On Tuesday night, January 19, during a storm that pounded San Diego, traffic signals all over the City of Encinitas went out. Traffic engineers believe lightning stuck a main controller in the Mountain Vista area and spread through the signal’s “interconnect” system, disabling lights at most intersections.
To keep traffic moving on El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard (the city’s two main streets), city staff removed the working signal controllers from less-traveled streets and installed them on those roads. As a result, four signals on Santa Fe Drive were left flashing red. As of Tuesday, January 26, the four Santa Fe Drive signals, still unrepaired, have caused traffic congestion from the signal just west of I-5, at Scripps Memorial Hospital, to one mile east, at Lake Drive.
The signals affect commuters getting to and from the freeway, as well as hundreds of cars dropping teenagers off at San Dieguito Academy. Fortunately, the Santa Fe Drive signals at I-5 continued to operate because Caltrans uses their own circuits.