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El Portal Pedestrian Undercrossing

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  Landscape Architecture

Called the “Crown Jewel of Pedestrian Undercrossings” by the Encinitas Advocate, the El Portal Pedestrian Undercrossing provides safe and legal east/west railway crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists and an important circulation connection for the community.  Prior to the project’s opening, dangerous and illegal crossings were commonplace as the railway created an unbroken 2.5-mile barrier between the city’s eastern residential neighborhoods, farmers market, and Paul Ecke Elementary School and the Highway 101 commercial corridor which includes additional residential neighborhoods and access to the coastline.

The undercrossing features an array of beautiful, historic, and sustainably-focused elements. Low water use, native, and pollinator plants frame the crossing to create a vibrant and inviting atmosphere, while filtration basins capture and filter stormwater runoff on site. The design theme, “Windows to the Past,” celebrates the site’s ecological and cultural history. Retaining walls protecting the pathway were designed to mimic the texture of wood used within the historic train station nearby, and features bands or “windows” to be filled with decorative ceramic tiles crafted by a local artist and featuring drawings prepared by local elementary school students. Since its opening, the crossing has been in near constant use, appreciated daily by hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclists.

El Portal Pedestrian Undercrossing

Project Owner/Developer:
City of Encinitas

Contact Name/Email:
Ed Wimmer / ewimmer@encinitasca.gov

Project Architect/Designer:
Schmidt Design Group

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