Avenida Encinas, between Cannon and Palomar Airport Roads, Carlsbad CA

City or County Responsible for Project: 

City of Carlsbad

Award Category: 

Complete Streets Projects

Narrative Description Of Your Entry: 

The City of Carlsbad has taken a more cost-effective and efficient approach to implementing complete streets by repurposing existing right-of-way during scheduled construction projects rather than acquiring and constructing new right-of-way. A prime example of this is a portion of Avenida Encinas between Cannon and Palomar Airport Roads that received a new road diet in May 2018 in coordination with underground installation of new sewer, water and recycled water pipelines. The city’s Mobility Element is consistent with and further enhances the state and federal requirements for complete streets by implementing a “livable streets” strategy. Livable streets recognize that each street within the city is unique given its geographic setting, adjacent land uses, and the desired use of that facility. While many transportation projects have historically been vehicle capacity enhancing and traffic control focused, this Mobility Element supports a new paradigm to evaluate each project and explore all potential solutions to enhance the mobility for all users of the street, including vehicles, pedestrians, bikes, and transit. It also supports the goals of the city’s Climate Action Plan by contributing to greenhouse gas emission reduction. Avenida Encinas is classified as a Neighborhood Connector Street in the Mobility Element, meaning its primary purpose is to connect people to different neighborhoods and land uses of the city. The portion of Avenida Encinas between Palomar Airport Road and Cannon Road carries between 6,000 and 9,500 vehicles per day. The area is adjacent to I-5 and the coast, and contains an active dining hub that is home to several popular restaurants. Free bikes and bike lockers are a key amenity at the “make” building, an office campus located on Avenida Encinas anchored by GoPro and named by INC Magazine as one of the ten “World’s Coolest Offices,” – yet tenants did not have a bike facility available to them. Avenida Encinas has a roadway width between 50 and 64 feet and was originally striped with two vehicle lanes in each direction with no bicycle lanes. The new road diet reduced the number of vehicular travel lanes from two to one in each direction to accommodate the buffered bicycle lanes. The new lanes provide much needed bicycle connectivity between the restaurants and businesses along Avenida Encinas and nearby beaches, as well as to the Carlsbad Poinsettia Transit Station, with no impact to the level of service experienced by vehicular traffic. The city incurred no additional cost to implement the striping modifications since resurfacing and striping of Avenida Encinas was already included in the project budget.

Submitted by: 

Craddock Stropes


Senior Management Analyst


City of Carlsbad


1635 Faraday Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008






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