Encinitas, CA – Early Thursday morning, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Caltrans, local officials and over 100 community members gathered in Cardiff-by-the-Sea to celebrate the completion of the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project, Chesterfield Drive Improvements Project, and the grand opening of the Encinitas segment of the Coastal Rail Trail (CRT), a bicycle and pedestrian pathway spanning 1.3 miles from Santa Fe Drive to Chesterfield Drive. The City of Encinitas and local stakeholders were on-site to take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony and learn more about mobility and quality of life projects in the region.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, City of Encinitas staff hosted a community bike and walk along the new trail.
“It is exciting to see this long-awaited project come to fruition because it is an important step toward making regional transportation more accessible,” remarked Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear after the event. “For Encinitas in particular, we were the recipient of $100 million in mobility investments thanks to our public agency partners here today. Our residents have expressed continued interest in alternative, yet convenient, ways to travel throughout our city without a car. The Coastal Rail Trail is one project that provides just that solution.”
The Coastal Rail Trail is one of many projects spearheaded by SANDAG and Caltrans that is underway in Encinitas to improve transportation, mobility and connectivity. The completion of the new rail line double track over the San Elijo Lagoon and the completion of the quiet zone at the Chesterfield Drive rail crossing were also celebrated during the ribbon-cutting event. These enhancements benefit Encinitas residents in more ways than one.
“The rail trail, quiet zone and double tracks combine to benefit residents enjoying this area, which really represents the heart of Cardiff,” said Encinitas District 1 Council Member Tony Kranz and Board Chair of the North County Transit District (NCTD). “The rail crossing is safer and quieter, and we have a new way to appreciate our city alongside the rail line. Plus, the completion of double tracking in Cardiff brings the region a step closer to the COASTER eventually running at 30-minute intervals, which would be much more effective in serving the public.”
Other speakers at the event included James Jordan (Federal Railroad Administration Regional Administrator), Christine Kehoe (California Transportation Commissioner), Allan Kosup (Caltrans District 11 North Coast Corridor Director), and Susan Hayes (Vice Chair of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association).