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News from the City of Carlsbad | May 4, 2023

To kick off National Bike Month, this week I’m sharing the first of a new video series by the city and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition featuring important safety tips. I hope you’ll take a look at that, plus these updates in today’s edition:

  • Important cybersecurity warning
  • TGIF Concerts in the Parks are back
  • New trees to celebrate Arbor Day
  • Extended library hours
  • Volunteer opportunity for teens
  • Heads up: Carlsbad Village Street Faire
  • An update on SR-78 construction
  • Upcoming meetings

Traffic safety tips just in time for Bike Month

With bike related activities happening all over the region this month, please expect to see more people out riding their bikes in the coming weeks.

Because we really are safer when we work together, the city is teaming up with our partners at the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition to share traffic safety tips throughout the month. We asked the bike coalition what they thought were some of the most important things people do to reduce bike collisions, and today’s tip was at the top of the list: Be predictable.

  • Use your signals for turning left or right
  • If turning, get in the turn lane early, watch for others and share the road
  • Follow all the rules of the road, including at traffic lights and signs 
  • Be seen with bright lights and colors

Stay tuned for more safety tips all month long or read about tips you can put into action today.

Bike to School Day

To celebrate Bike to School Day Wednesday, the city teamed up with Jefferson Elementary School and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition to help make sure all the families biking to school knew how to stay safe.

  • The Bike Coalition checked students’ helmets to make sure they fit properly (You can check yours by watching this video)
  • City staff and Carlsbad Police Officers distributed traffic safety tip cards to parents and students and talked to families about the importance of safety 
  • The Carlsbad Fire Department provided helmets to students who needed them 
  • Students joined the Bike Coalition for a bike safety assembly after school started 

Partnerships with schools are an important part of the city’s traffic safety efforts. To date, we have hosted a dozen traffic safety events at schools in partnership with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Circulate San Diego, and we have even more planned before the end of the school year.   

Bike Anywhere Day

Please save the date for May 18, which is Bike Anywhere Day (formerly known as Bike to Work Day). There will be pit stops throughout the county, including a few in Carlsbad, and it’s a fun opportunity to get out on your bike and meet your neighbors.

Learn more from the regional group that plans the countywide event and stay tuned for details about Carlsbad locations. 

IMPORTANT: Cybersecurity

Printers on the City of Dallas’s computer network spontaneously began printing out ransom notes this morning, one of many signs that the city’s IT system had become the victim of a cyberattack

The automated emergency dispatch system was affected, along with other service outages. It has also caused the county courts to close.

  • According to developing news stories, a group called Royal used a tactic called “social engineering”
  • This involves sending emails about a package that was unable to be delivered or an unpaid invoice, asking the victim to call a number for help. When the victim calls, the hackers gain access to their network

The City of Carlsbad has a robust cybersecurity program that includes every single employee taking mandatory training annually. We also conduct our own “phishing” attempts to randomly check to make sure no employee is clicking on suspicious links or falling for pretend scams.

How you can protect yourself

It’s not just government agencies and businesses that are targeted by these cybercriminals. Individuals can be victims, too. That’s why it’s so important to be cautious and diligent when it comes to online security.

Here are some tips recommended by the FBI:

  • Keep systems and software up to date and install a strong, reputable anti-virus program.
  • Create a strong and unique passphrase for each online account you hold and change them regularly. Using the same passphrase across several accounts makes you more vulnerable if one account is breached.
  • Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
  • Be careful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network and do not conduct any sensitive transactions, including purchases, when on a public network.
  • Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices that access these ports. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.

Did you know the federal government has an entire agency dedicated to preventing cybercrime? It’s called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA for short.

You can get updates on current threats and the latest scams.

It’s official – TGIF Concerts are among the nation’s best

Big news! The City of Carlsbad’s TGIF Concerts in the Parks has been officially recognized as one of the Top 10 outdoor concert series in the country! In fact, we finished fourth in the Best Outdoor Concert Series category in the USA Today’s 10Best’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us and helped tell the world what we already know – that our city puts on an amazing community event each summer. TGIF Concerts in the Parks is San Diego County’s longest-running free outdoor concert series presented by a city and it’s one of Carlsbad’s favorite summer traditions. 

Here are the dates and locations for this year’s concerts:

  • Stagecoach Community Park – July 7 & 14  
  • Poinsettia Community Park – July 21  
  • Calavera Hills Community Park – July 28  
  • Alga Norte Community Park – Aug. 4 & 11 

Information about the band lineup will be announced soon. Also, if you know of anyone looking for a summer job, the city is currently hiring crew members to support the concerts. View the city’s job listings for more details. 

New trees in Carlsbad

A big shoutout to the volunteers who recently helped plant 26 new trees at Cadencia Park in honor of Arbor Day! Trees help clean the air, provide a habitat for wildlife and cool our neighborhoods.

Over the next 60 years, these new trees will reduce air pollution by nearly 100,000 pounds and intercept 1.4 million gallons of stormwater. The city has committed to adding more trees throughout Carlsbad in the coming years. Details of this commitment can be found in our Community Forest Management Plan.

Want to get involved in helping to preserve and protect Carlsbad’s beautiful outdoor spaces? Check out our trail volunteer opportunities

Extended library hours

Starting Monday, May 8, Carlsbad City Libraries will open an hour earlier, at 9 a.m., Monday – Saturday.

We’ve been opening at 10 a.m. for the past couple of years and are excited to restore this extra hour of service, which will give our community more time to use the library and access public computers and Wi-Fi, study rooms, print and digital resources, magazines and more.

After the change takes effect on Monday, library hours will be:

  • Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays

For more information about library programs and services, visit the Carlsbad City Library website.

Volunteer opportunity for teens

If you know teenagers looking for ways to get their community service hours in, please encourage them to volunteer for our annual Summer Reading Adventure program. We are seeking 175 teen volunteers to engage young readers about the books they’re reading and help out at special library events.

Here’s how they can apply. The Summer Reading Adventure is an all-ages reading program that allows readers to track their reading and complete library-oriented activities to earn free rewards (including books).

Teen volunteers are needed between Tuesday, June 20 and Saturday, Aug. 5. The deadline to apply is May 31, or as soon as all the volunteer spots are filled.

Email libraryteens@carlsbadca.gov with any questions.

If you’re planning to come downtown this weekend, be aware that the Carlsbad Village Street Faire is happening Sunday, May 7. Several streets in the Village will be closed to make way for this popular community event, which features more than 800 vendors, international foods and children’s rides.

The event typically draws tens of thousands of people, so remember to slow down and be alert for people driving, walking or biking to and from Downtown.

Stop by and see us!

While you’re at the fair, stop by two City of Carlsbad events: a Carlsbad Police Department booth where you can get information on doing your part to keep our streets safe, whether you drive, bike or walk; and an interactive Pop Up Art activity.

The Pop Up Art activity is good for all ages and is a chance to create your own artwork that highlights our colorful community. Change a black and white photograph of an iconic area in Carlsbad to a bright and vibrant “colorscape.” All supplies will be provided.

Road closures

Several downtown streets will be closed from about 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday:

  • Grand Avenue from Carlsbad Boulevard to Jefferson Street
  • Washington Street from Carlsbad Village Drive to Beech Street
  • Roosevelt Street from Carlsbad Village Drive to Beech Street
  • Madison Street from Carlsbad Village Drive to south of Arbuckle Street
  • Christiansen Way between State Street and the east side of the Carlsbad Coaster Station entrance
  • All the alleys in between the above streets

An update on SR-78 construction

Eastbound lanes of State Route 78 are expected to reopen as soon as next week as repairs between El Camino Real and College Boulevard wrap up. This work was necessary to replace aging drainage systems that were badly undermined by this winter’s heavy rains.

Even though the closure will be wrapping up soon, improving the infrastructure beneath SR-78 is an ongoing project. This week, Caltrans shared new details about a project to improve drainage systems in 35 areas between I-5 and I-15, including certain on/off-ramps and surface streets. 

Thankfully, the road disruptions shouldn’t be as significant as what we’ve recently experienced, and most of the work that requires closures will be performed overnight. 

Caltrans expects the project to be complete by mid-2025 and when it’s all done, you will be able to see and feel the improvements when you drive on the 78. 

Information about lane and road closures due to construction and maintenance activities is available on the Caltrans website.

Get involved: Upcoming meetings

The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, May 9, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. The topics to be discussed include:

  • The annual report on city investments
  • Amending the agreement to carry out the engineering design work to repair and upgrade the five beach access stairways, the upper sidewalk and railings and lighting on the west side of Carlsbad Boulevard between Pine Avenue and Tamarack Avenue
  • Approving the plans and authorizing bidding to repair and replace the roof of the Carlsbad Senior Center
  • Continuing the storm-related local emergency related to a sinkhole on Haymar Drive
  • Approving a partnership with the company taking over management of the Vista Terrace Apartments affordable housing complex
  • Amending MiraCosta College’s lease on a city-owned property on Las Palmas Drive so that the college can offer new job training programs 
  • Adopting an ordinance approving the Police Department’s use of what’s considered military equipment, as required by state law
  • The city’s plan to fund its Homelessness Action Plan, along with the annual plan for the funds the city gets from the federal Community Development Block Grant program
  • The annual report on the city’s progress in meeting state greenhouse gas reduction targets
  • An update on options for electrifying new buildings, following a recent court ruling that limits a city’s ability to specify that new buildings use only electric power
  • Approving an agreement to take part in the preliminary phase of a regional project to replenish beach sand
  • Appointing one new member to the Parks & Recreation Commission

The full agenda and staff reports are available on the city’s website. These city meetings are also happening next week:

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next Thursday with more updates.

Scott Chadwick

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City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village DriveCarlsbad, CA 92008 www.carlsbadca.gov

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