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Caltrans Holds First Public Meeting On I-5 Expansion

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Caltrans held its first open house in Encinitas last night to gather public input on the proposed expansion of Interstate 5 in North County. More than 100 people turned out to submit comments and ask questions.

Caltrans held its first open house in Encinitas last night to gather public input on the proposed expansion of Interstate 5 in North County. More than 100 people turned out to submit comments and ask questions.

A large meeting room at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center was filled with North County residents when Caltrans’ first public meeting on the proposed expansion of I-5 began at 5 p.m.

Near the door was a seating area to watch a video about the project, which could add up to 6 lanes to the freeway between La Jolla to Oceanside. In the far corner people could dictate comments to a court reporter or write them down.

Around the edge of the room Caltrans representatives stood at tables to answer questions about things like environmental impact, right of way concerns and the new lanes design.

Encinitas resident Ken Scott waited to have his questions answered at one of the most crowded tables.

“My concern is noise," Scott said. "And, what I see in the plan is your typical Southern California freeway with decorator trees and landscaping. Build something that’s not going to spill additional freeway noise onto adjacent properties and hurt the property values.”

Another question many people were asking was whether enough consideration had been given to developing more public transportation.

Dolores Welty lives in Leucadia and said she thinks adding more lanes to the freeway is shortsighted.

“We don’t need more freeway, we need more public transportation," she said. "There’s no way, for example, to get to Kearny Mesa to go to work from here without your own car. There should be some kind of transportation to do that.

Caltrans Corridor Director Allan Kosup says comments collected at this open house and four more to be held over the next six weeks will help decide which of five design alternatives is chosen.

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