Letter to the editor: Ignoring community input results in poor decisions


North County Transit District started replacing traffic barricades that they installed just five months ago along San Elijo Avenue above the railroads tracks.

While the replacement concrete blocks are not exactly attractive, they are an improvement over the industrial barricades that Councilwoman Blakespear described as “universally disliked” and a “visual blight.”

The councilwoman is exactly correct. When the barricades appeared, many residents on San Elijo Avenue couldn’t understand NCTD’s knee-jerk reaction to a one-off incident, nor why such a poor solution was selected.

The barricades are not only an eyesore, but also comparatively expensive (online prices $120-$250); and, more significantly, required ongoing maintenance costs to check the barricades periodically, right them when knocked over and repair/replace when broken, etc. The result is that taxpayers are paying for the first bad solution and now the replacement.

There is an important lesson to be learned here. When public agencies don’t talk to the people who live in and know the issues of the project area, or worse, ignore the input of the residents, they inevitably end up wasting taxpayer money and creating more problems.

The Encinitas City Council is repeating the same disdain for its residents with the location of the Rail Trail Project on San Elijo Avenue. Residents know that the proposed alignment will make the street more dangerous, eliminate beach access and reduce parking. When a public meeting was held in April and again at a City Council meeting on May 20, Cardiff residents overwhelmingly told the Council that the San Elijo Avenue alignment was wrong. The Encinitas City Council in its self-conceit is ignoring the input of the residents to the detriment of everyone.

Ralph Thielicke, Cardiff