June 2011 home page

  Traveling to 2050
Dave Druker | 10th Street


Every five years SANDAG – the San Diego Association of Governments – must create a regional plan for how it will spend funds provided by the State of California and the federal government on transportation: highways, freeways, arterial roads, buses, trains, trolleys and bikeways. The plan is quite complex because it must include means for reducing the carbon footprint in San Diego (as mandated by state Assembly Bill 32), be economically fair; must provide equal access to all modes of travel not based upon economic status must coordinate with services provided to disabled persons; and finally must coordinate with regional population growth plans.

SANDAG is the governing board for transportation, border issues, coordination of police agencies and regional land use. The board is made up of one representative from each city and two each for San Diego and the County. There are a number of advisory board members including the County Water Authority, two transportation agencies (NCTD and MTS), and Native American Tribal councils.

The 100+ page document is a good road map for providing more transportation alternatives for residents. Included are more east-west trolley lines in the more densely populated areas of San Diego and a trolley along I-805 from Chula Vista to Sorrento Mesa. It does rely upon the introduction of high-speed rail along the I-15 corridor. Widening of freeways is one of the prime assumptions of the plan along with designated carpool lanes that will include express buses. The plan calls for the double-tracking of the coastal rail corridor with grade separating as many intersections as possible. Funding is identified for the creation of quiet zones.

The major problem with the plan is that it is ultimately a wish list. The plan has goals for reducing carbon footprint but concentrates more on reducing commute times. There is not a coordinated plan for implementation except for funding.

Logically the plan should provide mass transportation alternatives to major employment centers. About 20% of trips to the downtown area for employment purposes are made via public transit. The Sorrento Valley/UTC area is the major employment hub of San Diego County. The provision of public transit to this area should have the highest priority but it is not mentioned in the 2050 Plan.

For Del Mar there really is not much that directly affects our transportation needs. Fortunately, Camino del Mar is not categorized as a major arterial and therefore is not under the purview of SANDAG. Unfortunately, a Del Mar Tunnel is designated as the means for removing railroad tracks from the bluff. For years removing the tracks from the bluff were mentioned with no definite plan. Now SANDAG must decide between alternatives that would include a tunnel under Camino Del Mar, tracks through the lagoon or tracks along I-5. Our City Council has always advocated the I-5 alternative.



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