Plan to fence off train tracks in Del Mar postponed amid pushback

Posted at 11:40 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 02:41:15-05

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) - Met with fierce opposition, a plan to install fencing along several miles of train tracks in Del Mar has been put on hold.

The plan was put forth by the North County Transit District which operates the Breeze, Coaster and Sprinter train routes.

NCTD said it had obtained grants to fund the project, with the goal of stopping people from crossing the tracks illegally. NCTD said the fence would also help prevent erosion.

But at the Del Mar city council meeting Monday night, city staff announced the plan had been put on hold.

“I had some specific conversations with the executive director. City staff also had some conversations,” said Dave Druker, a Del Mar city councilmember who’s also on the NCTD board.

The plan had received criticism from Del Mar residents, who in letters to the council complained about the potential damage to the view as well as restricted access to the beach.

City staff announced that NCTD’s executive director said the transit agency will be hiring a consultant to perform a safety study. A fence will be still considered but so will other alternatives like extra signs, public education and additional crossing points. 

That last point was already on the agenda. The city council voted to move forward on a $350,000 feasibility study that would look at four new crossing points and beach access trails.

The crossings would still be a short-term solution. SANDAG has approved a plan to move the tracks off the bluff, which in addition to safety concerns also faces worsening erosion. It’s part of their 2050 plan and is estimated to cost 2 to 3 billion dollars. But so far, the money has not been secured.