Camp Pendleton Bike Route Closed July 15-19

Caltrans has announced that Camp Pendleton military operations will close the bicycle route along Old Pacific Highway from State Park to Las Pulgas. The closures will be July 15-19, daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

During the dates of restricted access, cyclists may use the I-5 shoulder as an alternate route.

Caltrans usually posts signs at Basillone Road directing cyclists onto the freeway shoulder, so they can avoid the surprise of finding the gate at the bottom of San Onofre Park closed.

OC Parks Refuses to Complete “Mountains to Sea” Bikeway

Update (May 3): Some Orange County Parks Commission meetings have been cancelled, and now the next meeting on this issue is on May 21. OC Public Works will hear public input on a plan to bypass Peter’s Canyon with Class 2 bike lanes. OCBC will attend the meeting and present serious concerns with these plans. Get the latest news on the OCBC Facebook page.

The County of Orange is ignoring the Master Plan of Bikeways and abandoning completion of the “Mountains to the Sea” Regional Class 1 Bikeway from Upper Newport Bay to Irvine Park.

This off-street Class 1 Bikeway has been on the County plans since the early 1970s. In keeping with that plan, Tustin has built a great bikeway and trail to the south end of Peters Canyon, and Orange has built a three lane multi-use side path from Irvine Park to the north end of Peters Canyon. Without a Class 1 Bikeway through Peters Canyon Regional Park there will be a gaping hole in what could be a great path from the mountains of Orange County to the sea.

In refusing to complete the missing segment through Peters Canyon Regional Park the County is denying access to cyclists, skaters, runners, wheelchair users, parents with baby strollers and people with mobility challenges from accessing a regional park that by definition should be serving ALL citizens of Orange County. The Parks Commission is proposing to bypass Peters Canyon and put everyone off the existing Master Planned Class I Bikeway corridor onto Class II bike lanes alongside steep, busy roadways UP Pioneer & over the summit of Jamboree on a widened side walk.

County staff will present this plan to the OC Parks Commission with an agenda to recommend it to the Board of Supervisors for final action. They have held several ‘workshops’ focused largely on local residents who oppose any change in ‘their’ park. County staff has not asked anyone at other Regional Parks, much less any cyclists who actually use the Regional Parks Connector Bikeway, for their input.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is working to see the the Regional Parks Connector Bikeway between Tustin and Orange completed.

We have been at this issue for years, and the NIMBYs are winning. We NEED cyclists and other bikeway users to support our efforts so everyone who uses the “Mountains to the Sea” bikeway will not be dumped onto steep street traffic. We will post regular updates on this website as well on the OCBC Facebook page.

The Mission of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition is to promote bicycling as an everyday means of transportation and recreation. Join the OCBC Today!

Mike Wilkinson Elected to OCBC Board of Directors

Mike Wilkinson has been elected to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors. Mike is an enthusiastic bicyclist with marketing and business management experience and a deep desire to improve bicycling for everyone in Orange County. As a resident of Buena Park, Mike will strengthen the OCBC in northwest Orange County, and he will help with the OCBC’s online presence.

Mike with his wife Angela

Mike with his wife Angela

Safe Holiday Wishes on PCH

According to AAA, more than 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles from home or farther during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. About 90 percent of those travelers–39 million people–plan to travel by automobile.

In a related note, DougĀ  Irving of the OC Register reports on results of a study that found more drugged than drunk drivers on California roadways like the drivers that killed Donald Murphy and Candace Tift; killed while riding their bikes in Newport by drivers impaired by prescription drugs.

In the most medicated nation on the planet, this study should really come as no surprise, but it’s encouraging to see the recognition, and quantification of the issue.

When drugged drivers are combined with poor road design, construction zones, lax local enforcement, and lenient courts, it is people riding their bikes on the same roadways that pay the highest price.

One such roadway is the Pacific Coast Highway which also goes by various other names depending which city or county it happens to pass through. Sadly bikes riders are typically an afterthought in the consideration of construction, road maintenance, or even public transportation along this roadway.

To illustrate; in Huntington Beach a short section of the northbound roadway’s shoulder was closed to accomplish the construction of a guardrail which forces riders into the high speed traffic lane. After the work was completed, the obstructions remain without making allowances for safe cycle travel between the k-rail and guardrail.

In Seal Beach; a public transit bus parks in the bike lane causing risky merges and poor sight lines for bike riders and drivers alike.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the k-rails on PCH will be removed this coming Sunday morning, a week ahead of when Caltrans emphatically said they wouldn’t be removed until 12/1. While we also requested the a temporary path for safe travel through the construction zone, at this time we don’t know if the maintenance crew was able to get that done. Your report is welcomed!

With the holiday traffic and condition of drivers as noted above, please exercise greater care when traveling this roadway, especially through Newport Beach as seen below:

Pacific Coast Highway Injuries

Pacific Coast Highway Injuries

We’ll have an update on the Seal Beach bus parking issue when we receive an update from the responsible agency.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday weekend!

Safety never sleeps.