We are grass-roots neighborhood organization that would like a bike path in the “Missing Link” area of Santiago Creek built on City-owned property in the Creek (some homeowners in the Creek have expropriated some of this City-owned property.) The idea of a trail in the Missing Link area is not a new idea. Indeed, a trail in the Missing Link, in one form or the other, has been a long-standing historical fact and a valuable resource for the City of Santa Ana and its residents since at least the 1930’s. To date, we have over a 1,000 supporters in favor of this idea. After reading for yourself, please sign our petition if you support the Missing Link.
The Missing Link
This Missing Link is a 1/4-mile gap located in the Santiago Creek, between the 5 Freeway underpass and Flower Street. The Missing Link will provide open space, ready access to neighbors to adjoining trails throughout the County. With this link in place, we will be able to connect to bike trails, shopping centers and local attractions only minutes away (the Main Place Mall, the City Place, the Discovery Science Center, Nature Center in Santiago, etc.)
click photos to enlarge
We want a trail in keeping with the character of the Creek - no concrete - like the one in Santiago Park (see above picture of the path in Santiago Park, also located in Santa Ana near a park (Santiago Park, that is the mirror image of Jack Fisher Park.)
Status of the Missing Link Proposal
Presently, the City of Santa does not have a bike trail proposed in the Missing Link on its Circulation Element/Plan (the plan that the City has for future trails and streets for the City.) In order to have such a proposed trail go forward it must first be placed on the Circulation Element. There are two competing proposals in the proposed amendments to the City’s Circulation Element for tying the City’s trail system together (1) the Missing Link; and, a competing proposal, i.e., the Freeway Alternative (see the next section.)
The Proposed Alternative to the Missing Link
Instead of going forward a ¼ mile in the Missing Link, the alternative proposal to the Missing Link is for pedestrian/cyclist to ride/walk up and out of the trail on Santiago Creek onto Main Street, then proceed southward onto Main Street (past two off-ramps and one on-ramp to the 5 Freeway), and continue west on Santa Clara Avenue (past Broadway where it merges with yet another off-ramp from the 5 Freeway), and then to Flower and north on Flower to Memory Lane. This route includes five traffic signals and two stop signs, all of which are a huge disincentive to any cyclist. We term this competing proposal as the “Freeway Alternative,” because of its proximity past the traffic emanating out of and to the 5 Freeway. In other words, in order to bypass the 1/4 mile in the Missing Link, the Freeway Alternative would provide that a cyclist/pedestrian endure a route (1) over four times the distance; and, (2) located on heavily-traveled surface streets and through busy intersections with replete with freeway on and off-ramps. The Freeway Alternative provides an especially daunting path around and through some, if not the most, busiest streets and intersections in our City. Frankly, one would be hard pressed to devise a more dangerous route in the City for families with bicycles.
The Missing Link must be the proposal that is adopted by the City and placed on the Circulation Element. Once this idea has been placed on the Circulation Element the City can work on the specific design of the trail and funding and planning for the trail can then take place. We anticipate that there will be ample sources of funding for the improvements to the Missing Link other than City funding. Other improvements in Santiago Creek were funded by several sources including but not limited to: Federal and State grants, Measure M and Prop 1B monies, and OC Parks. There is a dire need for the Missing Link. California cities average 5 acres open space per 1,000 persons. Santa Ana has the least amount of open space per resident than any other city in the State of California. Santa Ana has a mere 0.9 acres of open space per 1,000 people. The lack of open space in conjunction with impoverished living conditions and a lack of public safety are barriers to active lifestyles and healthy living. City residents not only suffer from lack of open space but are also afflicted with related health issues such as diabetes and obesity. Due, in part, to the lack of open space, 34.8% of children in Santa Ana are obese. This is the highest rate of any large metropolitan area in California! By adopting the Missing Link, essentially a linear park, Santa Ana will be doing something to address this dire problem.
If you think this is the right thing for our neighborhoods, and would like to lend us your support, or would like periodic updates, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, by providing your name(s), address and phone number.
ARTICLES and STUDIES
It'll just take a minute! Also, you can have others sign it in your household, spouses, etc. Better yet, we can send a widget that you can attach to pertinent websites or blogs. Spread the word within your group. We need all Santa Ana residents fired up for this matter.