ENCINITAS, Calif. — Encinitas residents packed city hall Monday night, eager to hear more about long-awaited railroad crossings.
Currently, the community has no way to cross over to the beach and businesses for more than 1 mile in the Leucadia area.
“We definitely need crossings. We need safe crossings for the residents to go to from east to west,” said Pete Albanese, an Encinitas resident.
The city held an open house meeting Monday to show plans for two proposed crossings along the train tracks between Leucadia Boulevard and La Costa Avenue.
The North County Transit District (NCTD) installed a fence about a year ago to avoid unsafe crossings on the tracks, but it has now left locals with nowhere to cross for 1.3 miles.
“We need to get to the beaches. We need to get to businesses,” said Dianna Mansi Nunez, a neighborhood advocate.
The city is working with the NCTD and other agencies to install two “at grade” crossings, on the same level as the tracks, that would roughly split up the corridor into thirds.
The current locations are:
- Grandview Street
- Hillcrest Drive
- Phoebe Street
- Jason Street
- Glaucus Street
The city said the proposed crossings will blend and connect into the parking along Vulcan Avenue and the proposed streetscape improvements along North Coast Highway 101.
Noise from the trains is another issue for residents, who said they want the crossings, but also a quiet zone.
“We are simultaneously working toward a quiet zone design through the City of Encinitas,” said Jill Bankston, director of engineering for the City of Encinitas.
Right now the city is in the process of gathering community feedback before taking the proposal to the Federal Railroad Administration and the California Public Utilities Commission in the spring.
If residents were not able to attend Monday’s meeting but want to provide feedback they can do so by contacting Matt Widelski, the project manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
People can also call Widelski at 760-633-2862, or send mail at 505 S. Vulcan Ave, Encinitas, CA 92024.
The city estimates each crossing would cost between $1 to $1.5 million.