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Quality of Life

Oceanside To Give Bikes More Space On Coast Highway

Coast Highway 101 in Oceanside, where four lanes of traffic may be reduced to two to provide more space for demarcated bike lanes. Jan. 19, 2016.
Promise Yee
Coast Highway 101 in Oceanside, where four lanes of traffic may be reduced to two to provide more space for demarcated bike lanes. Jan. 19, 2016.

Like other cities in San Diego's North County, Oceanside is considering changes to Coast Highway 101 to address increased traffic and bike safety. The City Council is considering a pilot project to narrow a section of Coast Highway from four lanes to two and add eight-foot bike lanes.

David DiPierro, a city traffic engineer, said the urgency to add traffic-calming measures is due to a citizens' safety campaign after a 12-year-old boy was killed riding his bike to school.

"They're looking for safer and easier access from south Oceanside to north Oceanside using Coast Highway," DiPierro said. "I think this is what really initiated it. This is also invaluable information that we hope to gather from doing this study."

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The changes would add an eight-foot buffer between bikes and vehicles, and an illuminated pedestrian crossing. The road improvements from Morse Street to Oceanside Boulevard are aimed at benefitting all modes of transportation.

The Carlsbad sign on Tuesday morning, Dec. 30, 2014.
Alison St John
The Carlsbad sign on Tuesday morning, Dec. 30, 2014.

DiPierro said during the pilot study a traffic measurement system would collect information on vehicle speeds and destination travel times.

"There's nothing like actually seeing it run in hand," DiPierro said. "If it's not working the way that we hoped it would, then we can obviously go back to a four-lane road. It will provide us a chance to collect data that we really need to have in order to continue looking at possible re-striping all of Coast Highway."

The city is also completing its modeling of the Coast Highway Vision Plan, and should have findings to share in the spring.

Roundabouts are not part of the study, but are included in city plans for Coast Highway.

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"They're a big aspect of our Coast Highway corridor study at some signalized intersections in order to make a two-lane street work," DiPierro said. "It just provides less delay, and the free flow of traffic through roundabouts."

The cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad have already made changes along Coast Highway.

Solana Beach and Encinitas have marked "sharrow" lanes — a raised berm to protect cyclists — and reduced some sections of the four-lane highway to two lanes.

Solana Beach and Carlsbad have added illuminated pedestrian crossings.

Carlsbad has also added a pedestrian scramble, in which walkers can cross the street diagonally, and a vehicle roundabout on Highway 101 north of the city.

Corrected: June 15, 2024 at 10:26 PM PDT
Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at promise.yee1@gmail.com. Twitter: @promisenews.
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