Sat. Dec 3rd, 2022

“More than $9 million of federal dollars will be spent to add 28 crucial miles of bike lanes and trails in Orange County, an effort to better connect the region’s bikeway system,” according to the O.C. Register.



That is great news, and Santa Ana will draw some benefit from this expenditure, with new bikeways along 1st St., Chestnut Ave. and Newhope St., and new bike crossings along the Maple Bike Trail.

However there will be no money to complete the Santiago Creek bike trail, which abruptly ends after you pass the MainPlace Mall/5 Fwy. overpass.  Read more about that here and here.  

That trail is being blocked by NIMBY residents of the Floral and Fisher Park neighborhoods – including Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Mark McLoughlin.  This issue will cost him plenty in November as he is seeking reelection – and Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez is running against him. The voters now have a chance to give him the boot!

 

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

22 thoughts on “$9 million for new O.C. bike trails, but not on Santiago Creek’s trail”
  1. I was hanging out at city hall and over heard some people talking about the missing link between the freeway and Flower St.

    I heard 6 months. Now I don’t know if that meant completion of the engineering reports or a ground breaking.

    1. Completely agree. We have places that we drive to that would be quicker to get to on this trail. The traffic is so bad that what should be quick jaunt to Floral Park from Park Santiago takes 10 minutes and would probably take 5 minutes on a bike down the trail. The traffic also makes it far too dangerous to ride a bike there. We are not a bike friendly city right now and that needs to change!

  2. I believe Michele Martinez has a plan which would take it down the ally (runs East of where Memory Ln T’s into Flower) and then use the existing bike lane on Memory lane. I think she might be right. Would be alot cheaper and less controversal than running through peoples backyards along the creak. I like the Martinez plan

    1. What about the back yards that runs along the ally?

      What about the back yards that runs along the freeway from the ally to the connection with the bike trail under the freeway?

      What about the knowledge of the future plans for the creek that every property buyer who’s backyards border along the creek was told about since 1980?

      Here is a piece of information to chew on: Life Estates. Everyone whose home is next to the creek will be offered a life estate, to live in the house until they die. Then the house will be moved or tore down and that land will be added to the county park. (Only applies to the house as the back yards are needed to double the water carrying capacity needed to control future flooding like the ones of 69 & 38?)

      This, and a lot more is written in the reports.

  3. why should all the rich people in North Santa Ana and Villa Park and Orange Park Acres get a new bike trail when we need them in South Santa Ana? Is it really so hard for them to ride down Riverside Drive and Memory ln on the way to the River Trail? I say no new bike trail for the One Percenters!!

    1. Santa Ana Proud, you will be happy to heard that south SA, including Delhi gets $4,041.281 of the park and bike trail spending.

      North SA Floral Park etc gets $838,600, and is one of the 3 areas that get the least in total dollars.

      As a percentage

      North SA(Floral Park etc) gets 4.5 percent.

      South SA (Delhi etc) gets 22 percent

      Downtown (Willard, Lacy/Garfiled etc) gets 42 percent.

      This infomation is availble on the cities web site

  4. New to the US and OC, I went to Jack Fisher Park today for the first time with my 5 year-old and 2 year-old. Thought I would google it when I got home and found this truly awful blog. This is the best that Santa Ana can do for reporting on community issues? If not please direct me to the site that doesn’t use HYSTERICAL language to get their point across. So over the top it’s ridiculously comical. I have no skin in this game as I’m not even a resident of Santa Ana but I will say as a parent of an erratic and unpredictable toddler and kid I would not go back to the park if there was a bike trail running through there. Kids like to run. Bike riders like to ride their bikes fast. That park is small. Accidents will ensue. They would have to move the play areas after a few clashes. Then the bike riders get all the exercise their hearts desire and the kids hopefully will have something somewhere. As long as the bike riders are happy I guess. All your vitriol and mocking of other people’s rights will be well worth it and you’ll move on to your next issue to be outraged about. And no you cannot take a young family walking along a bike trail. I’m starting to think bike riders don’t have kids because if they did they’d get the safety issue. Anyway, I thought it was a lovely little park full of shade and the kids loved all the structures.

    1. First off, welcome to the area. I am a working class father of four that would use the access to the extensive bike trails…if built. We are both regular pedestrians (primarily leisure activities) and bicyclists (leisure and transportation). Your overgeneralization of bicyclists seems to reflect a personalization of experience with a large part of our current bicycling population–those clad in lycra and nearly matching motorized vehicle speeds. With four young children let loose in the park alongside a trail, I may be concerned during times of heavy use as well. However, if you compare the paved trail near the freeway with which it will be linking to other routes popular with cyclists you’ll notice it is not conducive to high speed travel and is seldom used as such. Moreover, a simple low iron fence may be placed alongside the path where deemed a safety necessity near play areas. As for belligerent riders not heeding a pedestrians right of way, even on a bike trail, we should not allow our negative past experiences, caused by a few bad apples, to ruin our progress. Following my point of route-induced speed, linking the valuable bike/pedestrian paths to the west side of the freeway would allow commuting cyclists–such as myself, my family, and my friends–to take safer routes to community resources, not to mention a simple, pleasant bike ride. Perhaps if more of our infrastructure funding was directed toward supporting this healthy alternative (physically, psychologically, environmentally, socially), the boon in commute cycling would produce plain-clothed, moderate-paced riders to offset those in racer-inspired suits so often held in disdain.

  5. I would also like to make a more general comment on the existing nature of the trail in relation to safety and privacy for users and residents alike. My understanding is that, in part, homeowners along the creek feel the pathway may introduce an unwelcome element into their neighborhood. Crime (including loitering), pollution (noise, vandalism, and litter), and traffic. In an effort to find a safer alternative route to the east side of the freeway, my son and I navigated our bicycles through the dense collection of non-native plant species lining, and partially obstructing, the eroding and uneven earthen trail in what appeared to be of regular use by primarily pedestrian traffic. To my surprise, we passed by not one, but two persons loitering in the brush. The second withdrew something quickly from his lips and held it in a cupped hand. Especially concerned with the vulnerability of my child, it was an uneasy experience. Neither individual was noticed until virtually feet away, as the existing condition provides effective camouflage of their presence. On the other hand, the shade provided by the greenery was welcomed, as were its noise dampening qualities. However, given that people could not see each other, there was a group walking through at a distance from one another that resorted to shouting because of the lack of line-of-sight communication and efforts in reassurance of each other’s situation. As far as visible pollution goes, substantial amounts of graffiti and some carvings were evident. Litter was present in moderate quantities of its typical urban form–plastic bags, candy wrappers, cigarette butts, empty drink containers. I’m confident the addition of refuse bins after completion of the path will curb this aversive habit. To be honest, I was quite surprised at the number of pedestrians clambering through this poorly maintained section. I’ve seen better, safer trails on private property, maintained by privileged users at the permission of the owner. But, after all, it is the only local direct access to the eastern side. I could imagine the traffic would increase substantially if developed, but isn’t that the point? To provide a means of travel when needed is a community’s responsibility. A concern for residents? I, to my recollection, have never been bothered by the sound of a bicycle going by, especially at any distance, and the park is already a source of vocal noise.

    1. I travel the section of Memory Lane daily, where the “new” bike lane was added. Some of the “responsible” bike riders in the lane are lucky to be alive, in spite of THEIR OWN STUPIDITY! I’ve seen (only lising incidents I’ve seen happen at least once a week, bikers turning left from the BIKE LANE at the corner of Memory and Bristol IN FRONT OF car going straight, only have seen 3 riders with helmets in months, double riders, riders stop at sign on Flower & Memory Lane in the bike lane and turn LEFT in front of other cars, or most just ignore stop signs & crosswalks. In short, BEFORE the lane was put in, riders were SAFER because it was assumed they were casual riders and just “touring” the area. After the lane most drivers appear to assume the riders will FOLLOW the LAW, which they continue to ignore!

  6. I travel the section of Memory Lane daily, where the “new” bike lane was added. Some of the “responsible” bike riders in the lane are lucky to be alive, in spite of THEIR OWN STUPIDITY! I’ve seen (only lising incidents I’ve seen happen at least once a week, bikers turning left from the BIKE LANE at the corner of Memory and Bristol IN FRONT OF car going straight, only have seen 3 riders with helmets in months, double riders, riders stop at sign on Flower & Memory Lane in the bike lane and turn LEFT in front of other cars, or most just ignore stop signs & crosswalks. In short, BEFORE the lane was put in, riders were SAFER because it was assumed they were casual riders and just “touring” the area. After the lane most drivers appear to assume the riders will FOLLOW the LAW, which they continue to ignore!

    1. I travel the section of Memory Lane daily, where the “new” bike lane was added. Some of the “responsible” bike riders in the lane are lucky to be alive, in spite of THEIR OWN STUPIDITY! I’ve seen (only lising incidents I’ve seen happen at least once a week, bikers turning left from the BIKE LANE at the corner of Memory and Bristol IN FRONT OF car going straight, only have seen 3 riders with helmets in months, double riders, riders stop at sign on Flower & Memory Lane in the bike lane and turn LEFT in front of other cars, or most just ignore stop signs & crosswalks. In short, BEFORE the lane was put in, riders were SAFER because it was assumed they were casual riders and just “touring” the area. After the lane most drivers appear to assume the riders will FOLLOW the LAW, which they continue to ignore!

      You are correct in pointing out that some bicyclists are vulnerable to making unwise decisions while sharing the road with other vehicles. Likewise, I have seen many drivers making equally poor decisions at the very same locations you mentioned. I will refrain from calling them “STUPID” for two reasons. The first is an overgeneralization of unique driver/circumstance (or biker/circumstance in your example) relationship. And how could I know the intelligence or common sense of said drivers without personal knowledge of them? I prefer to judge each person individually. Secondly, I can relate well with drivers because I am one. Few of us can relate to bicyclists other than weekend leisure riders. Moreover, few drivers are aware of the motor vehicle code’s encompassment of bicycles, let alone motor vehicles. Other cultures which have incorporated bicycling as an equally important transportation resource have a higher percentage of “bike” minded motor vehicle drivers–resulting in fewer conflicts and a shared responsibility for regulations and courtesy. This will never be achieved if bicycles are not recognized as having EQUAL rights to the roads; including the right to an entire lane if practically necessary.

      Let us not forget, or in some cases let us become educated: without designated bicycle lanes/ routes/ paths bicyclists have–by California vehicle code–the right to occupy motor vehicle lanes and are more likely to exercise that right if the shoulder is deemed unsafe or obstructed by them.

      Being a car-centric culture and lacking (but rapidly changing) adequate bicycle infrastructure, many drivers’ experience does not go beyond recreation while pedaling down the road, if at all. This absence of experience and complementing education on bicycle rules and rights sometimes exacerbate motor-vehicle drivers’ frustration. At the same time, it can become a detriment to incorporating bicycle transport due to bicycle riders themselves.This division of interests and relative grouping has long been an encumbrance for our society and often spawns prejudice and misunderstandings.

      A good example of this can be seen by looking back into our history. Motor vehicles were once deemed a “danger”, a “nuisance”, and a threat to the established and majority horse-driven carriage culture. Automobile drivers had to fight for their rights to the road, as well as improvements to the infrastructure to support their specific transportation choice. Both motor vehicles AND bicycles have their place in our system of conveyance.

  7. How does the new councilwoman Amezcua feel about finishing the bike trail in her Council Ward? Is she a bike rider?

    1. Good question! I voted for Amezcua, in part because I wanted to see progress in linking both sides of the freeway together. I feel we on the westside would stand to benefit greatly from the resources and amenities on the other side of the 5 freeway.

      Also, I would hope that as a representative one would not have to share interests, professions, or culture to fairly assess the needs of the community-at-large. I would like to see an independent study (using acceptable statistical standards) that showed bicycling as a detriment to a community. If nothing was to be done about the completion of the trail it would be remembered as a shortcoming should she attempt to gain higher position.

  8. Dear Michael,

    I’m sure your comments are well intended but some of us can’t wait for another study to be completed. We want that bike trail built and we want it built now! Not just the section East of Fisher Park but all the way to the Santa Ana river. It’s a crying shame that I have to ride with my kids in the street because Santa Ana officials don’t have the guts to get this thing built.
    That said, at least you seem to be in favor of the trail so I guess we are on the same side of the issues. Art, Please make this your #1 issue.

    1. I am in complete agreement with you. The request for a study “showing bicycling as a detriment to the community” was a rhetorical challenge supporting biking as conveyance. I have never read, nor been made aware of any fair study showing a community’s suffering as a whole due to bicycle advocacy.

      I, too, am displeased with the dangers of sidewalk riding and bicycle unfriendly street crossings that we must navigate as a family due to the failure of Santa Ana to complete their part of the trail.

      Most motor vehicle drivers are courteous and cautious when aware of our presence, but many a time it is a single law-breaking or inattentive driver that puts my children at risk.

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