Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rail Trail supporters alarmed at poorly thought-out Montgomery crossing

Friends of the Cardiff Rail Trail:
The inability to establish a Quiet Zone at Montgomery is a tremendous blow. Without a Quiet Zone, trains will be required to sound their horns before they reach the crossing, resulting in a significant and unacceptable increase in noise for Cardiff residents to the north and south of Montgomery. The only way to stop the train horns is to install a system of wayside horns which are basically speakers mounted at the crossing site that blare out a simulated train horn sound as warning for an approaching train. Wayside horns would have less noise impact on Cardiff than train horns but may be unacceptably loud for the students at the nearby school and the residents in the surrounding houses, especially since the wayside horns sound for longer periods than the actual train horns. We need to know much more about wayside horns before we would support them as a substitute for a Quiet Zone.

We also have some concerns about aligning the completion dates for the rail trail fence and the crossing. We recently engaged all of the parties involved (the City Council, NCTD, and SANDAG) to advocate for coordinating the rail trail fence and crossing projects to ensure uninterrupted beach access in all reasonable scenarios. After a round of meetings and correspondence, we know that all the folks involved with these projects have empathy for the community and good intentions all around. There is a desire to work together to make sure there is no gap in beach access caused by staggered completion dates. However, there is still uncertainty. It’s unclear exactly how long the CPUC approval process for the crossing will take. Complexity is also introduced by having so many huge construction projects happening in the rail corridor at the same time (in addition to the rail trail and the Montgomery crossing, SANDAG is building a new railroad bridge across San Elijo Lagoon, double-tracking south of Montgomery, and overhauling the Chesterfield intersection). At this point it seems likely that the fence and the crossing completion dates will line up to avoid a gap in access because it makes sense to build the fence as the last component of all these combined projects. But there are a lot of moving parts and no guarantees. More work needs to be done here.

The combination of the Quiet Zone news and the uncertainty around project timing have caused us to rethink our near term priorities. While we love the rail trail as part of a tapestry of improvements that work together – connecting our communities and creating a network of safe and legal crossings at Chesterfield, Montgomery, and Santa Fe – we also believe that the Montgomery crossing is an essential part of the overall plan.

Our advocacy for the Cardiff Rail Trail is conditioned on preserving beach access, which is a core value for the Cardiff community and for us. At this point we believe we owe it to our community to temporarily shift our focus from advocating for the rail trail to advocating for a clear and credible plan for the Montgomery crossing that ensures beach access. It’s the right move for our supporters (who now number over 1,700).

For the record, our preference and our recommendation is to fund and build a grade-separated crossing at Montgomery Avenue to avoid the issues with Quiet Zones, wayside horns, and CPUC approvals. We understand that there will be additional cost involved but it’s the right answer.

111 comments:

  1. Kudos for coming to the realization that you cannot get all you wanted on your own. This could be an ideal opportunity for your group to align with your opponents in a concerted effort to pursue avenues for lowering the tracks.

    Both of your groups together can't help but hope the tracks will be lowered somehow for true quiet zones. The Green Bond idea that they brought forward this past week should be something the both of you could work together on. A united front will always be more effective and the whole community would behind both of your groups. The end of division could unite the both of you.

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    1. The realization is that Blakespear sold us down a cliff. Moving forward with double tracking with the carrot that a pedestrian path over the double tracks at Montgomery would occur... now we know that the plan she proposed is not workable.

      You would have thought that Blakespear would have done due diligence before going forward with rail trail with fences to block access to the beaches and the rest of the city and Chesterfield rail improvement for double tracking.

      Then again that would mean Blakespear did her job - that must be asking to much of our city council.

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  2. Mike, we appreciate you posting this. For those who want to see what a wayside horn sounds like, here is a brief video of the wayside horn in Del Mar. It's loud and long. You can watch the video on you tube or on the norailtrail facebook page.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld9zsEpv3M0
    https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=norailtrail

    What has been most disturbing now is to watch Blakespear Kranz and Shaffer have refused to take responsibility for the mess they created and money they wasted. They spent $600k on a consultant whose job it was to lobby for a quiet zone at Montgomery only to find out that quiet zones were not allowed for pedestrian crossings. Blakespear in her latest email blast, instead of taking responsibility this project, which is her baby, blamed city staff. What poor leadership. If you make a mistake in life, the right thing to do, especially if you are a true leader, is not to blame some poor city staffer who is trying to execute some BS plan that you conjured up, but own up to it, take responsibility, apologize and move on. That's the way to lead. It is amazing that Blakespear, Kranz and Shaffer, who call themselves environmentalists, have no problem paving over the last undeveloped coastal habitat in Encinitas. What hypocrisy.

    We continue to believe the right move is to put the coastal rail trail on the 101, and make an undercrossing at Montgomery. that way everyone wins and we can preserve the natural beauty of the Cardiff Rail Corridor.

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  3. Just this weekend, Blakespear announced her next permanent position as Mayor of Encinitas. As someone posting above said,"These three believe they are environmentalists?"

    Consider that this Rail Trail Plan and the Plan for Quail Gardens Drive and Saxony will undoubtedly cause stop and go gridlock 5 days a week and following that significantly increase gasoline-burning pollution by literally crowding the narrow streets of Encinitas many which are already narrow. Instead of being in bed with Sandag, they should try heeding the people who voted them into office. Blakespear wants to be Mayor? Then she can start telling the truth about an at-grade crossing at Montgomery; there will NEVER be one because the CPUC and Amtrack will NEVER allow it with the double-tracking future of the California coastline. The NORAILTRAIL.com folks have already had the corridor between San Elijo and 101 surveyed by a State ecologist; who found hundreds of endangered species; damn the species and surge ahead with more bike lanes, how long until a cease and desist order is procured and 2 or 3 years of waiting for a judicial hearing to save the endangered plant species is upon us? This trio is trying to impress Lisa Heebner and other Sandag extremists, while Cardiff will be turned into a morning and evening chronic smog-machine. Just as Bond/Dalager/Stocks tried to make Encinitas an example of Smart Growth to impress their Sandag friends, so too is Lisa/Tony/Catherine trying to 'out-do' other cities with this rail trail, bag bans/polystyrene bans and a dream-logic green-agenda etc...they only have 5 months until the election campaign is open for 4 council-seats; pray for new leadership, prepare to walk the precincts and write a small check for the right candidates.

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    1. There aren't "hundreds of endangered species" in Cardiff.
      There aren't "hundreds of endangered species" in Encinitas
      There aren't "hundreds of endangered species" in San Diego County
      There are "hundreds of endangered species" in the state of California, but many of them are aquatic plants and animals, many live in desert, or mountain forest, or chaparral, or riparian, or alpine meadow, or or or.

      No way in hell there are "hundreds of endangered species" on that tiny strip. If there were, we should immediately put up a tall fence topped with concertina wire to keep people out.

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    2. That's your only complaint? Otherwise you're good going through with this idea now shown to be premature, if not idiotic?

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    3. Pave everything, the early release prisoners and the "rent-a-crowders" need an open air prison yard to exercise in.

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    4. 9:13, Best to check your facts before spewing off like a jerk. You come off like that cranky, demeaning Bob Redmon guy who seems to worship his elected leaders and show little but contempt for his fellow residents in his defense of the Rail Trail on Nextdoor.

      According to SANDAG, the same regional bureaucracy that is in charge of building the Rail Trail, San Diego County is exceptionally diverse. SANDAG notes this: "Most Biologically Rich County: Although relatively small, San Diego County is the most biologically rich county in the continental United States, and California is one of the top ten most biodiverse areas on earth."

      Also, SANDAG lists 2,672 species of plants countywide, with 7,600 species statewide.

      Check for yourself: http://www.sandag.org/uploads/publicationid/publicationid_2005_20326.pdf

      Unless you really are Bob Redmon, in which case actual facts don't mean anything to you anyway, so just buzz off.

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  4. All the more reason to trench and cover the tracks. No excuses - just get it planned and done. Nothing less than this should be accepted.

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  5. Blakespear doesn't care about the open area. Her family has ownership and full access to the canyon (which is a huge strip of land behind Listz and Rubenstein) in Cardiff and have posted no trespassing signs on, so no one can enjoy but them!
    https://www.google.com/maps/@33.0278659,-117.2820483,633m/data=!3m1!1e3

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    1. 3:19,

      Can I bring some friend over to hang out in your back yard?

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    2. Just to be clear:
      Are you addressing the rail trail that is posted NO TRESPASSING and the train tracks that are illegal to cross under FEDERAL LAW and comparing that to someone's private property?

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    3. People have been safely crossing these railroad tracks across the length of Encinitas ever since they were put in. With no problem what so ever.

      Trying to make it an issue as being illegal is just a travesty. What should be illegal is the public authorities NCTD and SANDAG that are pushing double tracking without adequately planning.

      Planning that would include trenching and covering the tracks if they have an issue with people crossing over the tracks as they have always done and will always do until the tracks are lowered and covered.

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  6. Today is Catherines' birthday. The poor girl only gets one every four years. She must be a lot younger than she looks on this leap day. Perhaps that is why some of her rulings have been so misguided.

    Nevertheless, have a happy birthday Catherine.

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  7. Meanwhile Carlsbad City Council has already started the work on trenching and covering the railroad tracks as part of the double tracking there.

    Our City Council? Just another tragedy of misspent time and money when they could have done the planning long ago.

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    1. Can't trench. Hundreds of endangered species would be affected.

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    2. There is far more environmental damage without the trench with double tracking

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  8. No federal money, no trenching..

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    1. Can we hold the line on this:

      No trenching, then no double tracking!

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    2. This is a hard line to hold as the battle was played out some time ago. The railroads have a lot of state and federal granted powers, and at some point the city had to give in. What was given in return was a vague promise of crossings at Santa Fe (done), El Portal, and Montgomery. At some point a further (also vague) promise of a more tasteful fence was made.

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    3. This railroad is owned by the Citizens... we get to say on it's future more than any other entity. Including the Feds and the State.

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    4. NCTD purchased the tracks from Santa Fe back in the 90's before the Coaster was started. While the "people" may own it, it's all the people as the money came from a combination of local, state and federal sources. Many of those people want an increase in mass transit so they are double tracking the whole length of track in San Diego to add more trains. The four undercrossings came later and were not given in return.

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    5. No trench and cover - no double tracking.

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  9. Kranz has a plan for the quiet zone - apply index fingers to ears!

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  10. 1.) Delay the rail trail construction.
    2.) Fund and construct a ped underpass like at Swami's.
    3.) During pavement work in the next year, repaint 101 to improve separation of bike, ped, and car traffic.
    4.) After the underpass is complete, build the rail trail as already approved on the East side of the rails.

    Fixed it.

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    1. I agree with all four points. But, it seems to me, 2, 3, and 4, should be done at the same time. There is a cost savings in doing things all at once, though you would likely stage it. The lessons learned from Sante Fe should be applied.

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    2. Bad plan all around.

      1)We have no need for a rail trail without trenching the tracks
      2) Funding pedestrian underpasses is a waste of money
      3) No need to seperate pedestrians from bikes once the trench and cover is done with a parkway on top of the railroad

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    3. I'd agree with 8:24's plan, particularly step #4, if 8:24 was buried alive under the "rail trail as already approved on the east side of the rails." See how his loud his sanctimony sounds when listened to through a few tons of concrete.

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    4. The only place for a trail is above the beach where people now walk and bike just fine. With a scenic view of the ocean and smell of fresh air. It could not get any better.

      For those that like to run along the tracks I understand that. The pounding on hard pavement is bad for your health.

      Regardless, putting the million dollar rail trail on the east is nothing but a way to force an undesired means of double tracking the rail line down neighborhood's throat.

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  11. At one time there was money for 4 underpasses. The first was the one at Swamis, as the City wanted to see if it would be used. Since it has been so popular I am wondering what happened to the money that the previous Council told us was set aside for the other 3? Does anyone know where it mysteriously went to?

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    Replies
    1. Calling the Three Stooges....

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    2. 9:22 AM

      "At one time there was money for 4 underpasses" No there wasn't. There are plans for four underpasses but only money for one so far. Since the first underpass was built and no money for the other three yet, the money didn't mysteriously go anywhere.

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    3. 9:22- I'll bet a CPRA request would suggest that there was money set aside. As a former city employee that's all I can say.

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    4. 3:13 PM

      "...would suggest that there was money set aside" Are you implying that the the other undercrossings were fully funded, or at least one other undercrossing, and the council chose not to proceed? That's a pretty strong claim. However, if you're saying that the local contribution for one or more of the three remaining undercrossings was shifted to other projects, well that's standard government financing. The SANDAG financial portion of the next undercrossing isn't expected anytime soon. Given priorities, the council may have decided to move the money somewhere else. Unless the source of the money is tied specifically to a project, money that is allocated to a project in a budget isn't guaranteed. It merely reflects the priorities at that time which may change in subsequent years.

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  12. Those that think trench and cover cannot be done only have lame excuses: money, endangered species etc... are only red herrings.

    It can be done. And should be done. The environmental impact of our citizen owned train tracks and land are far higher than the cost or other environmental considerations.

    How much is a tunnel under Del Mar going to cost? How come Solana Beach trenching was done? Why is Carlsbad moving forward with Trenching and covering the tracks???

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    1. If you were going to trench and cover, the rails should be moved under San Elijo / Vulcan. Engineering a roof that will hold heavy dirt and plants for a park is not easy. It would be easier to put the rails under the street, then convert the existing rail ROW to a strip park. It also makes construction easier and cheaper, because the new and the old tracks are separated physically. Construction doesn't have to stop every time a train rolls through, and bypass tracks don't have to be continuously built and removed around the active construction.

      The only time the main flow of rail traffic is disrupted is when the end points of the new trench are connected to the old rails at the north and south ends.

      It would also be better to have a trench that provides accessible conduit for storm runoff and utilities.

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    2. Definitely, all the roads crossing the tracks today should be placed over the tracks when trenched. It is really not that hard of an idea.

      In fact, plan a route to El Camino Real with a Trolley while at it.

      And use the excavated dirt to protect the railroad entrances/exit to the lagoon and 101. As we should be planning for 2-10 feet of sea level rise this century.

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  13. Funding and constructing pedestrian underpasses is just a waste of money. For the money spent on underpasses we could just trench and cover with far greater benefits to the citizens that own these railroad with far less environmental damage to the community.

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  14. When our taxes our spent for things like a single $43 Million Gas station in Afghanistan... I think we can afford the cost to trench and cover these railroad tracks. As the benefit of trench and cover are greater than at grade double tracks. Both in environment and direct and opportunity costs.

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  15. With the Chesterfield crossing about to be reconfigured don't expect them to turn around and immediately throw it away by trenching the tracks. I doubt the tracks through Cardiff will ever be lowered.

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  16. The Chesterfield crossing and the Swami's crossing are both just a waste of money... as a long term plan should have been made first.

    And a long range plan would always show that trench and covering the publicly owned railroad here is the best long term solution.

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  17. 2:25 PM
    The Chesterfield crossing belongs to the city of Encinitas, not to SANDAG. Our Council could, should have said NO, thank you, SANDAG, butt out. Double tracking is one thing, reconfiguring local streets should be the responsibility of the local government.

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    1. 9:30 PM

      The crossing is over the NCTD right-of-way so they have a say in it too. SANDAG is working with the city on the reconfigured crossing. A lot of the funds for city streets comes from SANDAG (TransNET) so they have a role to play as well. If you've gone through the Chesterfield crossing you'd know it does need a reconfiguration and upgrade. Any hope of trenching won't happen for at least a decade and probably many decades, if ever.

      If you look at the SANDAG 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (the most recent) there is no mention of lowering the tracks through Cardiff. The only location in Encinitas listed for lowering the tracks is at Leucadia Blvd and that is at least a decade off.

      Lowering the tracks in Cardiff is a pipe dream. It ain't going to happen.

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    2. 10:11 AM
      NCTD may have a say but they must conform to what the city wants. Same for SANDAG. The current three council members, Kranz, Blakespear, and Shaffer have given up city local authority to the regional agencies. The funds from SANDAG are applied for by the city council.

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    3. 1:01 PM

      So how are they giving up local control? NCTD and SANDAG are working with the city to reconfigure the Chesterfield crossing. The one thing NCTD and SANDAG are imposing is the new crossing will accommodate double tracking and align with the new bridge/trestle over the San Elijo lagoon. I drive through the current Chesterfield crossing and it's a mess and dangerous. I don't know how many times I've seen cars stop with all or part of the car on the track.

      I'm not sure what you expect council to do. Refuse to upgrade the crossing? Double tracking is coming in the next few years and lowering the tracks through Cardiff won't happen anytime soon if ever. The crossing is dangerous. It needs to be fixed.

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    4. 1:45 PM
      NCTD (which is part of SANDAG) and SANDAG are driving the train. They are NOT working with us. Council has told SANDAG to do whatever they want.
      And you think adding another track to the already Chesterfield short lane that will back more cars on 101 is safer?

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    5. The track from San Diego to Santa Barbara and out to Riverside is referred to as LOSSAN which is a consortium of agencies with OCTD (Orange County Transit District) contracted as the management organization. SANDAG coordinates in San Diego but NCTD owns the track in San Diego and operates the Coaster. NCTD is not part of SANDAG it's a separate organization. Both NCTD and SANDAG are working with the city, you just don't like what they are doing.

      Double tracking the whole length in San Diego has been in the works for a long time but is proceeding in segments as funds become available. It's going to happen so they can increase the number of trains which I'm sure you're against but that is the reality.

      "And you think adding another track to the already Chesterfield short lane that will back more cars on 101 is safer?" Why do you think they are reconfiguring the Chesterfield crossing.

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    6. 8:28 PM

      Really, NCTD is autonomous? NCTD is a hollow shell of an agency where the majority of its responsibility was given to SANDAG.
      Look it up on SANDAG's website -
      "On January 1, 2003, a new state law (SB
      1703) consolidated all of the roles and
      responsibilities of SANDAG with many of the
      transit functions of the Metropolitan Transit
      System (MTS) and the North County Transit
      District (NCTD). SANDAG now is responsible
      for transit planning, funding allocation,
      project development, and construction in the
      San Diego region, in addition to its ongoing
      transportation responsibilities and other
      regional roles."
      NCTD reports to SANDAG - the 18 cities monster that now controls us.
      California Senator Steve Peace started this regional government push to steal local control. His first bill was rejected. Unfortunately, other bills passed.
      No, SANDAG isn't working with the city for the city's good; only for SANDAG members consider the regional good.
      A councilperson from each of the 18 cities in San Diego County and a county supervisor sit on SANDAG and determine what our city will look like. The three council dummies, Kranz, Blakespear, and Shaffer are representing regional orders.

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    7. Yes. Let's make rail decisions locally. We can start by changing the rail gauge, height of bridges, radius of turns, a unique signaling system, and let's ban positive train control within the city limits.

      Because all of that makes sense.

      Railways have never been regulated and managed locally. Not ever.

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    8. I saw in the Union this morning that NCTD is fixing to increase fares, seems that low ridership isn't generating enough money for them. Now, how come they want double-tracking?

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    9. NCTD and SANDAG for that matter are mis-manged. NCTD was never focused on the citizens that own the railroad or the commuter rail traffic. I think the only reason Santa Fe sold it to the citizens of San Diego is because they wanted us to pay for the maintenance and support so the freight traffic would be subsidized. Look at the fares, the times the connection to other forms of mass transit.

      With that said SANDAG has always been about the roads and highways not mass transit. After that they cater to the developers.

      None of these agencies do a good job of listening or acting on behalf of the citizens they are supposed to serve!

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    10. 9:35 AM

      Santa Fe sold it to the "citizens" because we wanted to buy it to begin commuter rail operations. Santa Fe's freight operations to San Diego had been declining but they aren't going away and with the increase in port operations may actually be increasing. Santa Fe wanted to ensure continued freight operations on the track. NCTD wanted to improve the quality of the track itself as Santa Fe didn't care how smooth the ride was for freight cars. Whether or not Santa Fe benefits from NCTD maintaining the track, it's going to be maintained at a higher standard for commuter rail. The Orange County Transit District owns the track through orange county and has been improving and double tracking the rail line as well.

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    11. 10:00 AM
      SANDAG and NCTD are now marketing "smart growth" as "mobile hubs" to get residents to sign onto more density and traffic.

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    12. I have been to SANDAG "smart growth" presentations. Nothing but a sham. Increase density for developers in the priciest areas and no infrastructure like trenched and covered tracks for the trains.

      They think the citizens are stupid and will go for fancy marketing campaigns. I hope their assumption is incorrect and the people stand up and fight for our public agencies that control our citizen owned train tracks.

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    13. 10:24 AM & 10:57 AM

      I'm sure there is reasonably priced land out by Boulevard that people can afford and just suck up the long commute. In case you haven't noticed the San Diego area keeps growing, people keep having babies, and those people eventually get on the road whether it's "smart" or otherwise.

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    14. What would be Smart is to do long range planning. And get the buy in of the citizens that live near the tracks in the cities it traverses. Instead we get short term quick fixes that costs more than doing it right in the first place.

      SANDAG piecemeal effort is used to get cities fight one another... not work together for a plan to benefit everyone.

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    15. 3:07 PM

      How much do you think undergrounding the tracks will cost? If you think these short term fixes are more expensive than undergrounding I doubt you know its real cost.

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    16. Those short term fixes when totaled up are costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

      Doing it correctly by trenching and covering could be done for similar amounts and when one considers the developing of prime rental properties in perpetuity ... those costs seem insignificant with the combined aesthetics of trenching/covering and putting a parkway on top!

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    17. 5:39 PM

      "Those short term fixes when totaled up are costing hundreds of millions of dollars."

      Prove it.

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    18. Each underpass approximately $10 Million plan for 5 that is $50 Million right there. Then add in Chesterfield and other road improvements to the road - another $20 Million. $6 Million for the rail trail.

      Already at $75 Million. Double tracking add another $25 million with new bridges and more.

      That is $100 million right there. And I am sure I can think of more.

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    19. 1:40 PM

      First of all, the Santa Fe undercrossing cost around $6 Million with the estimate for all 4 undercrossings to be around $25 Million. The Chesterfield crossing improvements are $4.5 Million. The double track would be there whether or not it was at or below ground, although some added cost at-grade for the track bed preparation. If you run the trench through downtown you can figure at least $100-150 Million on that segment alone not to mention the 2+ years it would take to put the tracks under Encinitas Blvd while trying to build a new station below grade.

      But maybe you just want it through Cardiff in which case the trade-off for the cost of the Chesterfield crossing upgrade would be the cost to build a more expensive bridge over the trench. Only the Montgomery undercrossing, which has recently been proposed as an at-grade crossing, might be a wash. And you would need the money all at once either through grants or a bond issue or a combination.

      Your estimate for the undercrossings is double what they cost and $6 Million of that has already be spent. Your Chesterfield crossing upgrade estimate is four times its projected cost of $4.5 Million and any delay means we lose the $2.2 Million federal grant. Bottom line is your numbers aren't realistic. Try again.

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    20. The costs of these projects are higher than they are frequently quoted. Planning and other expenses are frequently not counted... Also remember that with Sea Level rise the tracks/highway 101 improvements will be temporary. Including all the sand replenishment and other emergency repairs we now pay for on the railway/road.

      Regardless, the point is relevant. The costs of all the step by step projects to force double tracking down our throats when added up are a good portion of the cost of a trenched and covered project with double tracking.

      Some people just don't want to believe what we CAN DO!

      And with a little thought the project would not only be environmentally better for the citizens/community and more but could help pay for itself with income properties and be there for the long term!

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    21. 5:25 PM

      "The costs of these projects are higher than they are frequently quoted. Planning and other expenses are frequently not counted." And you think it would be any different with trenching? Who knows what in the ground where they would be digging.

      "Some people just don't want to believe what we CAN DO!" Sorry, but it isn't going to happen, at least through Cardiff. We'll be lucky to get the tracks under Leucadia Blvd. All the positive, can do, attitude won't make it happen no matter what you believe. And double tracking through Cardiff is pretty much a reality with the current side track practically the whole length. I'm guessing when they do the Chesterfield crossing improvement it will be for two tracks and it's just a short distance to the siding.

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    22. The current passing track in Cardiff is not a double track. If we stay strong and united the proper and sound double tracking of Encinitas can occur.

      But with our current efforts by Blakespear to let our public agencies SANDAG and NCTD to start double tracking under the guise of a Coastal Rail trail is nothing short of excessive hubris.

      Those that side with Blakespear and her efforts of incrementalism to double tracking are nothing short of traitors to our community.

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    23. 6:39 PM

      "The current passing track in Cardiff is not a double track." Not yet! They are replacing the current San Elijo single track wood trestle with a double track concrete bridge and they are improving the Chesterfield crossing. It's going to be double track all the way from SB station to just south of Encinitas station.

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    24. Just more wasted money as the bridge and double tracking is poorly planned. Expect both to be under water and destroyed by storms in the next 100 years.

      Fixing the highway 101 and the train tracks to accommodate rising and warming seas would be smart.

      Temporary fixes are just a waste of money. Especially when it could have been done right initially - like trenching and covering the tracks.

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    25. 9:15 PM

      So from a rising sea level standpoint it's better to have the tracks below ground the above. Do they hermetically seal the tunnel? Waterproof it? I'm sure they're taken seal level rise into the new bridge over the lagoon. It's irrelevant whether it's one or two tracks.

      "Temporary fixes are just a waste of money." They don't consider these temporary.

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    26. 10:58 AM

      I mean "then above" and "they've taken sea level rise into account for the new bridge". This is what happens when you try to write while distracted.

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    27. The way the double tracking is proceeding is "temporary" - because long range planning is not occuring just so they can get the double tracking in a sly way. Just like the rail trail which is part of the double tracking even though NCTD is not willing to say it.

      Bottom line is NCTD does not want to be responsible and do things like an environmental impact report.

      And eventually the tracks need to be trenched and covered in Encinitas and raised across the lagoons because of rising sea levels.

      It would be smart to plan for this and the closure of 101 saving money in the long run.

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  18. Its just a matter of time until this happens in Encinitas.... http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-ethanol-tankers-derailed-cars-ny-37334672

    Don't burry our citizens and children - Cut and cover the tracks.....

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  19. Lower the tracks......Save lives.

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  20. NCTD is a public agency - the right or way, tracks and trains are owned by the citizens. They should do what the citizens tell them to do. Or get a hole new set of management and politicians that learn to listen to the people that pay their salaries!

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    1. 8:01 AM

      "... are owned by the citizens" Which citizens? Just the people in Cardiff, Leucadia, Encinitas, or all of San Diego not to mention California and the United States. Would a majority of all of them favor spending multi-millions of dollars to lower the tracks in Cardiff so the locals have a more direct path to the beach even if that means jaywalking across the 101? And they won't be building a roof over the tracks if they do lower them. Only road or pedestrian bridges so beach goers still need to cross at certain locations.

      Unless you want to really make this a local decision by creating an improvement district in Cardiff to pay for the trenching with a roof. If so, wait til you get the tax bill.

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    2. We already own the railroad tracks and trains Coaster trains on it. We already pay taxes - too much spent on other cities especially those in foreign countries...

      3-4 Trillion spent on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and growing of our taxes... and we cannot spend a small percentage of that on one of the most important rail corridors in the nation???

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  21. If you look at the rail topography, especially through Cardiff trenching the tracks is very doable. This is the only real long term solution, and ultimately more economically viable. All that is required is a positive vision and leadership.

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    1. Much easier than the existing trench in Solona Beach or the planned trench and cover planned for Carlsbad...

      You have to wonder why people like Councilwomen Blakespear (wanting to be Mayor( are so against the public needs.

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    2. The discussion to date implies that a trench (or tunnel) just magically appears. A project like this is absurdly disruptive! And there will be absolutely no crossing the tracks to get to the other side. And there'll be no parking anywhere. It will be a mess! How long did the SB trench take? 2 years? Do the residents really want to go through that?

      - The Sculpin

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    3. Solana is now well served and the effort was worth it.

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    4. Dig it and cover it we'll enjoy the beauty of a reconnected Encinitas now cut off by these noisy and dirty trains with a park along the distance of these tracks here!

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    5. A park?? Watch for the City to work to zone the tracks high density. Campaign contributions mean favors will be owed!!

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  22. Again Sculpin proves he is an idiot. Of course its worth it.

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    1. There are two trains of thought here - a trench, and a tunnel. If you set out to build a trench, you can't just decide to cover it up and make it a tunnel. If you build a trench, it will cut off the east from the west. If the decision is made to build bridges (like SB) it will surely impact many easterners views. It will also require improvements on the west side to accommodate the pedestrian flow - crosswalks? Signal? Sidewalks on the east side of 101? If you build a tunnel you've also created more usable land. Who owns that land? Who decides how to use it? What is it zoned for now? Does the process go through Prop A?

      There is no doubt that either a tunnel or trench will completely change the character of the area - and one hopes for the good. It's also certain that today's character and feel will go away. So are either of these ideas pipe dreams? What's the path of least resistance for all the stakeholders here - above ground double tracking with a rail trail? In other words, how does this idea get off the ground?

      - The Sculpin

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    2. It is not hard to cover the trench and put a beautiful parkway on top. And not hard to put the trench in as well. Why waste money on anything else but a competent long term solution?

      Indeed Sculpin shows their idiocy again.

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    3. So where is the money coming from? The city can't afford it. I doubt the "citizens" of San Diego who own the track would want to spend a big chunk of their TransNet money so that people in Cardiff can walk straight to the beach. How much do you think it will cost? The figure for Leucadia in the Regional Transportation Plan is $90 Million and you know that's low.

      Solana Beach lucked out. When planning for the Coaster, Del Mar said it didn't want its station to be one of the Coaster stations even though the Amtrak stopped there. SB agreed to have a station if they could solve the issue of stopped trains blocking Lomas Santa Fe. Federal money was found to pay for putting the station below ground. Amtrak then decided to use that station as well instead of Del Mar.

      If you think they lowered the tracks in SB only so people didn't have to see them, think again. The new SB station was the key. Also, the Feds were more generous back then. There isn't any Federal money now, at least anywhere near the amount needed to trench.

      While SB is smaller than Encinitas, there are only 3 places to cross the tracks; Via De La Valle, Lomas Santa Fe, and the pedestrian bridge north of the station.

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    4. When we can build a single gas station in Afghanistan for $56 million with our taxpayer money... we should find it easy to trench and cover this track so double tracks can be put in a responsible way.

      Tired of hearing excuses that it costs too much. When trenching was done (a more difficult task than Encinitas) in Solana Beach, Trench and Cover planning has started for Carlsbad and a plan for a tunnel through Del Mar!

      Get trench and cover planned and done. NO EXCUSES and ACCEPT NOTHING LESS FOR DOUBLE TRACKING!

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    5. NBC news has a new article out today outlining some of the waste in Afghanistan titled "12 ways Your Tax Dollars were squandered in Afghanistan":

      1. $486 million for 'deathtrap' aircraft that were later sold for $32,000

      2. $335 million on a power plant that used just 1 percent of its capacity

      3. Almost $500,000 on buildings that 'melted' in the rain

      4. $34.4 million on a soybean program for a country that doesn't eat soybeans

      4. $34.4 million on a soybean program for a country that doesn't eat soybeans

      5. $1.57 Billion for The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that built some 2,000 buildings to be used as barracks, medical clinics and fire stations by the Afghan National Army. When two fires in October and December 2012 revealed that around 80 percent of these structures did not meet international building regulations for fire safety

      6. A $600,000 hospital where infants were washed in dirty river water

      7. $36 million on a military facility that several generals didn't want

      8. $39.6 million that created an awkward conversation for the U.S. ambassador

      9. $3 million for the purchase — and then mystery cancellation — of eight boats

      10. $7.8 billion fighting drugs — while Afghans grow more opium than ever

      11. $7.8 million on a nearly-empty business park

      12. $81.9 million on incinerators that either weren't used or harmed troops

      Let's just say this list is a small part of the Trillions of $$$ wasted in Afghanistan and Iraq of our taxpayer dollars...

      And people here think we cannot afford to responsibly double track this public railroad that serves not just the community but is one of the most important rail lines in the country!!!

      The United States has now spent more money reconstructing Afghanistan than it did rebuilding Europe at the end of World War II, according to a government watchdog.

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    6. So you think highlighting the waste in both Iraq and Afghanistan is going to translate into the feds giving us money for a trench (with or without a roof) through Cardiff. Give Darrell Issa a call and ask him to get the feds to pony up the millions it will take to construct it. Be sure to mention all that pentagon waste as justification. Let us know how it goes.

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    7. I remember when Christy Guerin when on the City Council stated that she would support Civil Disobedience and herself protest double tracking as proposed by Councilwomen Blakespear... she went on to work for Congressmen Bilbray did'nt she.

      Yes it is our representatives job, council, congress, senate et al to do their jobs and serve us well isn't it.

      Some like Blakespear have forgotten that.

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    8. Guerin was a bought and paid for phony with no education or experience to boot. These are the kind of people we have had who did not serve us well.

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    9. While no great fan of Guerin... at least she had the wits and courage to stand by the citizens and oppose the irresponsible double tracking of our citizen owned railway.

      Something lawyers like Blakespear do not understand ... they just want to make laws that limit public choices and side with powers above them like crony sycophants looking for a higher office and company than the average citizen.

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    10. 6:42 Pistol packing Guerin had no wit or courage. She would run off the dais in tears if someone spoke to her in a loud tone. Gimme a break. Can you say wimp?

      Double tracking would be a good thing by the way.

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    11. Guerin had more wits and courage than Blakespear exhibits in the office they served for the citizens here.

      Double tracking is good only if done in a responsible way. Which Guerin recognized and Blakespear does not.

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    12. 7:41 You must be Guerin's daughter. She's the only one who will defend her. hahaha

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    13. Nope... just a concerned citizen that understands logic and common sense.

      Common sense is that the double tracking and separating of encinitas is practically a crime.

      Logic is that Guerin was one of the only Council members to recognize that common sense. Something that Blakespear appears to have neither - common sense or logic.

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    14. 9:11 Your reasoning less logic is quite laughable.

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    15. I do understand that personal insults is your only defense.

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    16. If Blakespear had courage and common sense... she would admit her mistake proposing the double tracking and a pedestrian path at Montgomery...

      I think that we will be waiting a long time before Blakespear ever admits such a tragic mistake. In fact I would not be surprised that she pats herself on the back like her supporters for her charade of passing of the rail trail as a front for double tracking and fences splitting our community and making our access to the beaches and city nearly impossible.

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    17. 8:29 AM

      "she would admit her mistake proposing the double tracking" It's NCTD and SANDAG (LOSSAN) that want to double track all the way from San Diego to the Orange County border. Get your villains straight.

      However, I don't happen to agree with you on double tracking.

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    18. The rail trail that Blakespear is fighting for is all about double tracking and blocking our access to the beach and the heart of Encinitas.

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    19. 3:22 PM

      The rail trail is all about double tracking??

      Double tracking is all about increasing the number of trains each day and decreasing their travel time as they wouldn't have to wait on sidings anymore.

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    20. Yes the rail trail is all about double tracking. Because once the trail is in with the fence to keep people from crossing the tracks as part of the double tracking...

      The worst part is that our Councilmember Blakespear does not speak of this. As it is obvious that the rail trail is all about double tracking and preventing access to the beaches from the citizens that live and come here.

      P.S. - notice how we loose all our beach parking as well as access to the beach and city with the rail trail!

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    21. 7:10 AM

      "Yes the rail trail is all about double tracking." My, how you have to invent conspiracies. They decided to create a rail trail from downtown San Diego to Oceanside just to be able to install a fence through Cardiff to screw people illegally crossing the tracks walking to the beach.

      It's all about you.

      Forget that NCTD could install a fence tomorrow whether or not there is a rail trail and/or two tracks. It's their property.

      Maybe NCTD should permanently place a Sheriff Deputy along the right-of-way in Cardiff to give out tickets. After a few years they might collect enough money to pay for a trench.

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    22. Trying to dismiss the fact that this rail trail as proposed through Encinitas is all about double tracking is just plain ignorance.

      As well the threats of using a Sheriff Deputy shows the impudence of those that support the double tracking to keep the residents and visitors from going to the beach and town centers here.

      Sounds just like Blakespear... instead of supporting the community and helping make it safer and beautiful... bring in the Sheriff and arrest people for doing what generations have been doing: Crossing the railroad tracks and going to the beach or taking a jog/walk possibly with your dog or children in one of the last natural settings here not paved over for strip malls.

      I feel sorry for those that hate so much.

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    23. Let us not forget - NCTD and SANDAG are public agencies. This railroad is owned by the Citizens. Some like to think that NCTD does not have to listen to the citizens who own this railroad. In an attempt to ram down our throats a double tracking policy that harms us.

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    24. The Bundy's tried that argument. It's not working well for them........

      - The Sculpin

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  23. Tony and LIsa are dealing from positions of lifelong inferiority complexes; Catherine on the other hand has become a master at positioning herself to be 'adored', she recently held a birthday party for herself at which time 2 of her guests, Gaspar and Muir were unpleasantly surprised to discover that they and their spouses were NOT attending a 40th birthday party, but in truth, a Kick-Off Party for Catherine to run for a directly-elected Mayor and for Tony to run for reelection. Catherine knew that neither Muir nor Gaspar would have attended with their spouses if they'd known it was a Kick-Off Party, so Catherine mislead her two peers in a knowing effort to give her friends and the media the appearance that Muir and Gaspar also worshiped her; just as she is misleading the residents in Encinitas concerning her position on WHY the Coastal Rail Trail must be up on Vulcan. While Tony and Lisa are annoying, Catherine Blake nee Blakespear is dangerous, for she seeks only to be adored and adoration is expensive, $35 mil for Pacific View, $14 mil for the Coastal Rail Trail etc...

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  24. You would think that if Blakespear had any sense and wanted to show leadership then the double tracking/rail trail and the Housing Element (for developing a plan for low income housing) would be merged and show how transit and low income housing would work together...

    Then that makes too much sense. So Blakespear tries to sneak by a rail trail without the thinking of the big picture or how the infrastructure would work with more development and density in our neighborhoods.

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  25. Ah, but you must remember, 10:15: low-income housing cannot be built without (nonexistent) subsidies or land donations. This is not speculation, this is per HCD, Habitat for Humanity, and Shea Homes.

    Even the City has finally left off publicly making the claim that we're upzoning to provide affordable housing. That does not mean that the five are not continuing to whisper the lie in voters' ears....

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    1. The whole plan of the low income housing smells bunk. Not just because it does not align with the double tracking...

      But because we never counted the low income people that already live here!

      Furthermore - these low income developments do not require permanent low income residents. The developers will get extra variances to develop denser projects and they will still end up without low income residents. As they have so many times in the past already.

      Dump both plans. The Housing Element that we must vote on and the rail trail double tracking preventing our access to the beaches promoted by Blakespear!

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    2. Double dump!

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  26. I wish everything could stay the same and there were not as many people here. It can't.
    What the Mayor and Muir are encouraging is a very dangerous parking situation for cars, bikes and pedestrians along San Elijo.
    They are endorsing beach access by way of breaking federal law and crossing the tracks
    Illegally rather than providing legal crossings along the rail corridor.
    NCTD is going to put a fence up. Rail trail or no rail trail. It will not be the massive spooky fence that is depicted in the no rail trail video.
    There are No Plans to concrete over the entire area. They will not defoliate all the plants that exist now.
    Putting the bike and rail trail on the east side would dump everything onto downtown.
    Its all Kranz, Blakesphere and Schaffer how are conspiring to make our overcrowded city safer. The Mayor wants to encourage illegal beach access.

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