Options emerge for multi-city hike/bike trail
by DAVE SCHWAB
Feb 24, 2014 | 1065 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Four alternative routes for the proposed Coastal Rail Trail (CRT) bike-and-hike pathway project were unveiled Feb. 5 at a public workshop at Nobel Recreation Center.

The Coastal Rail Trail (CRT) is a regional project that will establish a multi-use trail, including bike paths, to better connect the coastal cities of Oceanside, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach and San Diego.

The city project consists of 10 miles of multi-use trails extending from Carmel Valley Road at the northern point to Gilman Drive on the southern end. This segment of the trail will provide important connections between regional employment centers in Sorrento Valley, UCSD and University City, residential communities to the north and south, and Coaster train stations and future trolley stations in the project area.

For months, the city has worked with the Coastal Rail Trail Project Working Group and the public to seek input on evaluation criteria and route segments for the Coastal Rail Trail project. This input, combined with a top-level technical analysis, resulted in the development of a number of potential alternatives for consideration.

Abi Palaseyed, a senior civil engineer for the city, the lead organization on the San Diego portion of the CRT, said the field of route alternatives is now whittled down to four — alternative numbers 2, 5, 7 and 4. These will ultimately move forward into the CEQA/NEPA environmental review process.

“We (city) don’t make the selection,” said Palasayed. “What we’re supposed to do is identify the ones (routes) that score higher than the others and recommend those be taken through the environmental process.”

Palasayed said the environmental review will determine “the preferred alternative with the least amount of impacts.”

The next step in the CRT process is to seek City Council authorization this summer to proceed with environmental review of the four final alternative routes selected. That review is likely to take a year or longer, said Palasayed.

In early 2016, the CRT project is expected to receive certification of its environmental impact report/-environmental impact statement with approval of a final route alternative. Construction is then expected to commence sometime in 2017 after funding sources have been secured.

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