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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  August 11, 2023  /  No Comments

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News from the City of Carlsbad | Aug. 10, 2023

This week nearly 500 local students completed our Police Department’s bike and e-bike safety course just in time for back to school, and hundreds of community members joined us to kick off the planning process for our newest city park. More on both in this week’s news in addition to these updates:

  • Local neighborhoods to get added road safety features
  • Park planning getting underway
  • Prepare now for wildfires to come
  • Back to school: safety tips, resources and more (for all ages)
  • Mamma Mia! Closing out TGIF with The FABBA Show
  • New Kaiser hospital opens in North County
  • Get involved: upcoming meetings
  • Apply to serve on a city commission

Slowing speeds to protect each other

At this week’s Traffic & Mobility Commission meeting, the Police Department shared the latest data on traffic collisions in Carlsbad. We are still seeing good progress on reducing injury collisions overall, but the number one cause of those collisions remains unsafe speeds.

How speed limits are set – Most people think the solution to speeding is lowering the speed limit.

  • With a few exceptions, state law says speed limits must be set based on how fast cars actually drive.
  • Otherwise, it’s considered a speed trap, and the speed limit isn’t enforceable.
  • This is why we first make changes to the road, designed to slow down cars.
  • Then, once we can show a speed reduction, we can lower the speed limit.

There are several examples of speed reduction projects happening now:

Residential “traffic calming” program -The Traffic & Mobility Commission approved adding features to roads in four more residential neighborhoods at Monday’s meeting.

  • This is part of a city program where our traffic engineers work with local neighborhoods that have concerns about speeding.
  • Once we come up with a plan and make the changes, we do a follow up study to see if speeds have slowed down (they almost always have).
  • We have 11 of these projects in the works currently.
  • If you have speeding concerns in your neighborhood and want to find out more about this program, email traffic@carlsbadca.gov.

Slowing down along the coastline – Also at Monday’s Traffic & Mobility Commission meeting, city staff presented the findings of the latest speed study on Carlsbad Boulevard between Manzano Drive (just north of Palomar Airport Road) and Island Way.

  • The southbound 1 mile stretch of roadway was restriped recently to reduce the vehicle lanes from two to one and expand space for walking and biking.
  • These restriping projects are meant to narrow lanes cars use, which causes drivers to slow down.
  • In this case, we were able to show enough of a speed reduction to recommend changing the speed limit to 45 mph from 50 mph.
  • 5 mph might not seem like a lot, but it really makes a difference in terms of how long it takes to stop in an emergency and the injuries that could be caused if there were a collision.

East-west corridors restriping

Another project we developed based on the traffic safety emergency is to restripe our major east-west streets.

  • This is the same premise as our other restriping projects you may have noticed around town in recent years (and more since last August).
  • We are narrowing, and in some cases reducing, car lanes and expanding bike lanes and buffer areas between bike and car lanes.
  • This work is starting next week and will continue for about six months.
  • Once complete, we expect to see slower speeds and, ideally a reduction in serious injury collisions.

Reducing speeding on Tamarack

Just in time for the Aug. 23 beginning of the new school year, Tamarack Avenue between Skyline Road and Adams Street has some new features designed to slow down traffic.

  • Starting last October, we have been working with the community to come up with a short-term solution to reduce speeding on Tamarack. Tamarack will eventually be reconfigured, but that project will involve construction and take longer to implement.
  • In this case, we used speed bumps (okay, they are technically called “speed tables”) and raised crosswalks.
  • The next phase will be to add flashing lights at the new raised crosswalks at Sunnyhill Drive and James Drive (across the street from Valley Middle School).
  • We have signs up alerting drivers to the new features, so please keep an eye out if you are in the area.

LEARN MORE

Community comes out to help plan our newest park

Government meetings can get a bad rap, conjuring up images of a bland auditorium and lengthy PowerPoint presentations. Somehow, that didn’t seem right for the kickoff of our latest park planning process.

So instead, we invited community members to meet us Tuesday at the park site, an 11-acre vacant lot at the corner of Cannon and El Camino Real, where we could truly envision the new park before us.

Turns out, people liked that idea. We had over 200 people join us, creating a standing room only event (just temporarily, thanks to our head of Parks who brought over more chairs from the nearby Calavera Hills Community Center).

We also had a big turnout at last night’s virtual workshop. The next step is to gather input through an online portal, which I’ll share next week. In the meantime, if you want to get notices about this park planning process directly, you can sign up for email updates.

A little prep goes a long way when it comes to wildfires

Over the last couple of months, I have been encouraging you to take a few very simple steps to help get your household prepared for an emergency such as a wildfire. If you have been following the tragic situation in Hawaii, you can see just how devastating and unexpected a wildfire can be.

We have seen wildfires close to home too, including earlier this week, when a fire broke out in Ramona.

This afternoon, we held a wildfire drill with staff from throughout the city who are assigned to our Emergency Operations Center. This is something we do on a regular basis to make sure we are ready to respond at a moment’s notice to any emergency threatening Carlsbad. But for our community to be truly prepared, we need residents to also do their part.

  1. Signup for Alert San Diego notifications
  2. Make a family emergency plan
  3. Put together an emergency kit

We have great resources available to make this very easy. Please take some time this weekend to focus on this important preparation.

Back to school season is here. What you need to know

Whether or not you have students in your households, please be aware that the first local schools will be returning for the fall semester next week, Aug. 15. Carlsbad Unified School District, which has the most schools in our city, starts Aug. 23. (We have a total of four school districts with schools in Carlsbad.)

Anytime there is a major shift in travel patterns and schedules, it’s smart to leave a little extra time to get where you need to go and be on the lookout for kids crossing the street and biking on our roads. 

Bike safety certification – Thanks to a partnership with Carlsbad Unified School District, our Police Department has provided training to more than 700 students, who will now be able to park their bikes and e-bikes on campus. 

  • We worked with all our local school districts last year to develop a way to help ensure young and inexperienced riders knew the basic rules of the road.
  • In addition to providing hands on cycling safety classes through our partnership with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, we’ve also held virtual workshops and shared information and school assemblies (Circulate San Diego is focusing on pedestrian safety at our elementary schools).
  • This new program features a free training session open to students from all districts, who will get a certificate of completion to demonstrate they have had this basic instruction.
  • So far, students at Carlsbad Unified will need to show their certificates if they want to ride a bike or e-bike to campus. Other districts either have programs in place or are working on something new that incorporates the certification process.

Specially trained instructors from the Police Department led the classes, and our Fire Department was on hand to talk about charging e-bikes safely (along with anything else around your home that has a lithium-ion battery) and to make sure students were ready to go with helmets that fit properly.

There are more classes coming up later this month at Valley Middle School and Poinsettia Elementary School. 

Back to school resources from the Carlsbad library

The City of Carlsbad is once again offering its popular homework help and research tools available through the Carlsbad City Library. The library also has an online program that can connect students with real-time 1:1 tutoring in math, language arts and core K-12 subjects.

Next week I’ll share some ideas for parents and other adults who might like to learn a new skill, start up a new fitness routine and meet new friends this fall. LEARN MORE

Mamma Mia! Closing out TGIF with The FABBA Show

Our last TGIF Concerts in the Parks event is this Friday, and we’re expecting an ABBA-solutely spectacular turnout, so please plan ahead to make it a great night for everyone:

  • 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.

Alga Norte Community Park – 4 p.m.  Field opens • 6 p.m.  Music starts

We are busy gathering input on ideas for the future of our TGIF concerts. You might see some of our #TeamCarlsbad staff asking for feedback before the concert starts, and we’ll be putting out an online survey in the next week or so, after the season wraps up. LEARN MORE

New Kaiser hospital opens in North County

Just a heads up that after nearly three years of construction, the new Kaiser Permanente San Marcos Medical Center opened to patients on Wednesday. Its Kaiser’s first hospital in North County and a closer option for Carlsbad residents who are members. The new hospital is at 360 Rush Drive in San Marcos, not far from California State University, San Marcos.

Get involved: Upcoming meetings

The next City Council meeting will be Aug. 22 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 by the Friday before the meeting. We have two public meetings next week:

Aug. 15, 6 p.m. – State of the City at Dove Library (Please come by!)

Aug. 16, 5 p.m. – Planning Commission

Apply to serve on a city commission

While we’re talking about city meetings, serving on a city commission is a great way to get involved and make a difference in our community. City commissions advise the City Council on key issues that help us maintain Carlsbad’s excellent quality of life. Three commissions currently have vacancies:

Agricultural Mitigation Fee Advisory Committee 

Housing Commission 

Senior Commission

Apply online by noon on Sept. 5. 

It looks like our hot and muggy weather is continuing into next week. With summer vacations wrapping up and kids returning to school, now is a perfect time to enjoy a little more elbow room at our local beaches. However you choose to stay cool, please be safe, be kind and, as always, #Care4Carlsbad.

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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