Oceanside approves route of piece of coastal rail trail
Oceanside has approved the route of its final segment of the Coastal Rail Trail, a 44-mile biking and walking trail that will eventually connect the city to San Diego.
Last week, Oceanside City Council unanimously approved the construction plan for the 14-foot-wide road, fenced on both sides, along the railway line between existing pieces of the trail on Oceanside Boulevard and Morse Street.
âI’m happy to have reached this stage,â Mayor Esther Sanchez said at the council meeting, although completion remains in a few years.
âPeople have been asking this for a long time,â Sanchez said.
The center 10 feet of the path will be paved, with an unpaved shoulder 2 feet wide on each side. The section will include a 255-foot-long bridge crossing Loma Alta Creek with an observation deck overlooking Buccaneer Park and the nearby beach.
The width of the bridge will match the width of the trail, project manager Mahsima Mohammadi said in a presentation to city council. The elevation of the bridge will reduce potential conflict between cyclists and pedestrians on the trail and people using the park and the walking trail along the creek.
Oceanside received a $ 400,000 TransNet Fund grant in 2019 from the San Diego Association of Governments to prepare environmental documents and complete preliminary engineering for the trail. The city requested additional grants to complete the design and prepare for construction.
So far, no money has been allocated for construction and no estimate has been released. Part of the 2,000-foot trail between Oceanside Boulevard and Wisconsin Avenue was completed in 2014 at a cost of $ 2.45 million. Most of the construction money came from state and federal grants, including $ 1.52 million from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Improvement Program.
In total, Oceanside will have two miles of the Coastal Rail Trail, which connects to the 21-mile Inland Rail Trail that follows the Sprinter Route from Oceanside to Escondido.
The easternmost seven miles of the Inland Trail were completed in 2009 at Escondido and San Marcos, and a three mile segment at Vista and the eastern end of Oceanside was added in January 2021. Segments Additional Vista and Oceanside are planned.
The Indoor Trail and Coastal Path are elements of the San Diego Regional Cycling Plan, which SANDAG considers a priority to encourage more people to use cycling as a form of transportation and recreation.
Ultimately, the Coastal Rail Trail is intended to connect with the San Diego River Trail from San Diego to Santee and with the Bayshore Bikeway, a 24 mile ride around San Diego Bay passing through Chula Vista and Imperial Beach to in Coronado.
The Coastal Rail Trail was originally planned in the mid-1990s. Solana Beach was the first to complete its portion of the trail, where it passes through landscaped areas with public artwork along the busy lane. highway 101.
Carlsbad and Encinitas have completed portions of the trail that are completely separated from automobile traffic, but still have sections that route cyclists through city streets shared with other vehicles, especially in crowded business districts.
Caltrans gave Carlsbad a $ 1.77 million grant earlier this year to build part of the 2.5-mile trail at the city’s southern end along Avenida Encinas and Carlsbad Boulevard, with bike paths, sidewalks, signs and safety devices.