Hot Topics

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Want to know more about what people are talking about in Carlsbad? Check out these "hot topics" to find out the latest. Don't see what you're looking for? Email us at

Reducing lane widths on our roads

Speeding is the number one cause of injury collisions in Carlsbad. And speeding is worse on the wide, straight streets built in Carlsbad many decades ago.

That’s why as local streets are resurfaced, the city changes the striping to narrow the lanes. Narrower lanes have been proven to slow down cars because drivers feel a little less comfortable and pay more attention.

What are the rules?

  • The City of Carlsbad follows all state and federal requirements for lane widths.
  • These requirements are found in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials document called “A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets" as well as the Caltrans Highway Design Manual. 

Not one size fits all

  • The city designs streets based on their size, location and use.
  • For example, a major thoroughfare like El Camino Real will be designed differently than a small neighborhood street.
  • The rules for lane widths take into account all the different characteristics of a road when developing practices for appropriate widths.

What about oversized vehicles?

  • The city recognizes some oversize vehicles and trucks travel on local roads and has taken that into account in planning lane widths.

Why not just change the speed limit?

  • The biggest influence on driver behavior is the design of the road, not the posted speed limit.
  • Some people don’t follow posted speed limits and others may simply make a mistake by driving faster than they realized.
  • We want to make sure one mistake doesn’t end of being a fatal mistake.

Difference in speeds and collision survival

Other topics at a glance...

The goal of this page is to simplify and summarize what are often very complex and technical topics. In doing so, we sometimes have to trade nuance for readability. For those who want all the details, we've included links to reports, studies, maps and other source documents.

Safer Streets

Electric bikes


Growth and development

Lowering the train tracks through the Village

Open space

Future of the Power Plant site

5G cell towers