ENCINITAS, Calif. — Highway 101 above the famous Swami’s Beach surf spot in Encinitas is undergoing a major change.
Four bike paths and a protected walking pathway have been created, but the parallel parking spaces on the east side of Pacific Coast Highway have been shut down.
“What we are putting in is going to be safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, and people who are coming to the beach,” said Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz.
Local surfers are frustrated with the idea of altering an area that always struggles with parking.
“What they’ve done is they’ve kind of made a war on surfers. You’re going to see a lot of guys really upset,” said Paul Ambrogio, a longtime Swami’s surfer.
The bike lanes can seem complicated and it may take some time for people to get use to the new system. For example, FOX 5 witnessed a driver driving in the protected biking lane.
While some complain of the loss of parking, the mayor says technically there is more parking even if Swami’s surfers may have to walk a little farther.
“We changed from parallel parking to diagonal and so the number of parking spaces went up about 50,” said Mayor Kranz.
The lanes aren’t expected to be full operational for another week. Meanwhile, this road alteration is “the talk” of the Encinitas surfing community.