The Santiago Creek bike trail ends in the Fisher Park Neighborhood
A possible creekside bike trail proposed by some residents in north Santa Ana is generating controversy in an adjacent neighborhood, with neighbors arguing over whether the trail would create more crime and safety hazards in the area, according to the Voice of OC.
The irony is that the path is currently a major safety hazard – there are plenty of areas for miscreants to lie in wait. If it was a bike path it would be clear, clean and would attract decent people trying to get exercise – instead of the gang bangers who litter the area with trash and graffiti.
If you take the Santiago Creek bike trail from Santiago Park, under the tunnel that takes you below Main St., towards the Discovery Center, it winds first west then north, then it jogs west again, below the 5 Freeway. It ends right as the trail gets interesting – with a chain there to keep folks out and a foreboding trail ahead that is full of huge rocks. You can hike the trail, but it is impossible to bike through it – and on your left, there is eventually a sheer drop of at least 18 feet, to the rocky Santiago Creek bed below. On your right, as you walk through the trail, are homes of folks who don’t want you to be there.
A group of local residents has been working for years to create a trail that will go the full length of Santiago Creek and have been nudging elected officials and networking with city and county employees. After 4 years, Orange is completing their portion all the way to Santiago Oaks Regional Park. After 3 years, the City of Santa Ana has agreed to add a striped bike lane on Memory lane and Flower.
If this 0.25 mile segment is made into an official trail, it will be joining an approx 40 mile bike commuter/recreation beltway of 3 trails, linking together 4 neighborhoods in Santa Ana along the creek. This will also connect these trails to South Orange County’s Aliso Creek Bike Class 1 Bike Trail that starts up in Portola Hills and goes to Aliso Woods RP (an 18 mile trail). That is because Santiago Canyon has a bike lane that runs out there. We can achieve this by having a diagonal trail (Santiago Creek) connecting these other existing trails that all currently run parallel to each other.
Since the Santa Ana River Trail also runs up to North Orange County, we will be able to connect North, Central, and South Orange County all together by this diagonal trail.
If this gap is not bridged, it creates a huge disconnect requiring pedestrians and bikers to travel much further on busy streets around Main Place Mall and then on LaVeta and Bristol. Or over Broadway to Santa Clara (though Santa Clara is only 1 way out to Broadway).
The group is asking local officials to establish Orange County’s first Commuter Bike Beltway/Expressway for Orange County, while also connecting two National Recreation Trails (Mountains to the Sea Trail and the Santa Ana River Trail) by extending the Santiago Creek Trail to the Santa Ana River. Note: The Santiago Creek should also qualify to become a National Recreation Trail.
To accomplish this, approx a 1/4 mile gap still needs to be addressed in the creek in the Fisher Park Neighborhood Association, of which many neighbors are in favor of and a few are not. This is actually part of a 40 year old creek plan published in 1971.
The group is requesting that the City of Santa Ana and the OCTA classify the recently City approved Class 2 Bike trail on Memory Lane from Bristol to Flower as a “Tier 1 Regional Priority Proposed Bikeway” and expedite the approval of the grant and construction (striping of the road).
They are requesting that the City of Santa Ana and the OCTA approve a Class 1 Bike trail along the north side of the creek between the 5 Fwy and Fisher Park on Flower. This is approx 1/4 mile. City owns the property on the north bank and there currently is a foot path. They are also asking that this area be classified as a “Tier 1 Regional Priority Proposed Bikeway,” and expedite the funding and construction.
Locally, this would connect the neighborhoods together in Santa Ana who are currently separated (not able to travel by bike) between these areas (i.e. West Floral Park, Santiago Park, Floral Park). It would also provide the communities in this area of the creek a trail for them to use for hiking and biking like the Santa Ana communities on the other side of the 5 Fwy to the 22 Fwy. It will connect them all to the great parks, shopping, and entertainment.
Regionally, it would connect it to the other 2 trails creating a large commuter bike beltway and an awesome National Recreation Trail (3 connected together).
This is an urgent request as there will be considerable more traffic on the trail when the extension to Santiago Oaks is completed this year. Requiring individuals and families to navigate on the busy streets around Main Place Mall over LaVeta/Bristol which is longer and not bike friendly should be avoided. The path from Broadway to Santa Clara is not safe due to the Fwy off ramps and Santa Clara is one-way going west to Broadway (not able to enter in to West Floral – only out).
Here are the groups/individuals that support the trail plans:
- John Moore, President, Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance
- Shirley Grindle, Advisory Board Member, Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jim Meyer, Trails4All – 310-344-9229, email@example.com
- Jeff Dickman, County Trail Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nick Spain, Trails & Open Space Advocate – email@example.com, 714-953-5513
- Brian Burnett, Bicycle Trails Advocate – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Melissa Tran, Floral Park Resident – email@example.com
- Gerald Tiritilli, Trails & Open Space Advocate – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Don Cribb, Santa Ana Arts Council, Green Business District – 714-743-3215
- Roy Shahbazian, Better Commute – email@example.com
- Melanie Schlotterbeck, Friends of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks, Green Vision Plan – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gerald London, Regional Recreational Trails Advisory Committee, First District – email@example.com
- Vivian Kirkpatrick-Pilger, OC Trails Committee – firstname.lastname@example.org, 714-903-6072
- Peter Wetzel, OC Trails Committee – email@example.com
- Gema Suarez, El Centro Cultural de Mexico – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delilah Snell, Road Less Traveled Store – email@example.com
- Lyndie Bradshaw, REI – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joel Robinson, Director/Head Naturalist, Naturalist For You, www.naturalist-for-you.org, 714-649-9084
- David Schmid, 714-265-3008
- Mark Lindsey, Resident of Orange, Cell 714-273-2678, email@example.com
- Bruce, Bauer, West Floral Park, firstname.lastname@example.org, 949/293-5311
- Diego Teran, Park Santiago Neighborhood Association, email@example.com
- Art Pedroza, Park Santiago Neighborhood Association, firstname.lastname@example.org