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Getting around Carlsbad safely and conveniently  

Traffic and mobility are always top of mind for the City of Carlsbad, and the city is committed to helping everyone get around the city in a safe and convenient way, whether by foot, car, bike or public transit.

Road construction questions answered

Post Date:10/13/2023

Driving around Carlsbad, you’ve likely come across crews repaving and restriping several of our major east-west roadways.

This work is one way we are making changes to local streets to reduce speeding, which is by far the number one cause of injury collisions in Carlsbad. Here are a few questions we’ve received about this road work:

Why is so much construction happening at the same time?

  • We are expediting this work to get it completed as quickly as possible.
  • The sooner streets are restriped, the sooner we can expect to see the safety benefits of slower speeds and added room for cyclists.

Why do crews leave and come back to the same areas multiple times?

Repaving and restriping require several steps:

  • First the street needs to be prepped by grinding down certain areas and sealing cracks.
  • Then, it’s ready to be resurfaced. We try to resurface one lane or one side at a time so traffic can still get through. When one side is done, we switch to the other side.
  • The new surface needs a little time before it’s ready for new striping.

Why are you making lanes narrower when that makes it feel less safe to drive?

  • Giving drivers a little less room causes them to slow down and pay more attention, which improves safety.
  • All of the new lane widths are within state and federal safety standards.

Can’t you just lower the speed limit to slow down traffic?

  • Believe it or not, no. The law says we can only set speed limits within a certain percentage of the speed people actually drive on the road.
  • That’s why we need to first make changes to the street. This causes drivers to slow down. We then do a speed survey to document that driver behavior has changed, and the average speed has gone down.
  • Only then can we establish a lower speed limit that is enforceable.

Why is so much room being given to bikes when most people drive?

  • We are working with streets that have already been built. When they were first designed, wider lanes were the norm.
  • When we narrow travel lanes for cars, we make use of the extra space to create bike lanes and safety buffers between bike lanes and car lanes.
  • When people feel safer, they are more likely to bike, and biking helps people stay healthy and reduces car trips, which are Carlsbad’s number one source of greenhouse gas emissions.

How can I find out where construction is taking place?

  • The map below shows the areas affected.
  • Look for digital message boards and other signs indicating which portions of these streets are affected on which days.
  • Please leave a little extra time to get where you need to go until this work is completed.
  • Be on the lookout for crews and drive slowly in construction areas.

We appreciate your patience as we get this important work completed as quickly as possible.

Slow down east west repaving


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