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Access to the Bluff
Drew Cady, Stratford Court

The question is whether enforcing no trespassing on the bluff will reduce the deaths by train. Since NCTD started commuter service in 1996, there has been about one death per month along the 30 mile corridor. Most of these deaths are suicide. Up until recently there have been only a few deaths along the Del Mar segment. In total there are no more deaths in Del Mar than any other segment, even though the bluff in Del Mar is well used. Enforcement is not going to stop people from committing suicide as the corridor is too long and train travel is regular but sporadic in comparison to freeway traffic.

The bluff is an integral part to the natural beauty and recreational areas of Del Mar that also include the two lagoons, Crest Canyon and the beach. The numbers of people that use the bluff on a daily basis is close to 300 people. The erosion of the bluff is due to the amount of irrigation that streams from the hill not people walking on top of the bluff. The bluffs can easily absorb about 10 inches of rain on an annual basis, because of irrigation the bluffs receive almost 100 inches of water per year.

In the spirit of not just saying “No,” enforcement should be based upon people abusing the privilege – crossing the tracks as a train approaches, walking on the tracks or walking too close as a train passes by. The corridor is mostly free of trains on the bluff as it usually only takes a train about 10 minutes to traverse all of Del Mar and the trains are infrequent. Ultimately, we need to get the train off the bluff so we can reclaim this area as a wonderful park and provide access to the beach via staircases and ramps.

The Del Mar City Council needs to work with NCTD to ensure that we have continued unfettered access to the bluff and beaches.


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