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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  August 3, 2023  /  No Comments

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News from the City of Carlsbad | Aug. 3, 2023

As warmer weather continues, many of us are looking for ways to reduce our energy use and save on our electric bills. This week, I’ll tell you about a city program that can help you do just that. It’s a popular program that fills up quickly, so make sure you sign up while there are still a few spots available. Other topics this week include:

  • E-bike licensing and permitting moves forward
  • Fire danger from lithium-ion batteries
  • Beat the heat: save on energy costs
  • An opportunity to shape the city’s next park
  • TGIF Concerts go retro with 80s hits at Alga Norte Park
  • Upcoming meetings 
  • First responders connect with the community

E-bike safety measures gain momentum in Sacramento

When we declared a traffic safety emergency last August, we asked the community to share their ideas for how to enhance safety on our roads. The number one suggestion by far was to require a license to ride an e-bike.

Carlsbad had already passed a local law that made it easier for our Police Department to enforce safe riding behavior, but licensing laws generally are handled at the state level. The City Council directed our lobbyist to work with state legislators to advance legislation involving bike and e-bike safety.

I’m pleased to share that one of the bills we backed this year continues to make its way through the system in Sacramento. That bill, which has received unanimous support so far, is SB 381 introduced by Sen. David Min.

• The bill would lay the groundwork for future regulation of e-bikes by gathering data on collisions, injuries, emergency room visits and best practices for policies to promote their safe use.

More recently, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner introduced AB 530, which would establish a licensing program for e-bike riders. The bill is expected to be considered when the Legislature reconvenes in January. If passed, the bill would:

  • Set a minimum age of 12 to legally ride an e-bike.
  • Initiate efforts to require e-bike riders without a valid driver’s license to pass a written test and obtain a state-issued license.
  • Develop recommendations for establishing an e-bike training program and license.

Another bill introduced by Assemblymember Boerner in 2022 has already been passed. It requires the California Highway Patrol to develop statewide safety standards and training programs for e-bike users.

New school permit requirement

While legislation for statewide e-bike licensing requirements moves forward, the city has worked with local school districts to put an e-bike permit program in place this fall.

Carlsbad Unified School District students will now need to take a safety course before they can park their bike or e-bike on campus. The Carlsbad Police Department is leading bike and e-bike safety classes to help kids learn the rules of the road and meet the requirement for their bike parking permit. Over 200 students participated in the first four classes, and the next three dates are already scheduled:

Bike and e-bike safety classes

Aug. 7, Aug. 26 or Sept. 9. – Valley Middle School & Poinsettia Elementary School 8 to 9 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. Registration not required

Other districts are still developing their plans, so we encourage students from all schools in Carlsbad to take these classes.

Sign up to make sure you receive the latest traffic safety updates.

Fire danger from lithium-ion batteries

Last week Orange County firefighters reported a drastic increase in lithium-ion battery fires, and earlier this month the City of San Diego Fire Department reported the same trend. As I shared here in March, Carlsbad has seen these kinds of fires and is sounding the alarm too. 

Lithium-ion batteries power everyday items like laptops, smartphones, e-bikes and electric vehicles. The Carlsbad Fire Department is asking all of us to do our part to prevent battery fires by following these tips:

  • Buy and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory (such as UL or Interek).
  • Avoid buying after-market batteries and charging devices not listed or made for the device.
  • Don’t exceed recommended charging times, and don’t keep charging the battery after it is fully charged.
  • Stop using the lithium-ion battery if you notice an odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, or leaking or odd noises.
  • Charge batteries outside of your living space and away from exit doors and anything that can heat up or catch fire.

LEARN MORE

Beat the heat: save energy and money this summer

Environmental sustainability is one of the key goals identified in the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, and new resources are available to help you do your part for the environment while saving on your monthly electric bill.

One of the steps we’ve taken to boost sustainability and lower residents’ electric bills is to create a pilot program for a free Home Energy Score Assessment, where a licensed energy expert will visit your home and provide personalized recommendations for saving money and energy.

There is usually a waiting list, but a few more spots just became available. I wanted to let you know so you can sign up before the program fills up again. Here’s what you can expect:

  • A licensed energy expert will visit your home to conduct a free in-home consultation.
  • They will evaluate your home’s energy efficiency and identify recommendations for saving energy and improving your home’s air quality.
  • After the visit, the energy expert will prepare a customized plan for reducing your energy usage.
  • Appointments for the free program are first come, first served and available while funding lasts.

While you wait for your appointment, here are a few tips you can put into practice now to help beat the heat while keeping your electricity costs in check:

  • Don’t forget to turn your air conditioning off when you leave home or consider investing in a smart thermostat that you can program for maximum efficiency.
  • Close blinds during the day to block out the sun’s heat.
  • If you have a ceiling fan and air-conditioner, using both at the same time allows you to keep your A/C a few degrees higher without sacrificing comfort.
  • Consider doing tasks that generate heat, such as laundry and cooking, during cooler times of the day.

Want to track the city’s sustainability efforts? Sign up for email updates from our Environmental Sustainability team. LEARN MORE

Help shape the city’s next park

If you have ideas for the future Robertson Ranch Park, I hope you’ll join us for one of two workshops planned next week that will kick off the planning process.

At 11.2 acres, Robertson Ranch Park will be about in the middle range in terms of size for Carlsbad parks. The site is located in Robertson Ranch, at the corner of El Camino Real and Cannon Road, next to Fire Station 3.

The park site was added to the city’s plans in the 1990s to provide sports fields in the northeastern part of the city. We do have a need for more fields, but community input will ultimately determine the park’s design.

In-person workshop

Tuesday, Aug. 8 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Join us at the future park site* Parking available at Fire Station 3: 3465 Trailblazer Way, Registration not required

*Wear comfortable shoes for the workshop, which will take place in the vacant lot where the park will be built.

Virtual workshop

Wednesday, Aug. 9 6 to 7:30 p.m. Register here

The community will also have an opportunity to give input online, following the workshops. Sign up for project updates and we’ll keep you informed about the park’s progress. LEARN MORE

How the input process works

From time to time, we hear from community members who are disappointed that a project’s final design doesn’t align with the feedback they provided. As we kick off this new community input process, I wanted to address this concern and explain how decisions typically get made.

  • When the city asks for your input, we try to start at the very beginning of a project, before major decisions have been made.
  • We focus on input that speaks to the unique expertise of our community members. For example, we wouldn’t ask residents to help design the electrical system for a new park, but we would want to know if there are concerns about where lighting is located, how much lighting is installed and what kinds are preferred.
  • Once a project is further along, staff will usually present options to one or more city boards and commissions at meetings open to the public. Members of boards and commissions are appointed by City Council members to represent all parts of Carlsbad. Their role is to vet proposals and consider whether they align with community input and technical requirements.
  • Most major decisions are ultimately made by the City Council at meetings open to the public. Considerations usually include the recommendations of boards and commissions, community input, legal and regulatory issues, costs, technical studies and policy priorities.

Gathering and incorporating community input is by no means a science. However, we do our very best to be transparent about the process, provide multiple ways for the community to get involved and report back on how input was used. You can find out more about the principles we follow, see current opportunities for input and read reports of input gathered to date on our public engagement website.

P.S. You don’t have to wait for a special public workshop or online survey to get involved in city issues. As a government agency, we have ongoing opportunities for input.

TGIF Concerts go retro with 80s hits at Alga Norte Park

We’re headed to Alga Norte Park for this week’s TGIF Concerts in the Parks. Betamaxx will take the stage at 6 p.m. performing 80s hits. 

If you’re planning to join us, please consider one of these alternatives to driving:

  • Park at Dove Library, 1775 Dove Lane, and take our free shuttle.
  • Arrange for someone to drop you off and pick you up, or call a ride share.
  • If you’re close enough, ride your bike. We’ll once again have a free bike valet service.
  • If you must drive, please carpool, look out for pedestrians and be sure to park legally.

LEARN MORE

Get involved: Upcoming meetings

The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Aug. 22, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. A link to the full agenda and staff reports will be available on the city’s website no later than Friday, Aug. 18.

In addition to the Robertson Ranch Park meetings on Aug. 8 and 9 (details above), one additional city meeting is scheduled for next week:

• Aug. 7, 4 p.m. – Traffic & Mobility Commission

First responders connect with the community

Before I sign off, I want to thank everyone who came together Tuesday to celebrate National Night Out. Across our city, neighbors hosted 15 block parties and front yard barbecues, which were visited by our Police and Fire departments.

We always look forward to celebrating this important partnership between our first responders and the community. 

Thanks again to everyone who participated. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event.

Scott Chadwick, City Manager

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

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