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Carlsbad Receives $1.25M 'Active' Transportation Grants

The city of Carlsbad has turned $600,000 in local taxpayer funds into $1.85 million by winning $1.25 million in regional Active Transportation grants from the San Diego Association of Governments.

The four grants will help Carlsbad improve connectivity and make city streets safer for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. 

The city is not required to match the grants with local funds, said Carlsbad Deputy Director of Transportation Bryan Jones, but matching grant funds made City of Carlsbad projects more competitive based on the scoring criteria. “These grants leverage approximately $600,000 of city money into $1.85 million, and it definitely addresses our city council’s priority of focusing on complete and livable streets,” Jones said. 

The SANDAG grants represent an endorsement of the City of Carlsbad’s livable streets concept, which stresses that streets are an important part of a community’s quality of life and should be designed for use by everyone — young and old, motorist and bicyclist, walker and wheelchair user, bus rider and shopkeeper.    

The grants, which were awarded by the SANDAG Board on Sept. 28 are:

  •  $800,000 to construct a roundabout at the Carlsbad Boulevard-State Street intersection and reconfigure the existing right-of-way to include one traffic lane in each direction, bicycle lanes on each side of the street, a sidewalk on the east side of the street, and the Coastal Rail Trail on the west side of the street. The roundabout will calm speeds entering the Village and make the intersection safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross. The grant will pay for $800,000 of the $1.3 million project cost, and the City of Carlsbad will pay the balance.   
  • $267,000 for the Active Village Campaign, a partnership of several groups that aims to boost awareness of bicycling and walking opportunities in the Carlsbad Village, and encourage people to use those forms of transportation. The partnership consists of the City of Carlsbad, Urban Place, the Carlsbad Village Association, WalkSanDiego, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and local schools. The multimedia campaign will inform businesses and residents of the advantages of bicycling and walking, and promote alternative transportation choices in the City of Carlsbad. The city will match this grant with $43,000 worth of staff time.
  • $150,000 to develop and implement a citywide Active and Livable Streets Strategy for Active Transportation. This effort will build on existing programs to increase awareness and exploit opportunities for walking and bicycling citywide in Carlsbad. The strategy will have a goal to increase the number of bicyclists and pedestrians by developing concepts for infrastructure projects that create a safer, more welcoming environment for all roadway users. The total project cost is $250,000, and the city will contribute $100,000.
  • $33,000 for 80 new custom bicycle racks and six bike corrals to improve access for bicyclists in northwestern Carlsbad bound by Interstate 5, Batiquitos Lagoon, Agua Hedionda Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. This program is an expansion of the “Bike the Village” Custom Bike Rack Pilot Program, which added 20 racks along Village streets in July 2012. The city will contribute $10,000 worth of staff time toward the acquisition and installation of the racks.

A roundabout at State Street and Carlsbad Boulevard is part of a project to improve the safety and accessibility of the intersection, where the two roads join at an acute angle. In its current configuration motorists entering Carlsbad Boulevard are prohibited from turning south onto the boulevard, and motorists going north on the boulevard can’t make a right onto State Street. Jones said a roundabout will improve the intersection by reducing the two northbound lanes on Carlsbad Boulevard to one, and will allow motorists to make all possible traffic movements at the intersection. It will also make it easier for southbound motorists to turn left onto State Street from Carlsbad Boulevard. 

The new connection will improve access to businesses in the Village, and to the Coaster Transit Station at Carlsbad Village Drive, Jones said. It also will bridge a gap in the Coastal Rail Trail at the north end of the city. “The livable streets concept embraces the idea that streets should be designed to connect people with the places they need to go, whether they’re driving a car, riding a bicycle, or simply walking,” Jones said.

“We’re designing our streets to improve traffic flow and make them safer for everyone, and have them contribute to a more vibrant community and economy. These grants will help us achieve that goal.” 

The Carlsbad City Council will formally accept the grants after the SANDAG Board approves them. 

–Press Release from City of Carlsbad

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