Construction starts on Escondido Rapid Bus project
Construction began November 16 on the Escondido Rapid Bus project, the first of a new wave of bus services coming to the region in the years ahead that will make service more rapid and reliable.
With features like real-time “next bus” signs, transit lanes, signal-priority technology, and improved stations, the new system will create greater schedule reliability, improve travel times, and enhance the rider’s experience.
“I’m proud that Escondido has been chosen to be the first city in the region to benefit from this modern new system,” said Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, chair of the SANDAG Board. “It will improve service, reduce greenhouse gases, and ease traffic congestion on one of our busiest streets.”
SANDAG is building the project in partnership with the City of Escondido and the North County Transit District (NCTD), which operates the system. Construction of the first phase will be complete by May of 2010.
The project will in essence upgrade the existing NCTD route 350, which runs six miles through the city of Escondido, from the Escondido Transit Center to Westfield Shoppingtown North County via Escondido Boulevard and Bear Valley Parkway. Route 350 is NCTD’s second busiest route.
Construction crews will build a new transit-only, right-turn-only lane along the north side of West Valley Parkway between Centre City Parkway and Quince Street, with new sidewalks and landscaping.
West Valley Parkway is a major arterial into downtown Escondido and widening this key section will improve transit service and relieve traffic congestion.
Residents can expect temporary changes to traffic along this stretch of West Valley Parkway: two lanes will remain open at all times during construction with the exception of some night work; during the night work, one lane will remain open; there will be brief closures to the driveways of Carrows Restaurant at the corner of West Valley and Centre City parkways, however one of the two driveways will remain open at all times; all businesses will remain open; Route 350 will continue to operate on a normal schedule; work generally will take place between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Linda Culp, Senior Transportation Planner