9/29/19: Bike Lanes Approved and 5G Modifications Coming

This week’s newsletter covers lots of issues! Every week I work to make these newsletters concise for people outside the city government process – but sometimes a lot happens that I want to share with you. So apologies in advance for hitting so many topics.   

First off… the bike lanes that we’ve covered in the last two newsletters.

I’m thrilled to report that after more than 40 people spoke about our proposed protected bike path upgrade on Highway 101, the City Council unanimously approved it.

My colleagues on the City Council each spoke eloquently about their experiences on that stretch of road, offering ideas and perspectives on the change. The number of speakers who expressed their genuine fear of riding on Highway 101 without protection from speeding cars underscored the need for this infrastructure change.

I’m repeatedly reminded of this lesson – share your own truth. When enough people do that on any single subject, it’s a force to be reckoned with. This will be another fantastic community enhancing project!

For more details, here’s a news link: San Diego Union-Tribune, “South Coast Highway in Encinitas to gain ‘buffered’ bike lane

Encinitas will propose 5G changes based on community input

The city-organized community meeting about 5G with more than 200 attendees (photo by Paul Brencick).

The City of Encinitas held a very well-attended community meeting to solicit public feedback on small wireless technology that includes 5G. At our October 30th City Council meeting, the city will be proposing modifications to our ordinance based on that community feedback.

We want the ordinance to be as protective as legally allowed. The FCC is very prescriptive in limiting how cities are allowed to regulate 5G. For example, an FCC order states that local governments can’t regulate 5G based on health concerns.

The City Council also unanimously approved joining a coalition with other local cities to oppose the FCC’s petition that restricts municipalities from limiting the installation of 5G.

Some residents have sent photos to the City Council stating that 5G is already going in within neighborhoods, but our city staff has investigated and determined that the installations are for older 4G technology.

Related documents can be found here: the wireless industry’s bid to restrict local government control of 5G installations, and this one opposing further FCC restrictions

Here’s the Encinitas Advocate story, “5G opponents cite health concerns in urging city to limit wireless antennas,” and the Coast News article, “Encinitas residents vocal in opposition to 5G cell towers, council agrees.”

Modified transportation plan passes, new Coaster trains approved 

A divided SANDAG board passed the budget needed for a new 5-year transportation plan. In past newsletters, I’ve written about the uncertainty of funding for new Coaster trains in North County, which thankfully was included in the budget that passed.

I was on the losing side of the ultimate vote because I supported the plan our professional staff had put together, which was based on meeting the state mandates requiring a reduction in vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as envisioning a new transportation future for the county.

The plan that passed was substantially similar to the staff recommendation, but with several additions for road improvement projects. It has not been evaluated for compliance with state laws, which is critical. I’ll be curious to see the results of that analysis.

SANDAG is doing a lot of exciting work on many fronts.   

New trail and new hiking app!

The family and I got to break in Encinitas’ cool new Lake Drive trail this weekend. It was built by the Nature Collective (formerly the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy), and it is another jewel in our expanding network of hiking opportunities.

Here’s a nice article from the Encinitas Advocate, “Nature Collective’s newest trail on Lake Drive features art, ocean views.”

And there’s a great new way to navigate trails in Encinitas and elsewhere – it’s a free app called Easy2Hike, available for Android and iPhone. 

Using it, you can view trailheads, park maps and points of interest in Encinitas, Southern California and beyond. 

Easy2Hike shares recommended routes, and helps hikers, equestrian riders and mountain bikers stay on safe, designated paths. And here’s a great feature – maps are also downloadable for offline access in areas with spotty cellular coverage.

Water line upgrades under El Camino Real coming

And here’s an important infrastructure improvement, as detailed in this Encinitas Advocate story, “Major overhaul of waterlines beneath El Camino Real planned in Encinitas.” Proactively replacing these nearly 60-year-old pipes before a sudden break makes a lot of sense.

Encinitas adopts safe gun storage law

Joining San Diego and Solana Beach, Encinitas has passed a Safe Storage for Guns ordinance. I’m grateful that Mara Elliott, the elected City Attorney of San Diego and a champion for gun violence reduction, personally made a presentation to our City Council.

Here’s our staff report on the ordinance.

Remembering the dynamic Morgan Mallory

This week many of us were heartbroken by the sudden passing of Morgan Mallory, who suffered an unexpected heart attack. For 41 years, he owned and operated The Corner Frame Shop and Leucadia Art Gallery.

Morgan was a founding member and board member of the Cardiff and Leucadia Main Street Associations, along with founding the Leucadia 101 Farmers Market and LeucadiArt Walk.

A talented photographer who loved the natural world, the train and the coast, Morgan was a fixture at City Hall and community-organized events. He will be noticeably absent and profoundly missed.

It’s only fitting that we close this week’s newsletter with one of Morgan Mallory’s beautiful and admired photographs, seen below.

In service,