To Get the Verdi Crossing Built, Look Forward and not Backward in the Encinitas City Council Election for District Three
It's silly season and the norailtrail group is re-litigating the Cardiff Rail Trail (yet again) in order to get Republican council member Mark Muir re-elected. This is tiresome. We must look forward instead of backward.
We're not done with the rail corridor in Cardiff. The battle in front of us is to fund the Verdi pedestrian undercrossing as soon as possible, with city dollars if needed.
This will be a hard, hard fight if the city doesn't get a grant for the construction costs. In that case, the funding will have to come from Encinitas, which means that some other city project in the capital budget will lose funding in turn.
The question now is who will be a more effective champion for Cardiff in that hard fight? Jody Hubbard or Mark Muir? We know Jody Hubbard is a fighter. She will be our champion. She is passionate about the crossing. She will make it happen.
Our friends in the norailtrail group are touting Mark Muir as the best choice because he opposed the east side alignment of the rail trail. Somehow, this has become his most important credential to be re-elected. So, how effective was Mark in opposition?
Well, he didn't speak at the big Coastal Commission hearing in May 2017 where the final alignment for the rail trail was settled. He wasn't even present at the hearing, the single most important meeting in the three year history of the project.
There was plenty of advance notice. We've subsequently learned he had a conflicting meeting (a very long meeting, apparently, since we didn't see him at all and we were at the hearing for almost 12 hours). We all had important things to do on that day. It's all a question of priorities.
Even if the conflict was unavoidable, we would hope a leader who is fighting for his most important priority would send a representative to speak on his behalf at a critical hearing where the issue would be decided. We would also have expected him to be more visible and vocal in the months and weeks leading up to the hearing.
Who was there opposing the east side alignment when it counted? Mayor Catherine Blakespear. Linda Culp from SANDAG. Members of the norailtrail advocacy group.
The Coastal Commissioners almost overruled their staff at that hearing. It was a very close thing (a 5-7 vote). Every voice at the hearing counted. This outcome wasn't on rails for either side all the way up to the end. It was a nail-biter.
Catherine, Linda, and the members of the norailtrail group who showed up were our true opposition in that fight. They left it all on the field. They earned our respect. They were effective. They almost won the day. Not Mark.
To win the battle for city dollars for the Verdi crossing, we need someone who will really fight for us. Who will go the extra mile. Who will be all in. Who will prevail in a knife fight in a closet if that's what it takes.
Also, for the record, the rail trail isn't the only reason why Cardiff *must* have the Verdi undercrossing built as soon as possible. A safe and legal crossing between Chesterfield and Santa Fe was sorely needed even before the rail trail alignment issue was decided. Many people were uncomfortable crossing the tracks and Coast Highway illegally - and dangerously - before the rail trail issue even heated up.
Don't buy the nonsense about Jody Hubbard advocating for a fence... that's ridiculous. Nobody was advocating for a fence.
Jody Hubbard will advocate for the crossing. And she will help us make it happen. We're sure of that.
Stay focused on what matters: An effective representative for Cardiff who will get us the dollars to build our crossing NOW.
Moderators and authors for the Cardiff Rail Trail page come from a group of dedicated volunteers.