We were supposed to get a trail, instead we get the shaft.
For decades there’s been a paved, Class 1 trail slated for Peters Canyon Regional Park. That trail is a vital link in Orange County’s much touted Mountains to the Sea Trail connecting Back Bay with Santiago Canyon and beyond.
Everyone has been on board with this idea– County Flood Control, Beaches and Parks, and the Orange County Transportation Authority. The latter agency has included it in their Master Plan of Commuter Bikeways.
But now a bunch of ignorant NIMBYs in Orange Park Acres have pressured Supervisor Todd Spitzer and the staff of OC Parks into opposing the plan.
“Let ’em ride up Jamboree.”
“We don’t want those crazy bikers running 35 miles an hour through the Park.”
“They’ll ruin the park wilderness.”
Peters Canyon Regional Park is not a wilderness; it’s a former cow pasture adopted by County Flood Control as a catch basin. It’s also one of the last undeveloped chunks of OC that backs up to a lot of rich folks’ homes. And– surprise– they don’t want any more of us common folk using “their” park. It’s literally “not in my back yard” NIMBYism at its ugliest.
Cyclists do not ride 35 miles an hour anywhere on Class 1 trails.
Very few bicycle commuters use Jamboree regularly. And no one new to the idea of bicycle commuting will.
No, if Orange County is serious about encouraging Active Transportation then connecting the Peters Canyon Trail through its namesake Park is a must.
* New cyclists prefer riding away from auto traffic, but Jamboree is a major commuting route for motorists.
* The grade on Jamboree is more difficult and the summit is higher than the proposed route through the Park.
* The connection at the bottom of the Park is convenient to the existing portion of the Peters Canyon Trail toward Irvine. (That’s right, the trail has been planned for so long the existing sections are already called Peters Canyon Trail!)
* Connectivity is everything in bikeway planning; trails that go nowhere are useless.
* Failing to build this section wastes previous investment in existing sections.
But logic and myriad public benefit are lost on these clueless by politically connected NIMBYs.
We need your letters to Todd Spitzer and OC Beaches and Parks. And we need them NOW. Tell ’em in your own words why Peters Canyon Class 1 trail must be built.
Todd Spitzer: Todd.Spitzer@ocgov.com
OC Parks firstname.lastname@example.org