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January 27, 2007

New Bike Trail Plan in Costa Mesa Brings Questions 2

When the High Poobahs of a city decide to look into adding a Bike Trail to the community landscape this is a good thing, but when a look around the proposed route leads to some very serious questions of viability one has to wonder what the Officials are thinking.

I have made 2 trips to the area, and in this, and the next post, will detail my findings.

I then willl let offialdom know, and see what more I can learn that might shed some light on the plans they say they are considering.

The article in the OC Register ( Linked in Part 1. ) tells what little we know.

Dusty, weed- infested gullies could become cycling havens under a plan in the early stages of study by city officials.

The "community trail" concept calls for topping flood-control channel levees with decomposed granite and unlocking the channel gates, giving cyclists a clear path through heavily urbanized terrain.

Similar flood-channel trails have been built in Irvine, Orange and Seal Beach, among others. Several years back, Costa Mesa built a 2.5-mile trail atop the Greenville-Banning Channel, which parallels the Santa Ana River.

That channel trail provides access to/from the Santa Ana River Bike Trail at Fairview Park on the west side of town.

The path now being studied would be of similar length and run along Paularino Channel, which begins near Fairview Road and Baker Street. It would meet the Santa Ana Delhi Channel near Baker and Bristol streets, and then run almost to Upper Newport Bay.

In Part 1 I showed you 3 pictures: A View the Paularino Channel at Baker/Fairview, a view of the Santa Ana Delhi Channel section, south of Mesa Dr./east of Irvine Ave. showing the route leading to the Back Bay, and the same channel off Santa Ana Ave./south of Bristol St. showing a locked gate with a No Tesspassing sign, blocking access to a posted County Multi-Use Trail.


On my 1st visit, after leaving Fairview, I headed east on Baker, to Bristol.

After heading south, under the 73 frwy, I came to Bristol and Bear St.

MORE than 2 blocks south of Baker.

This is where the 1st trail meets the 2nd, and then they live Happily Ever After all the way to the Bay!

1 problem: There is a freeway blocking eastbound access.

The path beyond the gate is a short one that goes behind business I ride past as I head south/East on Bristol.

Okay, I thought, this is interesting. Where's the blasted channel?


Just east of where the 55 and 73 meet, at Bristol st. and Newport Blvd., is an access road that leads to one of the freeways, behind a Mini-Storage.

Walking back there I discovered no view of the channels.

By now I realized that the idea of a non-stop trail was non-existent, and was curious to see what other surpises might me instore the rest of the way.

I returned to Bristol, and a block further east I came across the, now merged, Santa Ana Delhi Channel.

It is now heading SE next to a Golf Course.


The access is next to a dirt lot used for excess parking related to the Extra Storage, and  Acapulco Restuarant on its west side.

Not exactly the best place to put a Bike Trail Access, unless you eliminate the dirt lot.

I continue east on Bristol, to Santa Ana Ave., and a short distance south of the intersection pick up the channel again.

Santa Ana Heights is a community with a Homeowners Association, and lots of Horse Lovers, and a few Horse trails including one that parallels the channel, to the Bay, as shown in the picture in pt.1.

This is where I came upon the locked Country Trail, as shown also in Part 1.

A man I met later gave me to believe that residents of the area may have keys that allow access to the trail, but I don't know for sure.

I went south on Santa Ana, then east on Mesa Dr., where I found the Channel one last time, at Irvine Ave., along with another Golf Course.

The trail runs east through the course before going under Irvine Ave.,, then south to Mesa Dr.


As you will see from this, and the next pic, there is no access to the channel, just a gravelly area the short distance to Mesa.


The Golfers have to cross the street to get to another part of the course, and there is no public access to the channel on either side of the street.


With the course on the left, and the backyards of houses on the rigght, there is no public access.

Following the dead-end street that is just south of the intersection, and heads east, roughtly next to the trail, I can get closer looks at the channels, and the Horse Trail on the far side, once the channel leaves the Golf Course behind.

As you can see from the picture in Part 1 there is a lot of space over there, all the way to the Bay.

But what about where the 2 channels meet?

I was still puzzled about this, and decided to return for a closer look to see if I could find the answer.

January 27, 2007 in Riding Orange County | Permalink


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