Supervisors Approve Plan to Complete OC Bike Loop
Orange County supervisors have approved a seven-year plan to complete the 66-mile OC Bike Loop, a recreational bikeway and trail system that will allow continuous access along the Coyote Creek-San Gabriel River Trails, the Pacific Coast Highway Corridor, the Santa Ana River Trail and the Union Pacific Right of Way Corridor.
The $52.8 million earmarked for the OC Loop is part of Orange County Public Works’ Seven Year Capital Improvement Program, which identifies priority projects for investing more than $545 million in transportation, flood control and bikeway improvements. Funding for the OC Loop will be provided by OC Public Works, OC Parks and various grant funds sought from the proceeds of a half-cent sales tax collected in Orange County for transportation projects.
“Requesting this level of future funding for the bikeway program is a first for Orange County and shows our commitment to completing this true countywide asset,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.
“Orange County is such a beautiful place to live that we want to make it easier for people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors,” said Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Second District.
“There are many great reasons that Orange County is bike-friendly and completing this loop will confirm that,” said Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Fourth District, who has advocated for the OC Loop on the Board and as past chairman of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
The OC Loop connects 17 cities, 200 parks and 180 schools in Orange County, as well as beaches and shopping areas. The funding plan approved this week also will enhance access for cyclists and pedestrians along the County’s 380 miles of flood-control facilities.
“For many working families, a bike isn’t used for recreation, it’s a necessity for getting to work or school,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, First District. “The OC Loop will improve Orange County’s bike paths and strengthen our overall transportation infrastructure.”
Providing additional safety for cyclists is important, said Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District. “The great thing about protected bike trails is that they allow people to travel throughout the county without having to worry about distracted drivers,” he said.
The OC Loop is a joint project with OCTA, which is completing a feasibility study on the best ways to close the remaining gaps through a grant from the Southern California Association of Governments.
For more information on the OC Loop, click here.