4.6 TRANSPORTATION /CIRCULATION
Consideration of potential transportation and circulation impacts that may result from the project primarily involves determining whether a net change would occur in traffic generated by personnel commuting to or from the affected facilities or by vehicle trips related to plant operations. The project, the divestiture of properties by SDG&E, could lead to increased operations and somewhat increased on-site employment levels. These factors could incrementally increase effects on transportation and circulation in the site areas.
A network of interstate and state highways and local roads is present in the region encompassing the affected facilities. The ability of that network to accommodate existing traffic demands depends on the specific location considered.
Encina Power Plant
The Encina Power Plant entrance is located at 4600 Carlsbad Boulevard (County Road S21) in Carlsbad. Regional access to the Encina Power Plant from the north and south is provided by Interstate 5 (I-5) via Cannon Road and Carlsbad Boulevard. Regional access from the east is provided by State Route (SR) 78, located approximately 2.5 miles north of the plant, or Palomar Airport Road (County Road S12), located approximately one mile south of the plant. I-5 and the San Diego Northern Railroad bisect the plant property.
South Bay Power Plant
The South Bay Power Plant entrance is located off Bay Boulevard in Chula Vista. Regional access to the South Bay plant is provided by I-5. From the north on I-5, the plant is reached via L Street and Bay Boulevard; from the south on I-5, the plant is reached via Palomar Street and Bay Boulevard. Regional access from the east is provided by SR 54, located approximately two miles north of the plant, or Main Street, located approximately one mile south of the plant.
The San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad passes through the eastern portion of the site. The San Diego Trolley South Line runs north-south along the east side of I-5 and has a station approximately 0.75 miles southeast of the site.
Operationally, all of the combustion turbines (CTs) listed below are normally unattended facilities that have remote start capability. The maintenance staff for these CTs is located at SDG&E’s Kearny Construction and Operation Center. On average, maintenance personnel visit each CT installation once a week.
Division Substation CT
The Division CT is located off Harbor Drive in the City of San Diego. This CT is located approximately 0.55 miles southwest of I-5. Harbor Drive, a major arterial, is accessible from I-5 via the I-15/Wabash Boulevard and I-5/8th Street (National City) interchanges.
El Cajon Substation CT
The El Cajon CT is located off West Main Street at SDG&E’s Eastern Operations & Maintenance Center in the City of El Cajon. This facility is located approximately 0.3 miles east of I-5, on the north side of Main Street, a major arterial with an interchange at I-5.
Kearny Construction and Operation Center CTs
The Kearny CTs are located at SDG&E’s Kearny Construction and Operation Center in the City of San Diego. This facility is located approximately 0.8 miles west of I-15, 0.5 miles east of SR 163, and 0.15 miles north of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, a major arterial with interchanges at both I-15 and SR 163.
Miramar Yard CTs
The Miramar CTs are located at SDG&E’s Miramar storeyard facility in the City of San Diego. This facility is located approximately two miles east of I-805, 3.5 miles west of I-15, and on the south side of Miramar Road, a major arterial with interchanges at I-805 and I-15.
Naval Station CT
This CT is located within the 32nd Street Naval Station in the City of San Diego. The CT is approximately 0.67 miles southwest of I-5. The Naval Station is accessible from the I-5/I-15 interchange via Wabash Boulevard and 32nd Street, major City of San Diego streets.
Naval Training Center CT
With the closing of the Naval Training Center, this CT has become attached to the adjoining Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD). The MCRD is within the City of San Diego and is accessible from the I-5/I-8 interchange via SR 209 (Rosecrans Street) and Barnett Avenue, a major street. The MCRD is also accessible from I-5 via the Pacific Highway and Barnett Avenue.
North Island Naval Air Station CTs
This CT is located within the North Island Naval Air Station (NAS) in the City of Coronado. North Island NAS is accessible via I-5, and SR 75 (the Coronado Bridge) and SR 282 (3rd & 4th Streets in the City of Coronado).
24th Street Terminal Refueling Facility
SDG&E’s fuel oil terminal is located in the City of National City, approximately 0.55 miles west of I-5. Access to the 24th Street wharf area and SDG&E’s fuel oil terminal is via West 24th Street from the I-5/24th Street interchange. This facility is normally unattended; it is inspected once a day. Deliveries have become very infrequent; the last one occurred in December 1993.
a) TRAFFIC GENERATION AND CONGESTION
The project itself would not directly generate additional traffic to or from the affected sites, and therefore, no direct project traffic impacts would occur.
The project could, however, indirectly cause traffic effects if new owners were to increase electrical output from the power plants. With increased electrical generation, an increase in employment could occur. Such an increase in employment, however, would not be in direct proportion to the increase in power, and because the number of employees at each plant and CT facility is relatively low compared to other possible land uses, traffic increases would not be substantial.
Because possible traffic increases would be negligible in comparison to existing traffic volumes and the capacity of roadways providing access for the sites, this traffic impact would be less than significant.
b) HAZARDS TO SAFETY
No change in roadway design or safety hazards would result from the divestiture of SDG&E power plants and CT facilities. Continued or increased operation of the power plants at the affected sites would preclude the creation of any new incompatible uses.
Because neither a change in design features nor creation of incompatible uses would occur as a result of the project, there would be no impacts associated with these traffic hazards.
c) EMERGENCY ACCESS AND ACCESS TO NEARBY USES
Continued or increased operation of the power plants at the affected sites would not change access for emergency vehicles or access to nearby uses. No facilities are specifically proposed as part of the project that would change emergency access at the plants and CT facilities, or that would affect access to nearby uses. SDG&E would ensure that it maintains access to portions of the power plant sites not to be divested through conditions in the sale agreements with new owners or through other means.
Because no changes in emergency access or access to nearby uses would occur as a result of the project, there would be no impacts associated with vehicle access.
d) PARKING CAPACITY
As discussed in checklist item (a) in this section, the project could indirectly result in incremental increases in employment levels at some of the plants to be divested if the electrical generation at those plants were to increase. Because the number of employees at the plants and CT facilities is relatively low compared to other possible land uses (see Chapter 4.2, Population and Housing), the foreseeable increase in employment, and thus parking demand, would likely not be substantial.
Because the foreseeable changes in employment at the affected project sites would be minimal, the impact associated with parking capacity at the sites would be less than significant.
e) HAZARDS TO PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS
No new facilities are proposed that would increase hazards or create barriers for pedestrians or bicyclists.
Because the project would not affect pedestrian or bicycle facilities, or the potential hazards of using such facilities, there would be no impacts associated with pedestrian and bicycle hazards.
f) CONFLICTS WITH ADOPTED POLICIES
No actions are proposed as part of the project that would be in conflict with adopted policies regarding alternative transportation.
Because project actions would not conflict with adopted alternative transportation policies, there would be no impact associated with alternative transportation policies.
g) RAIL, WATERBORNE, OR AIR TRAFFIC
No activities related to the project would involve rail or air traffic. The proposed sale of the offshore marine terminal with the Encina Power Plant and of the 24th Street Terminal Refueling Facility in National City would not interfere with public waterborne traffic operations in the vicinity of these facilities.
Because the project does not involve rail or air traffic and would not affect waterborne traffic, no impact associated with such traffic would occur.
_________________________REFERENCES — Transportation/Circulation
SDG&E, Proponent’s Environmental Assessment: San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Proposed Sale of Its Electrical Generation Facilities and Power Contracts, December 19, 1997.
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