Voice your opinion – South OC bikeways planning

thumbnail link to OCTA bikeways map


This link will let you rank proposed Bikeways in OCTA’s planning process. Some are off-highway Class 1 trails, some are along “corridors” that include familiar streets and highways. YOUR responses will help prioritize $-tax expenditures on these projects. And please leave your written comments, too.

We need to hear from YOU.


Aliso Creek National Trail Dedication

The Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trial was recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Interior as an exemplary local and regional trail as part of America’s national system of trails.

The dedication event was held on 10/18/12, and was well attended by local officials, county staff and hiking and biking enthusiasts of the trail with the highlight being the unveiling of the National Trail marker.
Thanks to Bill, our reporter in the field for providing pix from the event:

Aliso Creek Dedication

Aliso Creek Dedication

Opening Speech

Opening Speech

Marker Revealed

Marker Revealed

Looks Sharp!

Looks Sharp!

Great Turnout on the Trail

Great Turnout on the Trail

Thanks to Alicia Raish of OCParks for providing the above photo taken by Chad Yanagisawa, and spearheading the recognition of the trail as a National treasure.

Currently, the Aliso Creek Regional Trail has 15 miles of asphalt bikeway, and soft trail designed for varied recreational activities including hiking, bicycling, walking, running, birdwatching and horseback riding.  The soft trail is better suited to hikers, runners, horseback riding, and generally slower traffic. It runs for much of the length of the creek on the opposite bank, and there are plans to extend it the full length of the creek.

The trail links six schools, a community church, two skate parks, and ten community parks together and offers a wide variety of geography throughout its length from hard concrete channelized infrastructure to tranquil settings that soothe the soul.

The trail traverses five south county cities, extending from the foothills of Orange County near Cooks Corner, past the McFadden Ranch House, and follows Aliso Creek downstream all the way to the boundary of Laguna Beach within a few miles of Aliso Beach in South Laguna.

Moulton, Muirlands, Irvine / Trabuco, Portola, and Santiago Canyon / El Toro are great routes to link to this trail which is an integral link in the OC BikeBone.

Aliso Creek Designated as National Recreational Trail

updated 10/4/12 with answers to questions we asked

Thanks to the efforts of those that created and maintained the trail through the years, last fall Alicia Raish of OC Parks nominated the trail to receive the National Recreational Trail Designation.

Formally known as the Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail, after careful deliberation the Secretary of the Interior granted the nomination, so we ask that you join us in a small celebration Thursday 10/18/12 at 10:00 to witness the unveiling of a special sign designating the Aliso Creek Regional Trail as a National Recreation Trail.

The celebration will take place at the rest area on the trail located off of El Toro Road, a stone’s throw SW from Marguerite Parkway in Lake Forest. Or for those more familiar with the trail, just before the underpass by Saddleback Church.

Hike, Bike, or ride your pony to the event!

Map of Designation CeremonyRiders on the Trail

Here’s the map, ceremony takes place at the National Recreational Trail sign. See you there!

What does it Mean?

Alicia was kind enough to answer a few of our questions:

Q: What does the designation as a National Trail mean?
A: Recognition. We will be listed with American Trails; the  National resource for trails and greenways. This nonprofit organization works to enhance and protect America’s network of interconnected trails.

Q: With the designation, does ownership transfer?
A: No, ownership will always remain with the County of Orange.
The designation could help with plans to extend the trail, and obtain grants from other foundations, or partnerships.

Q: Will Federal money be used to maintain the trail, and if so at what cost?
A: No Federal money will be used on the trail.

Q: Are there any plans to implement a segregated trail for bikers and “hikers”(this includes the dog walkers, stroller moms, and runners) – this is important due to the rapid density growth that is happening along all OC trails.
A: Sections of the Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail are already separated from the bikeway, and are on the other side of the creek.
After construction for the sports fields in Lake Forest, we will plan on adding signs and other features to encourage slower traffic to utilize the soft trail for walking and running. We have made suggestions to acquire additional property from Home owner’s association and flood property to construct a soft trail on the entire length of Aliso Creek Trail.
Plans were also submitted to have Aliso Creek Bikeway continue to PCH.

Thanks Alicia!

Building The OC BikeBone

Last month in Fun With Maps we presented the following picture asking the question “what’s missing”?BikeBone Start

The dark blue lines indicate class1 bike paths, while the lighter blue lines indicate class2 bike lanes on surface streets.

The circles indicate towns along the way or at terminating points of the class1 trails.

The answer to the question is a safe route suitable for commuters to travel about the county utilizing as many class1 trails and connecting them with employment and transportation centers.

Since there weren’t many horizontal lines connecting the current class1 trails, without further ado, here is the latest addition to the BikeBone framework.BikeBone2

The green lines on this map indicate class2 surface streets that might be suitable to the purpose, and as we refine our original stick drawing to include more routes and destination centers, your input is requested to better define routes currently in use throughout the county. What routes are you using now, and what would you like to see? If you like we could build a survey with a list of questions; what do you the commuting cyclists of Orange want?  Is this it?:

Safe Ideal Trail?

Safe Ideal Trail?

Taken from Anaheim Outdoors, the picture above describes safety as being a major goal of the Connectivity Plan, while depicting trail hazards cycling commuters face every day. If you are the cyclist passing the wheel chair, what are your options?

Sometimes it’s just faster and safer to take the street, and with your help and our analysis of traffic data, we can identify the most desired and safest streets, identifying and remedying any roadway deficiencies to build a real commuter network. For example given the above picture, what if the trail was clear for the next 4 miles and by entering a block or two later you could bypass the most populated part of the trail, and make your train on time?

Let’s get the discussion started, because trains don’t wait for strollers!