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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  January 11, 2024  /  No Comments

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News from the City of Carlsbad | Jan. 11, 2024

More art is coming to Carlsbad. Learn how we develop public art projects and how you can get involved, plus other news of the week in today’s edition:

  • Chestnut underpass project getting underway
  • Your road-striping questions answered
  • A reminder about dogs on the beach in Carlsbad
  • A trail tailor-made to support your New Year’s resolutions
  • Carlsbad Marathon this Sunday, some roads closed 
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day city service schedule

Improving neighborhood connections

If you’ve driven under I-5 at our neighboring cities to the south, you might have noticed some of the underpasses include artistic features, wide sidewalks and other elements that make them light and inviting. I’m happy to report that it’s finally our turn to remake one of our main freeway underpasses, and that work is getting started next month.

The North Coast Corridor Project, which you might recognize as “Build NCC” from signs along the I-5, is a years-long, multi-part project headed up by Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments. Most people think about the project as the I-5 widening project, but it also includes several projects designed to enhance communities along the freeway.

  • Back in October of 2019, the City Council selected the Chestnut underpass for this project.
  • The other option was Carlsbad Village Drive.
  • The Carlsbad Village Drive location would have been more complex to execute due to its location at a freeway on-ramp and off-ramp, the nearby gas station, traffic signals at the intersections and the drainage system.
  • Plus, the Chestnut underpass links two city parks (and Chase Field) and serves as a main gateway to the city’s historical Barrio area.

SANDAG and Caltrans are working together to fund and build the improvements, which will include:

  • Bike lanes and parking separated by a buffer
  • Doubling the width of sidewalks
  • Moving curbs to provide better pedestrian crossings
  • Improved landscaping, with native shrubs, groundcovers and street trees
  • Enhanced landscaping facing Holiday Park
  • New retaining walls (to make room for the widened sidewalks)
  • Additional fencing
  • Shielded LED street lighting
  • New lighting under the bridge
  • Cobblestone paving

Here’s an initial schematic of the project. The plan is to cut into the sloped walls and build retaining walls to create more space. Parking will still be allowed under the underpass as it is today.

We will be sure to share updates on the construction schedule, including any planned lane closures or other temporary inconveniences. The underpass is scheduled to be closed just twice during the project, for about 56 hours each time, to allow paving to set. The improvements should be completed by the summer of 2025.

You can sign up to be notified about projects around the Barrio area if you’d like to get this info emailed to you as it happens.

Creating community connections through art

As you may know, the city sets aside 1% of the budget of certain projects to use for public art. That’s because arts and culture are important values to Carlsbad residents and public art can play a big role in creating a sense of shared space and community character.

Since the early 1990s, following a controversial public art project many still talk about 30 years later, the city has made community engagement a centerpiece of the public art process. (For those of you newer to town, I will spare you the details, but you can Google “Split Pavilion” if you are curious.)

We have something called the Art in Public Places program, which lays out the public art development process, with several opportunities for the public to participate early in the process, before major decisions get made.

  • For the Chestnut project, we sought volunteers from the community to serve on a public art advisory subcommittee to interview potential artists and then choose the one who will create this project.
  • That meeting was held last week (you can watch the interviews online).
  • The committee unanimously selected an artist team known as Greenmeme, a collaboration between Freyja Bardell and Brian Howe.
  • Their application stressed the opportunity this project presents to foster community connections (literally and figuratively) and their enthusiasm for working with the community to create something special and unique for Carlsbad.

The artist applications did not propose any specific type of artwork, they only covered their qualifications and overall approach. The next step will be for the artists to get together with community members to start envisioning what this artwork could be. That should get underway this spring.

About the selection process

For this project, the city sent a “call for artists” to six artists with experience working on projects involving major transportation infrastructure. That was important for the Chestnut underpass project because of the construction timeline and complexity of the work.

We have two other public art projects coming up, one for the traffic circle planned for Harding and Pine and the other for Veterans Memorial Park. The Veterans Park call for artists was open to local artists, and the Barrio Traffic Circle call for artists will be as well.

If you’d like us to keep you up to date on art projects in Carlsbad you can sign up for email notifications.

New striping, same rules of the road

The city’s transportation staff presented an update to the City Council Tuesday on several projects, including the resurfacing and restriping of major east-west roadways.

Now that the new striping is nearly complete, we have gotten some questions about what some of the new markings mean. Generally speaking, all the same rules of the road still apply when it comes to solid lines, double lines, dashed lines and other markings. 

  • For example, green paint doesn’t change the rules for a bike lane.
  • If you need to turn right and there’s a dashed line or dashed green paint, you should check for bicyclists and then, when safe, move to the far right of the lane before turning right.

Buffers When roads are restriped there is often an opportunity to create a buffer between cars and bikes. Treat these buffers as if they were physical barriers.

Some of the new markings are there to remind road users to watch for pedestrians or be alert for potential conflict zones. For example, in the graphic below you see a dashed line with markings next to a bike lane. This is there to alert bicyclists to watch out for people opening doors in parked cars.

You can watch this animation to see how it works.

I’ll share additional examples next week, and if you have any specific questions, please email us and we can be sure to include that information.

And, as always, please use extra caution around construction. You can check our weekly construction map to see when roadwork is expected next week.

Dogs on the beach When I highlighted the Sea Wall trail a couple of weeks ago, we got some questions about how the city enforces rules about dogs on the beach.

Short answer

  • Dogs are not allowed on the beach in Carlsbad, leashed or unleashed.
  • If you see a dog on the beach, you can call the Carlsbad Police Department’s 24 hour non-emergency line at 442-339-2197. Depending on your location, our dispatchers will assist you directly or connect you to the State Parks Department.
  • Owners can face citations and fines.

Long answer The state owns the vast majority of beaches in Carlsbad, starting at South Ponto all the way to Oak Avenue. The city is in charge of the ¾ mile stretch of beach north of Oak Avenue to the Oceanside border. Coastal property owners own most of the beaches in that area, but they’re all open to the public via easements.

The reason that matters is because it affects who is in charge of enforcement. You can still call us, even if you’re on a state beach, and our rangers will connect you to State Parks.

Why are dogs not allowed on beaches?

  • Pet waste is one reason dogs and beaches aren’t a good mix. Pet waste has two main types of pollutants – nutrients and pathogens – that can affect oxygen levels in water, increase bacteria and make the water unsafe for plants, animals and people.
  • Dogs on beaches can also disturb wildlife, like shorebirds and marine mammals, by chasing or barking at them.

I hope that clears things up. I’ll also take this opportunity to remind you that the city has three dog parks, including the all-grass Poinsettia Dog Park that opened in 2022, where dogs can play and socialize. 

Get your heart pumping on the East Ridgeline Trail

If you’re looking for a challenge, our featured trail this week is a rugged one that’s sure to get your heart rate up.

The East Ridgeline Trail lives up to its name, following a ridge high above Box Canyon. It overlooks steep cliffs carved out by San Marcos Creek and offers expansive views of the San Marcos Mountains to the east and the Batiquitos Lagoon and Pacific Ocean to the west.

One of the best things about this 3.8 mile out-and-back trail is that it’s in the heart of the Rancho La Costa Preserve, a 1,640-acre protected open space area that’s home to more than 40 species of endangered or threatened plants and animals.

  • The abundance of wildlife is a magnet for scientific study and research, conducted primarily by the Center for Natural Lands Management, a nonprofit that owns and maintains the preserve.
  • The preserve is also part of a network of protected lands included in the City of Carlsbad’s Habitat Management Plan, which helps preserve and protect sensitive biological resources within the city so species can thrive. Carlsbad is the only city in North County with an approved Habitat Management Plan.

What you’ll see Along the East Ridgeline Trail you might see species like the Southern Mule Deer, Least Bell’s Vireo and Rufous-Crowned Sparrow, along with a host of native California plants, such as the San Diego thornmint and Orcutt’s hazardia.

Hiking and biking are allowed on the East Ridgeline Trail, but e-bikes and other motorized vehicles are prohibited. Some parts of the trail are steep and rocky – the elevation change is about 839 feet – so make sure to go at your own pace and drink plenty of water.

Note: When you’re out hiking or biking, be sure to stay on the designated trail. Because of the steep terrain, Box Canyon is off limits to the public. Not only could you hurt yourself, you could damage sensitive wildlife in the reserve. Hikers and others who deviate from designated trails can be cited for trespassing and face a fine.

Parking and access The trail begins at 7118 El Fuerte St., at SDG&E’s utility road and access gate. Parking is available along El Fuerte Street and on the opposite end along Corintia Street near the entrance to the Vallecitos Water District Treatment Plant at 7941 Corintia St. (you can also connect here to the Melrose 55 Filoli Circle Trail – a short and easy one). Happy hiking!

Carlsbad Marathon this Sunday, some roads closed If you’re planning to be out and about in Carlsbad this weekend, keep in mind that the Carlsbad Marathon, Half Marathon and Surf Sun 5K are all happening Sunday, Jan. 14.

Several roads will be closed in north Carlsbad from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. on race day:

  • Marron Road between Monroe Street and Jefferson Street
  • Monroe Street between Marron Road and Carlsbad Village Drive
  • Jefferson Street between Marron Road and Grand Avenue
  • Laguna Drive between Jefferson Street and State Street
  • State Street between Laguna Drive and Carlsbad Boulevard
  • Carlsbad Boulevard, between the north city limits at the Buena Vista Lagoon and to the south city limits at La Costa Avenue
  • Palomar Airport Road between Carlsbad Boulevard and Avenida Encinas
  • Poinsettia Lane between Avenida Encinas and Carlsbad Boulevard
  • Note: Jefferson Street between Laguna Drive and Arbuckle Place will reopen at 8 a.m.

The marathon begins and ends at The Shoppes at Carlsbad shopping center. Organizers expect 8,000 participants and 10,000 spectators, so please drive carefully and be aware of increased traffic near the route and in surrounding areas.  

What’s open, what’s closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day City offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but there will be no delay in trash service. A full holiday schedule for city services is listed below:

  • Trash pickup: No delay
  • City offices: Closed
  • Emergency services: Regular service
  • City libraries: Closed
  • Cannon Art Gallery: Closed
  • City sculpture garden: Closed
  • City pools: Closed
  • Community centers: Closed
  • Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park: Closed
  • Senior Center: Closed
  • No street sweeping on city holidays
  • Transit: For the holiday transit schedule, please visit gonctd.com or call 5-1-1

No City Council or boards and commissions are scheduled next week. You can view the calendar of city meetings if you’d like to see meetings planned for later this month. Otherwise, I’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening at City Hall next week with more updates.

I hope you have a great holiday weekend, and if you explore the East Ridgeline Trail, let me know how you like it.

Scott Chadwick, City Manager

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

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