City of Carlsbad logoOn May 3, the City Council held a special meeting to finish its discussion about major “capital improvement projects” planned for the next five years to ensure they are in alignment with the goals of its five-year strategic plan, which is scheduled to be completed this summer. Capital improvement projects typically refer to those that involve building or improving property or a major city asset, like water pipes.

You can see the list of projects the City Council discussed in the staff report (they did not go over projects like sewer improvements or projects already under construction, although there is a list of those in the staff report too). At this time, all of the projects on the list (55 in all) are approved and moving forward.

The City Council directed staff to accelerate the timeline for the following projects on the list.
  • Village and Barrio Traffic Circles. This project would create traffic circles or traffic-calming measures at eight locations in the Village and Barrio.
  • Barrio Street Lighting. This project would add new pedestrian lighting in the Barrio along four street corridors: Harding, Madison, Roosevelt and Magnolia.
  • Village Decorative Lighting. This project would enhance safety and visibility and create a more inviting environment in the Village.
  • Tyler Street Traffic Circulation Study. This project, which hasn’t started yet, would look at how to address traffic flow on Tyler Street in the city’s Barrio neighborhood.
Monroe Street Pool improvements 
Remodeling the Monroe Street Pool is already moving forward as quickly as possible, according to staff, with completion estimated for 2026. Improvements will include:
  • 50% more lap swim lanes
  • Expansion of pool for larger swimming and water polo competitions
  • Larger pool deck with lockers
  • New exterior deck showers
  • Renovated locker rooms
  • More shade
  • More bleachers
  • Larger parking lot
  • New entrances including an outdoor option that will no longer require passing through the locker rooms
  • Reconfigured lobby meeting/event/birthday party room
  • Replacement of pool tile, plaster, piping, pool deck, drainage, pumps and filters
  • Family restrooms
  • Separate mechanical room access for service vehicles to reduce parking lot impacts for users
  • New 8-foot wall with steel gates along Monroe Street side to reduce sound coming from the pool
  • Replacement of existing solar system and installation of rooftop solar panels
The City Council asked staff to prioritize maintenance and repairs so the pool can continue to meet the community’s needs until the replacement is built. Several maintenance projects have been completed in recent weeks, according to city staff, and others are in the works.
Double tracking project
The City Council removed from its Capital Improvement Program a project to lower the railroad tracks through the downtown because it is not a city-led project. The project is part of the San Diego Association of Government’s long-range plan to double-track the rail line through Carlsbad to accommodate the doubling of train traffic that is expected by 2035.
The City Council will instead consider lowering the tracks through the Village and Barrio a strategic goal and directed staff to work with regional agencies and look for opportunities to complete needed studies, which could, in turn, make the project eligible for more state and federal funding. If the double tracks are not built below street level, they would serve as a major barrier to the coast and harm local businesses, according to economic and feasibility studies.

Next steps 

  • In June, city staff will present an updated capital improvement program, including options for how to accelerate the projects identified by the City Council.
  • Also in June, staff will present the City Council with projects it recommends going on the November 2022 ballot. Under a city law, certain projects using over $1 million of general city funds, such as the Monroe Street Pool renovations, must first be approved by voters, even if the city already has the money. The deadline to put projects on the November ballot is August.

Watch the meeting video