When residents and cyclists complained to the city, staff made excuses such as that they didn't have enough money or that it was NCTD's problem.
Frustrated with City and NCTD inaction, some residents took matters into their own hands and organized a clean-up, which was a good start but didn't eliminate the problem. The next year, the vines were back.
Recently, cyclists have once again been seen on the 101 and Vulcan bike paths, and the once-ubiquitous puncture vine plants appear to have been cleared by rakes. How did that happen?
Encinitas Undercover has learned that in early August, Council Member Tony Kranz e-mailed NCTD staff asking to put together a joint effort by the City and NCTD to solve the problem. Within weeks, NCTD was on it.
In response to an inquiry, NCTD Right of Way Officer Tim Morehead writes:
NCTD has instructed our contractors to use hand tools and to drag burlap sacks around to remove the remaining goat heads from the ground on the east and west side of the tracks from La Costa Ave. to Leucadia Ave. Moving forward we will continue our efforts monitoring this area and looking for a permanent solution.Thanks to Tony Kranz for taking the initiative to fix a problem that has plagued the community for years, and thanks to NCTD for the quick response when asked. Why did no previous council members make a similar request years ago?