have to cross the busy street to get to and from the campus.

“It’s unsafe for students and parents to cross because there are no crosswalks there,” Farrow said.

The project calls for 711 linear feet of sidewalk, with a small portion going south of Mozart Avenue.

Farrow added that the sidewalk would encourage more to park on the eastern portion of San Elijo Avenue, freeing up parking in the surrounding area.

The proposed sidewalk improvements are part of larger goal to make Cardiff more walkable, Farrow said.

In a letter to council members, Jill Vinson, superintendent of the Cardiff School District, said: “Our morning drop off and afternoon pickup as well as the many community events that are held at the school are currently subject to unsafe parking options and congestion. Such a project would also benefit local businesses that presently have limited parking during peak hours.”

The construction project also has the support of Cardiff 101 Main Street Association and Cardiff Town Council.

Last year, the City Council allocated $100,000 to the project for design and construction costs.

Glenn Pruim, the city’s director of Public Works and Engineering, said the project design is nearly complete.

Along with the stretch of sidewalk, it also includes curb and gutter improvements and gates to allow more access points to the school. Right now, the city is in talks with Cardiff School regarding where the gates should go, he said.

However, the Public Works and Engineering department estimates it will need up to an additional $50,000 to cover remaining expenses, which would require City Council approval, according to Pruim.

If the extra funding is given the green light, Pruim said the city’s goal is to begin construction this summer.

Council will be given an update on the project at next Wednesday’s meeting, he said.