The City of Santa Ana and the Orange County Transit Authority, OCTA, are both seeking community input for improving the bike trails master plan in Santa Ana and surrounding areas.
Santa Ana has held a series of community meetings to update the public on the Circulation and Housing Elements. Both are documents intended to serve as a bike trails master plan by the City. The bike trails master plan was last updated in 2002.
Bicycling has gained tremendous popularity as a viable, preferable form of alternative transportation in recent years. Santa Ana, a city with an extremely dense population and home to many that do not rely on cars, has only a fragmented network of bicycle lanes and is in need of an update to the bike trails master plan.
Particular areas that are on the list of projects identified by the community and the city are :
Santiago Creek Trail
This is a 1/4 mile stretch of land along the Santiago Creek that could serve as a link between the Santiago Creek Trail and Santa Ana River Trail. Connecting these two bike-ways would join over 70 miles of mostly protected bike trails. Those opposing this development, primarily homeowners along the trail, cite concerns of disease and crime; however no information has been provided to substantiate this assertion. Other concerns relate to property lines or the perceived loss of property needed to complete the trail. However, sources indicate that in some areas, residents may be encroaching on public city land. Another section of the proposed trail may be subject to flooding during the rainy season. This would seem to be a minor issue considering the desert climate of Southern California. The proposed trail is located in the most affluent neighborhood of Santa Ana. The current sentiment among many in the city is that this neighborhood, Floral Park, receives a wildly disproportionate amount of attention by the city and city officials, while ignoring the needs of the vast majority of Santa Ana’s population.
For more information, please visit : http://neighbors4trail.org/
Central Santa Ana Raitt Street Neighborhood
KidWorks has done an excellent job highlighting improvements needed in central Santa Ana. These improvements are focused on the intersections and crosswalks along Raitt Street, between First Street and McFadden Avenue. This area suffers from a severe lack of adequate lighting and clear, effective, traffic control. There are several facilities, schools, community centers and parks in this area, attended by hundreds of youth everyday. Improved lighting and illuminated crosswalks seem like low cost but are highly effective solutions to improving the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to and from the many homes in this highly dense section of the city.
Santa Ana’ bike trails master plan has also identified Willits Street as a possible location for an added bike lane. This street appears to be wide enough to support a protected bike lane with no impact to traffic flow and available parking. At present time, the city is suggesting a painted bike lane.
Currently neither the city nor OCTA track pedestrian or bicycle traffic–only automobile data is collected.
If you would like to comment on or view Santa Ana’s bike trails master plan, please visit the Santa Ana in Motion website.