Wednesday night Encinitas City Council agreed to move forward with installing bike lanes and creating a road diet on a portion of Coast Highway 101.
The Encinitas City Council voted unanimously, in a 4-0 vote with Mayor Jerome Stocks absent, to approve two items related to bike lanes. The council approved the first item, the installation of shared lane markings, also called sharrows. Bicyclists may use the full lanes, which will be posted on Coast Highway 101 between K Street and La Costa Avenue.
The second item was a road diet and an installation of a class II bike lane going northbound on Coast Highway 101 between Leucadia Boulevard and La Costa Avenue.
Details of the road diet were drafted for the council meeting by Greg Shields the Interim Director of Engineering/Public Works, Rob Blough the Traffic Engineer and Ed Deane, Senior Civil Engineer.
Key points of the road diet include:
- A striping plan will be created to merge the northbound traffic lanes from two lanes to one going north of the signalized intersection of Leucadia Boulevard.
- One lane will be used to moderate the flow of traffic and speed while having a dedicated bike lane.
- A single lane will become two lanes prior to the signalized intersection at La Costa Avenue.
- The road diet only changes the striping and would not require any physical improvements to the road.
- The roadway has to be repainted after the overlay and the cost is minimal.
A total of seven public speakers voiced their support for installation of sharrows and the road diet.
Among the speakers was Elena Thompson, a 25 year resident of Leucadia, a volunteer member of the , Encinitas Bike and Pedestrian Committee and numerous other bike organizations. Thompson spoke on the behalf of the Leucadia 101 and said she is in full support of the projects.
“Where can you even park your car in the summer in Encinitas?” Thompsons asked. “Doesn’t it make sense to have alternative capacity that include bike lanes and safe transport for our community as well as the visitors who want to come here?”
Thompson also said there were other related issues that make bicycling a good option, including reducing environment pollution by getting more cars off the roadways and fighting obesity trends by promoting an active lifestyle.