Cardiff bike path plan pits neighbor against neighbor

Coastal Commission to make final decision today

A proposed bike path along the train tracks through Encinitas has pit neighbors against neighbors as the community tries to decide which side of the tracks it should go.

As it stands right now, the Encinitas mayor and city council say they want the pathway on the west side, running along Old Highway 101. That's a change from their first choice in 2015 when they told SANDAG to build it on the east side along San Elijo Road.

"Projects evolve over time," said Encinitas City Councilmember Tasha Boerner Horvath, explaining why the council changed its mind. "Once we started to study the plans, we realized it would be better on the west."

The path is part of a major plan by SANDAG to build a bike commuter track from Oceanside to the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego. They're doing that as a traffic mitigation effort for the project to expand Interstate 5 through the county.

SANDAG wants to add carpool lanes to Interstate 5 but to do that more bike lanes will have to be added somewhere else.

Now, Cardiff is caught in the middle of it.

The California Coastal Commission has to approve the plans, and their staff said they should build the bike path on the east side, like the original plan.

Some people who live in the area agree. They've started a website, friendsofthecardiffrailtrail.com, to show their support for the east side option. They said it would serve the community better and help locals.

The Coastal Commission will vote on the plan Thursday at their meeting at 8:30 a.m.

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