Plan to widen I-5 draws criticism as residents voice fears of more traffic, pollution, loss of views

Encinitas City Council seeking public input

ENCINITAS, Calif. - Many people living near Interstate 5 in Encinitas are voicing concern about a proposal to expand the freeway to ease traffic backups.

Christine DeSantis told 10News she is opposed to a plan to add four carpool lanes. 

“We get enough traffic here as it is and with the dirt, pollution and everything that comes into our yard,” she said. “I just think it would probably cause more traffic and more frustration.”

It is a $6.5 billion project to be implemented over 30 years, stretching from La Jolla to Oceanside.

Mike Strong is an associate planner for the city of Encinitas. 

“Travel time to San Diego is 30 to 35 minutes and without these improvements, it's going to be 75 minutes, so there is a need for widening but again, it really is important to make sure it's done in an aesthetically pleasing manner and addresses community character concerns and private property owner concerns,” he said.

Those concerns range from noise and soot on patio furniture to the views that would be cut off by adding sound walls and there is more.

John Gillies lives in Del Mar. 

“I think it's really shortsighted,” he said. “We've got to look farther ahead than the car. We need rapid transit. We need trains running up and down the corridor that are convenient. I don't want to see the lagoons encroached upon further by another widening of I-5.”

Strong said there are plans to increase rail traffic as well by installing double tracking.

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