Dec. 1, 2022
Today, as we start the last month of the year, I’ll be sharing information to help you make the most of the holiday season, as well as these topics:
- Making progress on traffic safety
- Staying healthy as flu cases rise
- Neighbors share water wise gardens
- Make a plan to reduce holiday waste
- Holiday at the Rancho and other upcoming events
- New winter classes
- Upcoming city meetings
Making progress on traffic safety
In the coming weeks we’ll be working on several traffic safety projects around Carlsbad, some long-planned and some new, but all designed to change the “character” of our roadways. If you didn’t realize roads could have character, let me explain:
- Back in 2015, the City Council approved an updated General Plan, which is a set of policies about how land will be used throughout the city, including roadways
- In keeping with new state laws and changing community priorities, the new General Plan prioritizes “complete streets,” which are streets that balance the needs of all users, rather than the previous approach that was focused mostly on cars
- Changing the width of lanes, adding more space to sidewalks, and putting buffers between car traffic and those who are walking and biking all influence how people use our roads
- These physical changes are described by transportation engineers as changing the character of a road because they have a psychological effect: cars slow down, drivers get cues to be more alert, and walkers and bikers feel more comfortable
Starting next week, here are some of the projects getting underway:
South Carlsbad Boulevard
- Restriping the southbound lanes from Manzano Drive to Island Way to make one lane for cars, a wider buffered bike lane and a road shoulder that can be used by walkers. Currently there are two lanes for cars, a narrow bike lane and no room for walkers.*
- Green paint will be added to bike lanes at five intersections:
- Lanikai Lane
- Breakwater Road
- Poinsettia Lane
- Ponto Road
- Avenida Encinas
*This project is being done as part of our ongoing street resurfacing program. Whenever a street needs a new surface, we stripe the new surface to comply with our new standards. We are still working on a larger effort to study moving the southbound lanes of traffic to the east to protect against sea level rise. The next step for that project is for City Council to review potential designs in early 2023.
- Jefferson Street from Las Flores Drive to the I-5 overpass will be restriped to add a new northbound bike lane (street parking on the east side of the road will be removed).
- The southbound bike lane will be extended to the I-5 overpass.
Kelly Elementary School neighborhood
We’ve been working with residents who live around Kelly Elementary School and parents of students at the school to develop options for redesigning parts of Kelly, Park and Hillside drives.
- The project will slow traffic around the school and make more room for bicyclists and walkers.
- City staff will present options to the Traffic & Mobility Commission on Monday, Dec. 5.
- You can see the designs and provide input to the commission either in person or via email. Meeting details will be available by Friday of this week.
- Also at Monday’s Traffic & Mobility Commission meeting, staff will present a proposed short-term solution to reduce speeding on Tamarack Avenue between Skyline and Adams.
- We held a community meeting in October to get input on the designs from neighbors and made an online survey available to anyone who regularly travels on this stretch of Tamarack.
- Staff made minor modifications to the plan based on this feedback and will now present it to the commission for input.
- You can see what is proposed and provide input on this project too.
We have many other traffic safety related projects in the works, but I’ll fill you in on those in a future edition once they are further along. On Dec. 6, staff will present an update to the City Council on all the efforts related to the local traffic emergency, and I’ll include that information in my next update to you.
Staying healthy for the holidays
The County of San Diego is now issuing a weekly report tracking respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and influenza, in a weekly report. I don’t have any Carlsbad-specific data to report, but countywide we are seeing a sharp increase in flu cases at local hospitals and an increase in cases overall. Just as with COVID, we tend to see increases following holiday gatherings, so please take precautions to keep your household healthy. Here is what the county recommends:
- Get the vaccines that are available to you, based on your age and other risk factors
- Wear a well-fitting, good-quality mask indoors or in crowded spaces
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Stay home if you’re contagious
- Clean commonly touched surfaces
By helping to keep yourselves and your families healthy, you also help limit spread in our community as a whole. Thank you for doing your part!
Latest election results
As of the last report, there are 7,000 more votes to count countywide, with the next update coming out this evening. The remaining votes are not expected to change the outcome of our Carlsbad elections.
We’re planning an oath of office ceremony at the Dec. 13 City Council meeting, starting at 5 p.m. Here’s what to expect:
- Our current Mayor Matt Hall will open the meeting.
- The current City Council will vote on the “consent” items, which will include the certification of the election (the Registrar of Voters is expected to provide the final results by Dec. 8).
- Then we will swear in our newly elected officials – starting with our new City Clerk, who will then swear in the others.
- We’ll take a short break to switch the nameplates on the dais, after which our new City Council will take their seats and proceed with the meeting.
- In addition to congratulating our newly elected officials, we will be recognizing Mayor Matt Hall and District 1 City Council Member Peder Norby for their service at this meeting.
Once the meeting is over, everyone will adjourn to the courtyard at City Hall for an informal reception.
All of this is open to the public, and I encourage you to stop by. One of my favorite things about local government is the connection we have with the community. There are so many ways to get engaged, and coming to a City Council meeting is a great place to start.
Have a water-wise garden to share?
In light of the ongoing California drought, we are encouraging all Carlsbad residents to consider ways to use less water in their yards.
- If you’ve already done this, please stop by any of our three Carlsbad City Library locations to pick up a Carlsbad Conserves yard sign to highlight your efforts with neighbors and others who pass by.
- If you are interested in water-wise gardening tips, we are gathering tips and examples from local residents to share. The video below shows a before and after from one local homeowners association that swapped out grass with water efficient plants. Rebates are available to incentivize this switch.
- Finally, if you’d like your garden to be featured in an upcoming video, please let us know. Our goal is to show all the different types of gardens that can thrive in our climate without a lot of water.
3 ways you can reduce waste during the holidays
As we head into the holiday season, here are three easy ways you can reduce your impact on the environment.
- Give green gifts. Look for gifts you can buy locally, consider gifting gently used items, look for minimal packaging and prioritize spending on items made to last. Or consider giving the gift of a local experience like event tickets, a class or membership.
- Get creative with wrapping. Reuse paper bags or fabrics instead of buying wrapping paper. For ideas on wrapping with fabric, search online for information about the Japanese art of furoshiki, which uses simple folds and a knot to secure fabric around gifts (fabric that can be reused).
- Consider holiday card alternatives. If you want to send cards, have them printed on plain paper, which can be recycled. Cards printed on photo paper or embellished with things like foil and glitter can’t be recycled. Or, reduce waste entirely with an e-card instead.
Holiday at the Rancho
If you’re looking to get into the spirit of the season, I hope you’ll stop by our Holiday at the Rancho event this weekend:
Saturday, Dec. 3 -5 – 8 p.m. – Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park
It’s a fun night for the whole family and a beautiful time of year to visit the ranch. Tickets are $10 per person and kids under 3 are free.
- Tree lighting happens at 5:45 p.m.
- The holiday favorite, Home Alone (rated PG), will play on the giant movie screen under the stars starting at 6 p.m.
- Santa will make a special visit
- There will be arts, crafts, holiday shopping, cookie decorating and more
- Take family photos in front of a cabana fireplace scene, holiday themed trees in the stable and a holiday themed photo booth
More fun weekend events -In addition to Holiday at the Rancho, the city has several other fun activities happening this weekend.
International Film Friday. If you love foreign films or want to expand your cultural experiences this holiday season, we’re screening another critically acclaimed movie as part of the city’s International Film Friday series. The Other Son (2012, PG-13, 1h 45m) is a drama filmed in Israel and the West Bank about two young men – one Israeli, the other Palestinian – who discover they were accidentally switched at birth. Friday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dove Library, Schulman Auditorium; FREE.
Pop Up Art. Meet the artists of Studio Tutto, learn about the city’s plans for a magnificent mural at the Carlsbad City Library Learning Center and create some art of your own with our latest Pop Up Art event. You’re invited to add your ideas for this mural project and create a take-home mural of your own. This project is part of the city’s temporary public art program. Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Carlsbad City Library Learning Center; FREE.
Concert at the Schulman. Hear North County favorite Soo Kim and her four-piece band bring a contemporary twist to favorite and timeless tunes as part of our Showtime @ The Schulman concert series. Born in South Korea, and raised in New York City, Kim brings a unique blend of sounds with wide influences ranging from Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Marley, The Beatles and Queen. Saturday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Dove Library, Schulman Auditorium; FREE.
Staying active this winter
With cooler temperatures and a new year around the corner, you may be looking for some new ways to stay healthy and active. The City of Carlsbad has a full lineup of classes and programs to keep minds and bodies moving. You can find the complete schedule in our Winter Community Services Guide. Registration is open for programs including:
- Aquatics activities such as swim lessons, lifeguard training and water fitness classes for people of all ages
- Martial Arts (karate) classes
- Mind/body wellness classes such as yoga, tai-chi, aerobics and cooking
- Dance classes in styles including Latin, social, club, country line and teen cardio
- Sports activities such as tennis, volleyball, basketball and pickleball
- Classes and programs geared for Adults 50+
- Special interest classes for youth
The city also offers an after-school program called L.I.T.E. – Leadership in Training & Education that gives younger teens in grades 6 – 9 a place to learn essential life skills in a fun and safe environment. We focus on career building, communication, community service, finances, college, team builders and leadership. Daily homework assistance is also provided. Learn more.
Get involved: Upcoming meetings
The next City Council meeting will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. Here are topics that are set to be discussed:
- Renewing the agreements for the city’s Microsoft applications the city’s digital firewalls
- Workers’ compensation settlements for two former employees
- Revising the part time and management pay ranges
- An agreement for a new project management tool to more efficiently track and oversee all of the city’s construction projects
- Additional funding to cover increased costs of installing the electrical system for temporary Fire Station 7, on Carlsbad Boulevard near Cannon Road
- Approving the City Manager’s contract and compensation
- An ordinance that would establish a Carlsbad Community Police Engagement Commission
- Adopting an ordinance reducing the speed limits on parts of Cadencia Street and Gateway Road from 40 mph to 35 mph, now that the city has completed projects to slow traffic
- Establishing a fee developers would pay for studies on their projects’ impacts on water, recycled water and wastewater systems
- An update on the city’s efforts to improve traffic safety, receiving feedback gathered from the Planning Commission and Traffic & Mobility Commission, and extending the city’s state of emergency
- An update on the city’s efforts to address homelessness and its effects on Carlsbad
- Approving additional funding to cover an increase in the cost of buying 34 new police vehicles
You can find a link to the full agenda and staff reports on the city’s website.
In addition to the City Council meeting, these city meetings are also planned next week:
- Dec. 5, 4 p.m. – Traffic & Mobility Commission
- Dec. 7, 10 a.m. – Beach Preservation Commission
- Dec. 7, 5 p.m. – Planning Commission
- Dec. 8, 2 p.m. – Arts Commission
That wraps it up for me this week. Please stay safe on the roads, take good care of your health and, as always, continue to #Care4Carlsbad.
Scott Chadwick, Carlsbad City Manager
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