We’re Working For You!

October 7 Edition

Members of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition contact city staff members almost every day in an effort to improve bicycling and other active transportation throughout Orange County. Here are some recent examples:

  1. During the month of September OCBC contacted local city staff members more than 50 times with suggestions and concerns about bicycle issues.
  2. The OCBC considered a request to provide a letter of support for creation of a new Orange County Active Transportation Plan.
  3. Posted a graph with a summary of California active transportation laws.

Please support Orange County Bicycle Coalition’s mission “To promote bicycling as an everyday means of transportation and recreation”.

For up-to-the-minute news from the Orange County Bicycle Coalition, please visit our Facebook page.

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!

Peters Canyon Planning Workshop #3

The next Peters Canyon park planning workshop is on Thursday, April 23, 6-8PM, at the Soda Fountain Building in Irvine Regional Park. Enter the park and signs will direct you to the meeting location. (Heads up: if you’re arriving by bike, bring bright lights, as it gets very dark in the park at night!)

This workshop will summarize data collected and present park planning alternatives. Participants will be invited to provide comments. Come show your support for a Class I bikeway through the park, as shown on the Master Plan of Major Riding and Hiking Trails and Off-Road Paved Bikeways.

More information on the planning process is available at the Peters Canyon General Development Plan page.

East Wilshire Bicycle Boulevard

Article by Jane Rands, Chair of the Fullerton Bicycle Users’ Subcommittee. From the Fullerton Observer:

A new concept to Orange County, known as a Bicycle Boulevard or Bike-friendly Street, is slated for a 2 week trial run on East Wilshire Ave from Pomona to Acacia in the fall of 2015. The IBI Group, under a grant funded contract with Fullerton, will be testing a new street design intended to improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety. The design will allow bicyclists and cars to share the street at speeds of 10-15 mph while enhancing the neighborhood with a calmer and quieter street.

Temporary “traffic calming” and “traffic diversion” devices will be selected from a standard set of tools that have been permanently installed in cities such as Berkeley (10 years), San Luis Obispo (5 years), and now Long Beach. A traffic circle could replace a four-way stop. A raised “slow-movement” intersection that puts the road at sidewalk level where the streets meet, would place pedestrians at a higher level of visibility when crossing the street.

Traffic diversions at entrances, such as Raymond or Lemon, or at key points along the route would allow bicyclists and pedestrians to pass through while diverting larger vehicles to signalized intersections. Limiting through traffic encourages automobile drivers to utilize faster, non-residential parallel streets, such as Commonwealth and Chapman.

Chicanes may also be used to reduce speed by reducing the width of the street. Chicanes up to 40 feet long can include attractive landscaping. But they also remove on street parking which is already at a deficit in this older neighborhood impacted by student parking from Fullerton College.

East Wilshire Avenue is a great candidate for a Bike Blvd and has been identified as such in Fullerton’s Bicycle Master Plan. It is a lovely tree lined street that is popular with cyclists. Nearby there are schools, the main post office, the transit station, and downtown.

If the bike boulevard is to be successful, it must meet the needs of both cyclists and residents who live on and around East Wilshire. On February 4, IBI invited the residents to attend a presentation where IBI answered questions and received feedback on the proposed options. There were 2 sessions at the Wilshire Auditorium with about 30 people total in attendance. The most often raised concern was the possible loss of parking. Mark Miller, the traffic consultant for the City, recommended that residents apply for parking restrictions with permits for residents only.

IBI will be bringing their plan to Fullerton’s Bicycle Users Subcommittee and to the City Council in the spring before returning to the residents again. After the two week trial in the fall, the council will review IBI’s study in late 2015 or early 2016 to determine whether to move forward with permanent improvements to establish Fullerton’s first bicycle boulevard.