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  1. #1
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    Rails to Trails in Brea

    I just saw a blurb in the 12/19 OC Register about Brea's city council green-lighting the purchase of the railroad right-of-way that runs from Brea Blvd. to Birch St. I searched the Register Web site, but couldn't find the article in a linkable form.

    The article was on page 5 of the "LOCAL/NORTH" section.

    It was titled "Rails to Trails," and it said the plan is the land would be used for a cycling trail, probably like the Whittier Greenway Trail.

    =================

    Edit: some additional details can be read here. A map of the apparent route is here (PDF).

    A California DOT document suggest there are four phases, of which this is the first:

    (Phase I) Construct a 6,000 linear foot Class I bikeway
    southeasterly along the alignment of an abandoned railroad
    right of way from State College Boulevard across Birch Street
    and though the Birch Hills Golf Course to Kraemer Boulevard.
    (Phase II) Construct a 4,290 linear foot Class I bikeway
    easterly along the Loftus Flood Control channel from Kraemer
    Boulevard to the terminus of the La Floresta perimeter trail
    near Valencia Avenue. (Phase III) Construct a 8,184 linear foot
    Class I bikeway westerly along the alignment of an abandoned
    railroad right of way from State College Boulevard then
    southerly along the Brea Creek Flood Control channel to
    Arovista Park. (Phase IV) Construct a 4,224 linear foot Class I
    bikeway westerly along the alignment of an abandoned railroad
    right of way from the Brea Creek Flood Control channel
    westerly to the city limits.
    Last edited by ZippyThePinhead; 12-25-09 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Adding info

  2. #2
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    Another article on this in today's OC Register...

    Brea moves on proposed Rails-to-Trails project


    By LOU PONSI
    2009-12-23 07:56:30
    BREA – The City Council has approved the purchase of a strip of land from Union Pacific Railroad as a key first step in securing property for the planned Rails-to-Trails project.
    The proposed pedestrian walkway and cycling trail would encompass a 4-mile, east-west strip through the city and either connect or come close to popular destinations such as the Brea Mall, Brea Downtown, Civic Center, Brea Marketplace and the Sports Park.
    The strip of land, which runs from Brea Boulevard to State College Boulevard and is situated between Lambert Road and Birch Street, costs $7.6 million. The funds are coming from Project Area C Bonds and a $1 million Caltrans grant.
    No general fund money will be used for the proposed purchase.
    So far, the city has received more than $1.5 million in grants to support the project and pending grants bring an additional $3.5 million, according to a report from Redevelopment Project Manager Kathie DeRobbio.
    No timeline has been established on completion of the proposed project.
    "The Rails to Trails project is very complex and involves many sections and different property owners," DeRobbio said. "Therefore, the project is likely to happen in phases over a number of years."
    The Whittier Greenway Trail was announced in 2001, and opened earlier this year, so if that is about par, then maybe people will be riding this trail in Brea in 8-10 years.

  3. #3
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    That should be a really nice addition to the city. I used to take yoga classes at the Brea Community Center, so I'm a little familiar with the area.
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

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    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    I keep foolishly hoping something will be done with the Pacific Electric Right-of-Way. It'd also be nice if some of the flood-control channels had paths on them. That wouldn't be difficult for many of them I cross in my travels, since they already have paved sections for maintenance equipment.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  5. #5
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    I think I read somewhere that the old railroad bridge across the Santa Ana River channel was once part of the Pacific Electric, a.k.a. "Red Car" route.

    Some parts of the Red Car right-of-way have been converted into bicycle trails. But I would guess that the ownership of the land is now fragmented, if you will, among many owners. I had never looked at a map of the Red Car system before, but there were many routes back in the day.

  6. #6
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    I was driving around Brea the other day and saw some construction workers on the former railroad right-of-way. It looks like construction has started on the rails-to-trails project that will convert this into an MUP.

    Some recent articles here and here. The first article solicits input/participation:

    To pitch in your suggestions for the trail, complete a Trail Survey, available from De Robbio via e-mail (kathied@cityofbrea.net); attend one of the next two community meetings on Oct. 14 or Nov. 5, both at 5 p.m. at the Civic Center; or come to the next Task Force meeting.

  7. #7
    Senior Member toolbear's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ZippyThePinhead;11624986]I was driving around Brea the other day and saw some construction workers on the former railroad right-of-way. It looks like construction has started on the rails-to-trails project that will convert this into an MUP.

    @@@

    Perhaps it will take less than 8-10 years. It can take lots more. The Bellflower Bike Trail took about 20. If you have to assemble parcels and easements and such, it is a slow, painful process. Take a look from Bellflower to the SE on Google Earth. That scar is the right of way of the old red cars. Make a great trail down into Santa Ana.

    I wish Paramount would develop the same RoW that Bellflower did. Then we would have another Class I cross connection from the LARIO to the SGRT.
    TrailBear

  8. #8
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolbear View Post
    [...]

    I wish Paramount would develop the same RoW that Bellflower did. Then we would have another Class I cross connection from the LARIO to the SGRT.
    Forgive my ignorance, but another? Someone told me there was no class I connection between those trails (maybe at the north end?).

  9. #9
    Senior Member toolbear's Avatar
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    Forgive my ignorance, but another? Someone told me there was no class I connection between those trails (maybe at the north end?).

    @@@

    Above Whittier Dam - four corners trail junction on SGRT - you can take one trail west to pick up the Rio Hondo on San Gabriel Blvd. west of Rosemead Blvd. There is a block or two of street, but not bad. The connector trail appears as Siphon Rd. on G. Earth.

    If you are up at Peck Rd. Water Park on the Rio Hondo Trail, you can go cross lots thru the residential area, work down to Lower Azuza Rd. and hop on the San Gabriel Trail there. Makes about a 20 mile loop ride. There might be a trail working across that water filled gravel pit there, but it will take some poking about to see what is on the ground.

    Down in Bellflower, the new Bellflower Bike Trail from Carruthers Park takes you about half way across the space between the SGRT and LARIO, then it is streets across Paramount.

    At the beach the Shoreline Pedestrian Path gets you most of the way - then you ride through Naples.
    TrailBear

  10. #10
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    Hi So Cal Readers--My name is David Crabtree and I'm the City Planner in Brea and I recently reacquainted myself with cycling after a very long absence (like, since high school!). Anyway, I was surfing around the forums and noticed this posting about Brea's recent trail activity. I spoke with our staff that have been working on the project and they've provided the additional information below. Hope it helps answer some of the questions you might have!

    The City of Brea and the Brea Redevelopment Agency are planning to make Brea a bicycle and pedestrian friendly community by converting abandoned railroad right of ways into an east/west dual tread bicycle trail with a separate walking path. The City is also using flood control channels and City owned property to create an over four mile trail that will connect neighborhoods to a variety of destinations within Brea and eventually with regional trails.

    Named “The Tracks at Brea”, this long desired trail is now becoming a reality. With the help of a grant from the Orange County Transportation Authority, the first phase is under construction. This section runs through the City’s Arovista Park and along the Brea Canyon Flood Control Channel, which is just west of Brea Downtown. At the same time the Redevelopment Agency is working to acquire land for the trail and successfully closed escrow on a nearly one mile right of way in July of this year. The Agency anticipates closing escrow on another half mile right of way by the end of 2011.

    Land acquisition, design and construction for the trail are all being accomplished without the use of City General Funds. Currently, over $10 million in grant requests have been submitted to a variety of agencies. Success on some of these applications as well as support from the Brea Redevelopment Agency will keep the project moving forward as the trail is developed in phases.

    For more details, please contact the Brea Redevelopment Agency at 714-671-4403.

  11. #11
    Senior Member toolbear's Avatar
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    RE: The Tracks at Brea

    Thanks for the info. Let us know when we can come over and go for a ride. I have not surveyed any trails in Brea because I did not know of any. Am I missing some open ones?

    Have you checked out what the other cities are doing on design? The Whittier Greenway is worth a look. Irvine has 45 miles of excellent Class I trails. You can surf many of the local trails over at traillink.com. Photos, maps, reviews, etc. Orange is extending the Santiago Creek Trail.

    I see what appears be be a Right of Way below Lambert. It seems to be the same RoW the Whittier Greenway uses. Be nice to connect the dots. I suspect it might be some of the old Electric Cars RoW.
    TrailBear

  12. #12
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    You're not missing open trails in Brea just yet, there are some pieces, but nothing to comprehensively ride at this time. Soon, we hope, soon. I too think Whittier has done a wonderful job and we've talked with them a lot and visited too. That right of way area you see south of Lambert is indeed part of the envisioned future system Brea is working on. We really do expect some meaningful ride areas to be on line within the next one to two years. A great resource to check in on periodically for any status update is the City website at www.cityofbrea.net.

  13. #13
    slow rider vstudio's Avatar
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    sounds great

  14. #14
    aka Jerome CritEastwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolbear View Post
    Orange is extending the Santiago Creek Trail.
    That project is in full-swing right now. I saw a couple of sections that were being worked on yesterday, NE of the current terminus of Tustin/La Veta and where it is going to cross under Chapman.
    Runnin' With The Pack

  15. #15
    Senior Member toolbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CritEastwood View Post
    That project is in full-swing right now. I saw a couple of sections that were being worked on yesterday, NE of the current terminus of Tustin/La Veta and where it is going to cross under Chapman.
    @@

    Have to go take a look. I have their map here. The section on Bond St. at the bottom of the reservoir is shown as done and word was that the section up Hewes from there was under construction.

    I pulled into Grijalva Park and saw a bunch of work on the far bank. Are they channelizing the creek? There is a blacktop road/trail from the park up to the Collins curve that looks open and rideable. Don't know if you can ride downstream to the medical center on Chapman.

    It would be logical to extend the Santiago Creek Trail downstream to the SART, but it is not even a proposed trail on the Santa Ana map. Be nice to come up the SART, over on the Santiago Ck. Trail to join the Mountains to the Sea trail in Tustin and Irvine, thence to the Back Bay and over to the bottom of the SART.
    TrailBear

  16. #16
    Senior Member toolbear's Avatar
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    We really do expect some meaningful ride areas to be on line within the next one to two years. A great resource to check in on periodically for any status update is the City website at www.cityofbrea.net.

    @@@

    One to two years in the bike trail game is like the speed of light. You must have the RoW and easements in hand. I surveyed on a couple of trails up north where they are trying to assemble those bits piece by piece. Ten more years, perhaps.

    One thing you folks might give some attention to: trail signage. I have yet to see a trail in California with a decent sign program. The gold standard for that is the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System in Eugene, Oregon. You can check them out on traillink.com.

    <http://www.traillink.com/trail/ruth-bascom-riverbank-path-system.aspx>

    The most beautiful trail signs are found in Pullman, WA.

    <http://www.pullmancivictrust.org/Images/Pullman_Trail_Loop.jpg>
    TrailBear

  17. #17
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    There was an update on the Brea portion of the trail in yesterday's OC Register (3/10/2013):

    Although the trail route was in the city's General Plan in 1986, it wasn't until recently that the project began to move forward. The project's master plan was approved unanimously by the City Council in 2007. City officials have been planning and working to secure funding since.About $14 million – from grants and redevelopment bonds – has been dedicated to the project for soil cleanup, construction and land acquisition from Union Pacific and Chevron. The city has not used any general fund money for the project, DeRobbio said.[...]Last month, the Brea City Council approved spending about $1.2 million for grading to remove arsenic from the soil on the stretch of trail from Brea Boulevard to State College Boulevard. Arsenic and other contaminants were used by Union Pacific for weed abatement along the tracks. Work to replace and bury contaminated soil is expected to begin during the summer. Funding was provided through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.By 2014's end, all of the trail will be cleaned of contaminants and about two-thirds of it finished; the city will seek additional funds to do the last portion and possibly add proposed elements such as playgrounds and exercise equipment. There is no deadline yet for completion. The already-secured $14 million included acquiring the entire railway.Ideas for elements of the project have been honed through public meetings and a citizen's task force."We're at the point were the community is going to start to see construction," DeRobbio said. "We're chasing the money and being as cost-effective as we can. ...

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