The Coast News reported on a study by Christopher Kulick on the vehicle speed feedback signs installed in his neighborhood to slow down traffic on Quail Gardens Drive:
A summary of the article is that the signs aren’t working very well to slow traffic. Christopher did suggest other measures that would do better.
Christopher is a resident of Quail Run.
In Southern California getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage. Owning a car usually happens before the time to leave the nest. Everyone has a car, some people have more vehicles. Compare this with New York City where many don’t even bother to get a driver’s license.
Existing neighborhoods in Encinitas frequently have most of the parking spots occupied. Businesses need parking for employees and customers. Our commercial areas are surrounded by nearby residential, so high density with less than an adequate car to onsite parking ratio will create trouble in the commercial districts. If a resident doesn’t have “his” parking spot he will take one in front of some downstairs store. If the customer can’t park he won’t shop or dine there. Visitors and customers and tourists don’t come if they can’t park. An excess of parking is vital.
Not enough residential parking spaces are being required by the Draft Proposed Housing Element. Here are some examples.
- A tradesman will often have a car and a truck, and his wife may have another car, yet they reside in a 1 bedroom unit. The proposed standard calls for 1.25 parking spaces, it should accommodate all 3 vehicles on-site.
- A sportsman may have a boat on a trailer, a truck to pull it, and yet another vehicle to get around, and yet reside in a Studio unit. The proposed standard calls for only 1 parking place, it should provide 3.
- A recreation enthusiast may need safe parking for his bicycle, but he may also want to store his kayak or surfboard.
- In California, without basements or attics, many enclosed garages are used as storage areas for tools or household goods. This usage is counted as a parking space but does not provide car parking.
- And our city needs to identify parking places within the city for Motorhomes, Dune Buggies, Boat Trailers, Sail Planes (Yes I have a friend in Mid-Cardiff with one), and other Recreational Vehicles.
Providing just one parking space per adult resident may not even be enough. It is ideal that there should be at least one assigned space per unit, with nearby shared space available for other vehicles. Onsite EV charging must be possible as well.
Charging for parking separate from the housing units will allow tenants to choose to opt-out of paying for a parking space and rely on street parking. This will create a burden on nearby neighborhoods. We must demand “free parking”.
Asphalt is cheap. You can valet park about 180 cars on an acre of flat land, maybe only 100 if you have nice wide aisles. At the highest density you may have to go to subterranean parking, parking tucked under the units, or a parking structure.
Parking spots are a true cost of a development but not having enough parking is a bigger cost. Encinitas does not need the parking nightmares.
Does the Draft Proposed Encinitas Housing Element provide for enough parking?
Ten years from now, in the year 2026, the way we get around will certainly change. Pint sized cars powered by gas or electricity may become more popular. These vehicles will fit in smaller parking spaces but may need a charging place and secure storage at home for items such as surfboards and kayaks.
Small cars are useful for getting around town but may not have the comfort needed for longer trips or the space for more than a couple. That is to say a family may also have a larger vehicle used for highway travel and to get to the ski slopes.
Does the Draft Proposed Encinitas Housing Element support this trend?
Encinitas has always been a “free parking” zone. We have never had parking meters and there is no charge for parking almost anywhere. Visitors can park for free to use Moonlight Beach or to shop downtown. Long-term residents are accustomed to on-street parking. Our Municipal Code provides for onsite parking for all new residences and requires businesses to provide sufficient parking for customers. Street parking in most areas is used for visitors and deliveries.
Does the Draft Proposed Encinitas Housing Element support free parking?
CALTRANS and SANDAG will hold a public hearing on Tuesday January 26 at from 6 – 8 PM at the Encinitas Community Center. This meeting will cover changes in the plans for I5 and the Coast Highway area and the proposed coastal rail trail.
Quail Gardens Drive is a two-lane local collector road, not a main arterial street. It serves the San Diego Botanic Garden, the Leichtag Foundation, the Encinitas Heritage Museum, and the school site which supports the Encinitas Community Garden. QGD also accesses the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course. It collects traffic from the homes in the Encinitas Ranch and residents on short streets that feed into it. Rush hour commuter traffic uses QGD as a shortcut between places to the inland and the I5 freeway. Traffic speed is a problem and traffic backups happen every morning and whenever there are events at the Botanic Garden or Museum. There is no parking on QGD and there are marked bike lanes and a sidewalk or walking trail along the East side of the street.