Cardiff barricades to be removed


Orange and white barricades that are unpopular with the Cardiff community will come down next week.

North County Transit District put up the barricades, which line the west side of San Elijo Avenue, from Santa Fe Drive to near Verdi Avenue, last March out of fear that cars could tumble over the bluff and onto the train tracks.

Residents, however, said the barricades are unsightly and block ocean views.

NCTD on Oct. 12 will start replacing the barricades with low-lying rail ties. The work is expected to be finished by Oct. 16.

Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear welcomed the news, saying the ties are a neutral color and an improvement over the neon, industrial barricades.

“The orange barriers are universally disliked,” Blakespear said in an email. “They’re visual blight.”

Dahvia Lynch, NCTD chief planning officer, said the rail ties are similar to wheel stops in parking stalls.

“If the car rolls too far forward, that should make it stop,” Lynch said.

Lynch said the rail ties will be in place for the foreseeable future. Long term, North County Transit District is planning a barrier in the area, potentially a fence similar to the one fronting the Santa Fe Drive rail undercrossing.

“We have broader concerns, not only about vehicles going over the railway, but we feel we have an obligation to protect pedestrians and others who are in the rail right of way,” Lynch said. She added any barrier would “have to fit the community context.”

Given plans for a barrier, the transit district and city are looking to get approval for at-grade rail crossings — as opposed to crossings over or under the tracks — in Cardiff.

Lynch said the barricades were never intended as a long-term solution.