Commuting Routes in Carlsbad and North San Diego County
I'm not necessarily a big fan of commuting, but I do my share of driving, both on and off the major commuting routes in Carlsbad and North San Diego County. And having done the commuting thing years ago on the East Coast when in the corporate world, I know about the challenges of commuting by car (2-3 hours per day in the car getting to and from work - more in the snow).
Distance (how far do you want or want to commute?)
Time (what you are willing to put up with vs. the reality)
Rush Hour Traffic (or guessing WHEN rush hour is, and it's NOT 1 hour)
Accidents on the Roadways
Gas (especially with today's prices, which thankfully have dropped quite a bit recently)
Here are some tips, and information about the major roadways you might want to know about depending on where you are headed.
First, don't be using that cell phone without a hands-free device - you risk getting a whopping ticket.
Same also goes for texting or emailing while driving, which is simply stupid and dangerous, but will also net you a big fine.
5 Freeway - runs from the border south of San Diego to Orange County and on to the Canadian border. Best way to get downtown or points south of Carlsbad but rush hours can be slow in Carlsbad, Encinitas and down to Del Mar depending on time of day. Seems like things move well if you are on the road by 7 by that can vary. The worst seems to be 7:30 - 9. Coming north it gets ugly from the merge of the 805 and 5 just North of La Jolla and bad up to Cardiff. [photo courtesy of Tammra Mccauley on Flickr]
78 Freeway - runs east and west between Oceanside (at the 5) and Escondido just past the 15 Freeway merge that runs north and south from San Diego up to Riverside County and beyond. Borders on Carlsbad to the north.
Route 101/Coast Road - as the name implies it runs along the coast from Oceanside to La Jolla. 2 lanes each way for the most part. Good way to avoid the 5 but there are lights. More scenic. Take a drive on historic Route 101.
El Camino Real - the "King's Road". Good alternative to the freeway, running north and south from Oceanside to Cardiff where it meets the 5 freeway by the San Elijo Lagoon.
Secondary Roads - these include the major east- west roads off the 5 freeway, including Carlsbad Village Drive, Tamarack, Cannon, Palomar Airport Road (a 3-lane road each direction that becomes San Marcos Blvd. in San Marcos), Poinsettia, La Costa Avenue, Leucadia, and Encinitas Boulevard. Melrose parallels El Camino, running from Oceanside to where it meets Rancho Santa Fe in Carlsbad
Want to know about the traffic?
Check out Real Time Traffic maps from CalTrans with links to web-cams.
The Coaster - commuter rail between Oceanside and San Diego with stops in most towns. 2 stops in Carlsbad.
AMTRAK - runs between San Diego and Los Angeles with stops downtown, in Solana Beach and in Oceanside.
Breeze - the public bus system
Sprinter - light rail train between Oceanside and Escondido