Road and Trail Closures in South County on 9/23/12

As a public safety message reminder from yesterday’s OC Register regarding road closures in the south county:

The following roads and trails will be closed to the public between the hours of 06:00 thru 13:00:

  • San Juan Creek Bike Trail  – closed between Doheny State Beach and Calle Arroyo
  • La Novia Avenue  – closed between San Juan Creek Road and Calle Arroyo

Also being closed from 06:30 to 09:30 is: Northbound La Pata Avenue

Ortega Highway, traffic will be reduced to one lane between Avenida Siega and Antonio Parkway from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Eastbound Ortega Highway from Antonio Parkway to El Cariso Village will be closed from 06:30 to 12:30.

Not mentioned from the Register is that there was/is signage through Doheny Beach and Campground as well as the protected bike lane from Beach to Capistrano indicating that that they also will be closed until 16:00.

If you’re trying to get some miles in for the OC Gran Fondo, ride elsewhere, or take PCH straight through Dana Point and into San Clemente. Marguerite to Avery to  Camino Capistrano to Del Obispo will get you there from the inland county, or you could take Marguerite all the way to Ortega to work your way through traffic to Del Obispo.

If you go out on PCH the problem will be on the return if the protected area is still closed because your access to Harbor is cutoff unless you take the sidewalk from Palisades / Beach, or ride the on ramp (watch for traffic coming from the right at the gore point) back onto PCH. Or, you could have a real workout and take a left at the dreaded Stonehill and take it through the rollies to Niguel, or take the easy way by turning left on Del Obispo (which turns into Harbor after crossing PCH) so you have the option of climbing PCH, Golden Lantern, or for extra bonus points, Cove.

We earlier looked at both websites for the City of Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano for guidance regarding closures and found nothing posted at the time. We are concerned because the current closures differ materially from the “strongly discourage” language used previously as can be seen in our original post about the event here. Each City referred our inquiry to the promoter, who assures us that:

“We have worked diligently with all agencies & cities to obtain permits for the use of trails, streets and a highway and to provide comprehensive advanced notification to the residents of Dana Point & San Juan Capistrano (and beyond).” maybe we’re getting worked up over nothing because we didn’t get the memo.

Plan your routes carefully – it looks like a warm weekend and all the popular and safe southern routes are out of play this Sunday.

Saturday be aware of car parking and extra traffic at Trestles for the Surfing Championship.

Finally, the injured rider from last Thursday the 13th was registered to be in Sunday’s Tri, We’ve  asked that her entrance fee be refunded from the promoter. We’ll let you know his response when we receive it.

New Developments in South OC

While coming down Antonio towards Ortega the following scenes took my breath away. Welcome to progress! Those “little trucks” in the distance all lined up are actually huge earth-movers, and they are moving a lot of it!

 Movin' Mountains
 Bridge  Add a Lane

What you are looking at is phase1 of  The Ranch Plan being built on land owned by the Rancho Mission Viejo Company, and the start of construction of what will be 14,000 additional homes in the area. This particular area will be known as Sendero*, a mix of 940 homes, 200 apartments, and a 10-acre retail plaza that’s all scheduled to open next summer (2013).

Welcome Home

Will a bike lane go through it?

Please note there is a new traffic light right at the “sweet spot” on the downhill that will serve as an entrance to this new community.

The Ranch Plan will consist of:

  • Nine separate areas of development, called “villages,” stretching from the border of Camp Pendleton Marine Base to the 241 Toll Road.
  • 23,000 acres of land, 17,000 acres undeveloped and dedicated to species protection, cattle-grazing and citrus farming.
  • 14,000 homes meant for a variety of residents, including senior communities.

On the other side of Ortega, a 10 acre development proposal by Shea Homes is being wrangled through the system. With the requested doubling of homes at the Great Park, the proposed development in Santiago Canyon, Rancho Capistrano, the new developments in Lake Forest and San Clemente, enjoy the “back county” rides while you can.

Even though the Ortega highway has been “widened” (except for bikes), one wonders if it’s enough to support the anticipated traffic load, and if not, how soon will the toll road happily take all these paying customers to the beach? Since the toll road is creeping south to end (for now) at Cow Camp Road at Ortega, pressure to complete and connect the toll road to the 5 will build as new residents make their voices heard. La Pata will also get attention (and probably pavement) to fill the open space gap between San Clemente and San Juan.

We suggest improving and extending the San Juan Creek Bike Trail to La Pata to provide a means for all the new residents to ride their bikes to the beach, and when La Pata is completed (with buffered bike lanes?), a direct means to travel to and from San Clemente. With these last build outs, and knowing that 40% of urban travel is 2 miles or less, and  90% of those trips are by car, it just makes sense to incorporate cycling facilities and infrastructure as these new communities are literally built out “from the ground up”.

*sendero: 1) a trodden path, (2) evidence pointing to a possible solution

Doheny Surf Festival This Weekend

Wondering where to ride this weekend?

Doheny Surf Festival

We suggest a coastal route to beat the heat, perhaps to the Dana Point Doheny Surf Festival.  Admission to the event is free except for the concert area; which requires the purchase of a ticket.  Since the stage will be facing the ocean (no doubt to keep “noise” levels down to a dull roar), it might be tempting to paddle out and play with Flipper or dance with a whale while grooving to the tunes.

The two day event is a fundraiser to support local State Parks and beaches, and discount tickets are still available . Since the money raised will stay here in SoCal, it’s almost like paying yourself to have fun! If you have the time, 120 camp sites are available on the southern part of the 62 acre state park , and two day festival passes are available.

Planning a fall tour? This would be a great way to test your gear selection and mad camping skilz before actually heading out.


25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
Corner of Pacific Coast Hwy & Dana Pt Harbor Dr.

For tickets click here.

Saturday there’s also a farmers market to stock up on picnic items located in front of Hennesy’s between Bike Religion and Cyclelogical. If your bike needs attention, stop by one of these shops and tell  John or Bill we said “hi”.

Sunday’s market happens a short ride away in San Clemente at the 200 block of Seville and Avenida Del Mar (map) from 9am – 1pm.

How to get there:
By bike of course!
Here’s some ideas:

Coastal:  PCH South to Dana Point

Mid County: Irvine Center / Moulton to Crown Valley. Right to PCH, Left to Dana Point.

Inland: Antonio or Marguerite to San Juan Creek Bike Path into Doheny State Park.

For the coastal route you may choose our alternate routes through Newport and Laguna Beach.

If you have a suggested route, let us know and we’ll update with the info.

And finally, please sign the petition started by Dana Pointer Julie to create safe bike lanes in Laguna Beach. With your support we will work with both the city and CalTrans (who control different parts of the road) to find a needed balance for all road users. Thanks!

Parking: There is a very long bike rack next to the festival entrance towers.

Regular coastal riders should expect and respect the additional traffic and distractions in the area.

Free Train Tix to SC Ocean Festival

SC OFest

One way to beat the heat is to head to the San Clemente Ocean Festival this Saturday and Sunday (21st and 22nd), and what would be cooler than free train tickets to get there?

Starting on 7/21 at 08:30, the OCTA will give a free roundtrip ticket to the first 100 people at the Fullerton Transportation Center located at 120 E. Santa Fe Ave. There will also be prizes, giveaways, and free food!

The hour long trip is scheduled to leave at 09:28, but note that the fine print says that trains may leave 5 minutes early.

Take your bike and explore San Clemente and nearby Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano. Return to the Festival  for the:

  • California Waterman & Waterwoman Championship
  •  Surf Race to Victory SUP Cross
  • 5K Beach Run
  • “Grom’s Rule” Surf Contest
  • Sand Sculpting Competition
  • Lifeguards’ Pancake Breakfast
  • Fishing Derby
  • Children’s Events
  • Dolphin Dash/Kids Beach Run
  • 20th Annual Classic Woody Car Exhibit
  • Ocean Art Show
  • Family Beach Party & Free Concert
  • Great Rubber Duck Race

For train schedules and more event information, please visit the OCTA page.