Several members of the leadership team for the consortium of HOA’s along Quail Gardens Drive recently met with the City Engineer, Jill Bankston, to have her provide the consortium with an update on traffic mitigation plans for Quail Gardens Drive. This consortium of HOA’s includes Encinitas Ranch as well as Quail Park, Quail Pointe, Quail Run (Kristsen Court), and 1 Channel Island. This consortium was formed last summer to address the traffic issues along Quail Gardens Drive.
In October of last year the consortium presented their concerns to the city council and the council voted unanimously to direct city staff to develop some short term and long term plans for traffic mitigation.
The City Engineer informed us that the city is working on letting a contract to hire a consultant to explore issues related to mobility in the city around all of those sites that were part of the current City of Encinitas housing element. The council is to approve this contract on February 8th.
The consultant will complete a number of tasks including:
- Review existing plans city-wide that relate to those housing element sites and study mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists as well as vehicles
- Since 40% of the current housing element involves Quail Gardens Drive then this road corridor would be a key part of the work
- Conduct a feasibility study
- Create concept plans
- Hold approximately four community feedback meetings (within 2 to 3 months)
- Create concept plans and 30% design plans
- Rank the projects and develop recommendations for the city council
This work would be shared with the city council likely toward the end of this year with the thinking that the funding for these projects would be tied to the following year’s CIP plan. The city will look for grants to help with paying for these improvements and construction would likely be 1 to 2 years away.
For the short term, the City Engineer is directing the traffic engineering department to conduct warrant analyses on the major cross streets on Quail Gardens Drive and those would probably include Paseo de las Flores and Paseo de las Verdes. They will use cameras to gather traffic data over the course of several days including peak hours. In order to install a stop sign the traffic must meet certain criteria (warrants). The City Engineer expects this work will be done in the next few weeks. The city may be able to implement some short term traffic measures that could include stop signs or small roundabouts but, the consortium will need to continue to advocate for this.
The planning department intends to ask the developer of the proposed Baldwin & Sons site to require that the developer install a four way traffic light on Quail Gardens which is very good news. That development called for 485 housing units and located just north of the Sunshine Apartments development under construction. I think that the city realized that something needed to be done in that area to control traffic.
Finally, a contract has been awarded to install left turn signal lights for traffic going north and south bound on Quail Gardens Drive at the intersection with Leucadia Blvd. This is a very dangerous intersection with many accidents. That work should be completed in several months and will make it much safer.