Carlsbad Wants Its Own Master Plan For Railroad Double Tracking
Its mineral water has been here forever.
People have been flocking to Carlsbad for its medicinal spring water since the 1920s and ’30s. Some say the old steam engine trains even ran on the unique liquid, promoted back then to attract more tourists to this coastal community with its tree-lined streets.
"Carlsbad has done a lot of growing up,” Carlsbad Mayor Pro Tem Mark Packard said.
Packard says it’s still a work in progress though. The city wants the county planning agency to add a trenching project to its future plan of adding more trains to accommodate more transit riders.
“The double tracking and the train traffic that goes with that would have a significant negative impact on the health of our village and our barrio area here in downtown Carlsbad,” Packard said.
The county plan would impact three existing railroad crossings in Carlsbad, affecting most of the businesses on the east side and many neighbors along the coast on the west.
Assistant City Manager Gary Barberio says it’s an issue of public safety.
“All of our public safety services are on the east side of the railroad tracks. Police, fire, ambulance services. Every time the gate is closed it’s really difficult for them to do their job and access the coast where most of the incidents occur,” Barberio said.
That's why Carlsbad is suggesting a master plan of its own to place the railroad tracks below street level — just like it’s done in nearby Solana Beach, where businesses, neighbors and visitors can all take advantage of public transit and access to the beach.
Both planning proposals are still in the early stages. At a recent public meeting, most Carlsbad neighbors supported lowering the tracks, no matter what the cost.