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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  October 27, 2023  /  No Comments

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News from the City of Carlsbad | Oct. 26, 2023

This week we recapped what has been accomplished as a result of our traffic safety emergency and provided an update on city finances, among other topics. More on both below as well as other news of the week here in Carlsbad:

  • Safer Streets: A look back and a look forward
  • Update on city finances
  • Carlsbad’s Halloween safety checklist
  • Día de los Muertos at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park
  • Compost and mulch giveaway
  • Want to help care for our city trails?
  • NCTD weekend rail closure
  • Preventing wildfires during upcoming dry, windy conditions
  • Recognizing our first responders

Safer Streets: A look back and a look forward

Traffic safety will continue to be a top priority in the City of Carlsbad, even though our 12-month traffic state of emergency ended Sept. 8. On Tuesday, city staff updated the City Council on the latest injury collision data, what was accomplished during the last year and what’s still to come.

As you know by now, the city declared a traffic safety emergency in August 2022 following an over 200% increase in bike and e-bike collisions since 2019. This data was put into all-too-human terms by the back-to-back tragic loss of two cyclists here in Carlsbad. The pain for those left behind was unimaginable, and that pain was shared by everyone here at the city and throughout our community. Knowing the fall school year was about to begin brought a new sense of urgency to do something bold and immediate.

The emergency proclamation allowed us to more easily redeploy staff and resources, expedite projects to enhance safety, and create programs to build a community-wide commitment to safer streets.

Fast forward to today, and we have seen positive change. When we compared injury collisions during the 12 months after the emergency proclamation to the 12-month period before here’s what we found:

  • 13% decrease in injury collisions across all modes of travel. 
  • 20% decrease in injury collisions involving bikes and e-bikes.
  • 22% decrease in injury collisions involving pedal bikes. 
  • 18% decrease in injury collisions involving e-bikes.  

A few caveats to consider: because the total number of bike and e-bike collisions is relatively low compared to cars, any change will show up as a high percentage. For example, there were 100 injury collisions involving bikes and e-bikes from Sept. 1, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2023, and 80 during the 12 months of the emergency proclamation. For cars, there were 354 injury collisions in the previous year compared to 308 during the emergency.

What’s been done

When the traffic emergency took effect, the City Council approved $2 million in emergency funding to immediately launch education, engineering and enforcement actions to enhance traffic safety. A month later, we launched our comprehensive Safer Streets Together Plan, which included dozens of short- and long-term programs and initiatives to make walking, biking and driving safer in Carlsbad. Some of the highlights include:

  • Added and expanded bike lanes and sidewalks throughout the city
  • 10 neighborhood speed reduction projects
  • Over 100 projects to improve local roads and slow speeds
  • Partnerships with all schools in Carlsbad to share information, hold safety trainings and host traffic safety assemblies
  • A new permit program for local schools requiring students to complete safety training to park an e-bike on campus
  • Work with state legislators to advocate for e-bike-specific traffic laws
  • Enhanced enforcement and public education on traffic laws
  • Hands-on bike safety classes

What’s in a name?We decided to call this campaign “Safer Streets Together” because we knew that the city alone could not solve the problem. While we have done a lot, one of the biggest factors in traffic safety is individual behavior.

That’s why we are so proud that to date more than 10% of Carlsbad residents have stepped up to be leaders in their neighborhoods, their school communities, their businesses and more to make a public commitment to do their part to keep streets safe for everyone.

There is still time to take the pledge for safer streets in Carlsbad, and you can pick up yard signs and window clings at city libraries and offices.

The video below shows highlights of the past year, including the many, many partners who have helped support safer streets in Carlsbad. Thank you, Carlsbad!

What’s next

Public education and targeted enforcement will continue, and we’ve got several large traffic safety projects underway right now, spanning more than 18 miles worth of improved roadways.

Information about city projects is available on the website, so if you’re ever curious, that’s a good place to check.

No increase to hotel tax planned

The City Council decided Tuesday not to move forward with putting a measure on the ballot for a potential increase in the tax visitors pay when they stay at local hotels and short-term vacation rentals.

  • In April, the City Council requested information about a potential ballot measure to increase the transient occupancy tax in Carlsbad.
  • This is one of several new revenue sources that have been discussed over the past 18 months since staff identified a potential budget deficit starting in fiscal year 2024-25.

A structural deficit means the costs to run the city are expected to increase at a faster rate than revenues expected to come in. It does not mean the city currently has a deficit. The financial forecast is a tool that provides early warning signs so adjustments can be made. The anticipated structural deficit is for the city’s general fund, which pays for day-to-day city services.

Stronger than anticipated revenues and increased efficiencies have pushed the deficit back by several years, now anticipated to start in fiscal year 2028-29. This means the city has more time to consider options. LEARN MORE

Tricks, treats and traffic safety this Halloween

Halloween may be Tuesday, but the city has festivities planned this weekend and I know a lot of our community members are planning their own events. So, we’re asking all Carlsbad residents to take extra care and follow these safety tips:

Plan ahead

  • Help your kids choose costumes and shoes that do not restrict movement and can be easily seen in the dark. Use reflective fabric or tape, or bring along glow sticks to improve visibility.
  • Use safe, non-toxic makeup rather than masks that can restrict vision.
  • Talk to kids about good community behavior and the consequences of vandalism and other neighborhood pranks.

Drive safely

  • Look out for more pedestrians than normal, including small children who might be more difficult to see.
  • Slow down and give yourself extra time to get where you need to go.
  • Be sure to enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.

Be a responsible host

  • If you are hosting a party with minors, be aware that the City of Carlsbad has something called a social host ordinance. This means that parents will be held accountable if kids get access to alcohol or other controlled substances.
  • Serve plenty of food and provide non-alcoholic beverage options.
  • Collect car keys from guests who are drinking.
  • Arrange rides or provide sleeping accommodations if needed.

Perhaps most importantly, be the eyes and ears of your area. Immediately report suspicious activity to the City of Carlsbad Police Department at 442-339-2197, and for emergencies, call 9-1-1. LEARN MORE

Día de los Muertos event returns

The city invites you to celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park this weekend. Día de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated by honoring deceased friends and family. 

Día de los Muertos

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, 6200 Flying Leo Carrillo Lane

Saturday, Oct. 28 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 29 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

LEARN MORE

Compost and mulch give away reminder

Promoting environmental sustainability is one of the key goals in the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, and recycling food scraps and other organic waste is one way we support that goal. Now, you can see the results of our new organics recycling program by picking up compost this weekend to use in your garden.

Compost and mulch giveaway – Saturday, Nov. 4 -9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 5815 El Camino Real (enter via Priestly Drive) 

Using compost in your yard is good for your plants, and mulch can reduce evaporation, saving water.

Bring your own container if you can; reusable bags will be available if needed. Proof of Carlsbad residency is required. For those who cannot make it on Nov. 4, compost and mulch are also available at the Palomar Transfer Station at 5960 El Camino Real, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There is no charge because this service is covered by the fees residents and businesses pay for trash service. LEARN MORE

Trail clean up event planned

Enjoy some fresh air, exercise and help protect Carlsbad’s open space Saturday at our next trail volunteer event, at La Costa Valley Trail. The city provides all the tools you need, plus training. This is a great way to discover new trails while meeting other volunteers.

La Costa Valley Trail 457 Avenida Helecho Oct. 28, 2023 – 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

RSVP by emailing Sarah Czech or call 760-859-0331

Rail services suspended this weekend

The North County Transit District asked us to share the latest information about rail closures affecting Carlsbad.

This weekend, there will be no coastal rail line service between the Oceanside Transit Center and Santa Fe Depot in San Diego due to routine maintenance and rail infrastructure work. LEARN MORE

Dry, windy conditions this weekend into Monday

City staff attended a briefing this week by the National Weather Service San Diego office focused on upcoming Santa Ana winds. According to the NWS, we’ll see elevated fire risk in the region in the coming days due to dry windy conditions, although winds won’t be as strong along the coast.

We tend to see more Santa Ana conditions in the fall, so now is the perfect time to protect your home by creating defensible space, put screens on vents to prevent flying embers from getting into your house, and have an updated emergency plan in case you ever need to evacuate.

Watch this video or read our step-by-step instructions for more tips on how to protect your home and family from wildfires.  

Get involved: Upcoming meetings

The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Nov. 7, 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 the Friday before the meeting. 

You can find out about other public meetings, including meetings of city boards and commissions, on the city’s calendar

Recognizing our first responders

Speaking of fires, this Saturday is National First Responders Day. You may have seen in the news that state officials recently renamed the stretch of Interstate-5 that runs between La Costa Avenue and Cannon Road the “William R. Clayton Memorial Highway.” Clayton was a Carlsbad resident who served as part of Cal Fire for nearly 50 years.

He sadly passed away in 2018.

Also in the news, last weekend Carlsbad Police were involved in two critical incidents. During a Friday night traffic stop, a driver fired at one of our officers, who then returned fire. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the suspect was apprehended. Sunday, Carlsbad Police responded to a barricaded and armed man at a local hotel. Again, this incident was resolved without injury, thanks to excellent work by our highly trained officers.

Today flags at government buildings, including ours, are at half-staff to recognize those affected by last night’s shootings in Maine.

So, whether close to home, or clear across the country, first responders put their lives on the line so that the rest of us can be safe. To all first responders, thank you for your bravery and sacrifices.

Scott Chadwick

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

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