Montgomery At-Grade Pedestrian Rail Crossing

Montgomery Ave. at San Elijo Ave., Encinitas map.Phase: Project Design

Location: Montgomery Avenue and San Elijo Avenue

Description: This project will complete the design and permitting for the installation of an at-grade pedestrian rail crossing in the vicinity of the intersection of Montgomery Avenue and San Elijo Avenue

Owner of project: City of Encinitas

Contact: Christopher Magdosku, City Engineer, 760-633-2763  [email protected]

Overview: Based on City Council direction the engineering consulting firm of HDR Inc. is preparing the design and permit processing of the at-grade crossing. The proposed crossing will include the required rail safety measures and will tie into the planned Coastal Rail Trail.

Purpose: With the development of the Coastal Rail Trail, the North County Transit District requires the installation of the fence to minimize the potential for pedestrians to enter the rail rights-of-way. In response, the City Council directed staff to develop plans and complete the permitting for the at-grade crossing to allow continued access to the beach.

What is needed from the public: To document the development of the crossing project, the City is required to gather public input on the three crossing type alternatives, At-Grade, Undercrossing, and Overcrossing. The California Public Utilities Commission uses the public input gathered by municipalities to determine support for the proposed crossing. Presented at the links below, are the three alternatives developed for the Montgomery At-grade Crossing Project. Recently the City Council formed the Rail Corridor Working Group to provide input in the development of projects proposed in and adjacent to the rail corridor. As this group will provide essential contributions in rail corridor projects, it was determined that the group should be involved in the public meetings. 

Currently the City is in the process of planning two public events to allow the public to more fully understand the elements that may be included in the project. The first event will be the demonstration of a wayside horn at the Montgomery Ave. crossing location to demonstrate to the public a wayside horn/Alternative Warning System (AWS) that may be included with the project. This demonstration test will be on September 22nd.  A flyer has been created to promote the Wayside Horn Demonstration event.  The second meeting will be to collect input (anticipated to be held after all acoustical studies are completed - est. early November). 

The different Horn options are described below.  

  • Option 1 will be a conventional demonstration, with wayside horns sounded at a level of 92 db(A) at a distance of 100 feet measured from the centerline of the near track and aimed up the proposed walkway approaches.  
  • Option 2 will be to aim the wayside horns down into the crossing surface at the same sound level (92db(A)).  There will be a wayside horn on each side of the crossing.  
  • Option 3 will be to simulate a pedestrian horn that will provide a sound level of 80 db(A) approximately 20 feet measured from the proposed location of crossing gates.    

An important part of the wayside horn demonstration project will be the collection of sound data. Measurements of the existing ambient sound levels, along with train, potential train horn, and wayside horn levels will be collected. This information will be presented to the public at the second public workshop related to the three crossing alternatives. The follow-up meeting is anticipated to be held in mid-November at Cardiff Elementary School. At this meeting, we will gather public comments related to the three crossing alternatives for the ultimate submittal of the crossing plans to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval. This information will be summarized in the final report to the City Council and the CPUC.

Your input is valuable and to be included in a final report to Council and the California Public Utilities Commission.

Timing: The project is underway, draft concept drawing are being prepared along with the data gathering for use in the permitting process. Once the initial plan is complete, it will be presented to the public and with a follow-up with rail operators CPUC staff. Once approval is obtained from the CPUC the project will move on to the construction phase with Council approval.