A city choosing to forgo a new crosswalk might not normally raise eyebrows, but in Oceanside, it signals the city’s slowing commitment to a planned road-diet along Coast Highway.
In January of last year, the city implemented a pilot study of a road diet – taking road space from cars and using it instead for pedestrians, bikes or landscaping – on a half-mile section of Coast Highway between downtown and South Oceanside. That included reducing the road from four lanes to two, and installing buffered bike lanes and a lighted crosswalk. Last month, the City Council put the crosswalk on hold in case it decides not to narrow the road in that section – or anywhere else.
When the city began the environmental reviews in July, the plan was for a road diet throughout the length of Coast Highway. In November, however, a memo sent to the City Council said the city was also studying an alternative that left South Oceanside, including the pilot study area, out of the plan.
So, where did that come from?
Program managers for the study didn’t respond to my emails, and the only indication was in an email from the city’s traffic engineer to one of the road diet’s supporters, in which he said staff was directed to include that option in the environmental impact report.
The city has received significant pushback from business owners in South Oceanside, who are afraid a road diet will hurt access to their businesses. At the same time, supporters of the road diet say the pilot study area is “non-negotiable,” because their kids have to walk or ride bikes through that section to get to the elementary school in South Oceanside.
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I avoid that lane diet stretch - I used to go to that car wash but getting out of the lot into the street is difficult. Oceanside needs to complete its portion of the rail trail and forget about traffic circles and lane diets on 101. The closest alternate is I-5 then El Camino Real ..
That's funny. Oceanside encourages people to drive and fill up the road with cars by forcing businesses to provide parking, then they wonder why those same businesses oppose road diets! You can't make this up!
How many customers do you think walk, ride bikes, or take public transportation to those businesses?
@Derek Hofmann --Without the parking, it is very doubtful the businesses would be there. And while I know you disagree with cities mandating minimum parking requirements, it is just the way it is in So Cal. The vast majority get around by car, and it is very doubtful that will change in either of our lifetimes.
@Derek Hofmann --I just edited the "not" out of my last response.