Encinitas Commission approves Z-style crusade at El Camino Real

A proposal to put a Z-style junction on El Camino Real linking Kohl’s mall with the CVS pharmacy area is now being addressed to the Encinitas City Council for approval.

The city of Mobility & amp; The Traffic Safety Commission gave it an enthusiastic thumb on Monday.

“I’m really excited about this project … I think this looks amazing,” Commission Vice President June Honsberger said during an online meeting, adding that there are benefits to both pedestrians and vehicles because of its proposed location.

In a Z-shaped junction, the upper part of the Z-line crosses one section of a busy road – northbound traffic lanes on El Camino Real, for example – then there is a “rest area” in the central median, or what could be considered. the “middle” part of the Z. Then, pedestrians cross the other lanes at a slightly different point – lower part of the Z line – using a second junction. The design allows slower pedestrians to take a break in the middle of the road, rather than trying to speed across a six-lane road when a flashing road sign counts down the remaining seconds.

The one proposed for El Camino Real would link the Encinitas Marketplace shopping center, which is home to Kohl’s and Chick-fil-A, with the Encinitas Village Shopping Center, which houses a CVS pharmacy, Ralph’s grocery store, Trader Joe’s and several banks. It is an area where people often walk because the nearest signaled intersection is about 350 feet away, city traffic commissioners said.

City Traffic Engineer Abe Bandegan said the new signals would also include vehicle lanes left-turning arrows, making it easier for cars to enter the two malls, something Honsberger told him she would definitely like to use.

“I find making a left turn to one of those parking lots very difficult and dangerous,” she said.

Bandegan said he will soon present the Z junction to the City Council for approval and it is likely to appear on the council’s consensus calendar of items that are considered routine in nature. It should be an easy sale – 90 percent of the cost of the project will be covered by a state Department of Transportation grant, he said.

Construction is expected to last nine to 12 months and will include new traffic signposts, road midway improvements, and additional signs and strips.

While none of the public spoke about the matter on Monday, Bandegan said he has heard from some people who are worried about whether it will slow down vehicular traffic and increase congestion on El Camino Real. He said the timing of the Z junction signals will be coordinated with the existing nearby traffic signals at Via Molena to help reduce the impact.

Several traffic commissioners said they would like many more changes to El Camino Real to make it more friendly for pedestrians and bicycles, and Bandegan said they should proceed with caution because it is used by so many vehicles. About 30,000 travel the route a day, he said.