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Old 03-21-12, 09:08 AM   #1
Jan Feetz
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Worst bike paths, MUPs, and Bike Lanes in OC & LA county

A recent post has the best of OC & LA county. Which is, in your opinion(s), the worst, should be avoided.

Number 1 on my list:
The Alton Ave bike "path". From Susan st. in Santa Ana to were it ends on Warner. Seems like its always overgrown with weeds, I once picked up 8 thorn punctures on single revolution of my commuter. Add in, glass, water that takes days to drain off, graffiti covered road & walls, meth addicts/strawberry hookers..you get the idea. No one bothers you, but what a lousy path!
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Old 03-21-12, 09:59 AM   #2
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Where's the Alton Ave bike path?

The worst - Portola (but only because of the construction, for location toll road to toll road), Alton Parkway (by the fields of strawberries, between Technology and Barranca/Muirlands) and Campus (between University and Jamboree, that whole section just needs to be repaved...4 or 5 potholes in traffic lanes when it rains, never mind the bike lanes don't drain).
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Old 03-21-12, 10:08 AM   #3
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I used to ride the Ballona creek bike path - which is GREAT down by the beach but as you go further inland it's a mess of gravel bits, thorns & all kinds of fun bike hazards. I once flatted my way through my entire patch kit and spare tire and had to walk home in my bare feet.

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Old 03-21-12, 10:16 AM   #4
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I often ride the bike lane on Red Hill Ave from around Baker St to Bristol. It's like the OC version of Paris Roubaix! Although the trail is beutiful and in good shape I also dislike the MUP along the Upper Newport Bay by the YMCA. Extremely crowded with walkers, dogs, kids etc. It leads to several other trails so I take it frenquently but really have to watch my speed through there.
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Old 03-21-12, 12:06 PM   #5
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Where's the Alton Ave bike path?

The worst - Portola (but only because of the construction, for location toll road to toll road), Alton Parkway (by the fields of strawberries, between Technology and Barranca/Muirlands) and Campus (between University and Jamboree, that whole section just needs to be repaved...4 or 5 potholes in traffic lanes when it rains, never mind the bike lanes don't drain).
Google: Alton & Susan St, Santa Ana. The path runs next to the RR tracks and continues east, until the Pacific Electric Trail. Zoom in on the portion between Dyer & Main, see all those spots on the path? Those are painted over gang tags, funny thing is, those markings are back!
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Old 03-21-12, 12:13 PM   #6
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Google: Alton & Susan St, Santa Ana. The path runs next to the RR tracks and continues east, until the Pacific Electric Trail. Zoom in on the portion between Dyer & Main, see all those spots on the path? Those are painted over gang tags, funny thing is, those markings are back!
I've been on Main, was going to a Ducks playoff game, it was like I had left the country...I know where that is, that's Lil TJ as I call it.
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Old 03-21-12, 12:36 PM   #7
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I avoid Santa Ana altogether. Roads are horrible and very little to no bike lanes. I'm also not a fan of cholos being stupid in their cars when they see a cyclist.
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Old 03-21-12, 11:18 PM   #8
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I avoid Santa Ana altogether. Roads are horrible and very little to no bike lanes. I'm also not a fan of cholos being stupid in their cars when they see a cyclist.
I never got hassled riding through Santa Ana, and rarely have any trouble riding through horrible neighborhoods in LA. It always seems to be the middle aged accountants driving with their kids through Laguna Hills who want a piece of me.
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Old 03-22-12, 09:11 AM   #9
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LA is fine. In fact a cholo in the Boyle Heights told me I looked pretty in my pink jersey when I was biking to DTLA from LB one time.

It is true, South Orange County is worst, snobs driving like they have some sort of self entitlement to the whole road (including the bike lane). I've broken a side mirror or two in the area.
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Old 03-22-12, 10:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
A recent post has the best of OC & LA county. Which is, in your opinion(s), the worst, should be avoided.

Number 1 on my list:
The Alton Ave bike "path". From Susan st. in Santa Ana to were it ends on Warner. Seems like its always overgrown with weeds, I once picked up 8 thorn punctures on single revolution of my commuter. Add in, glass, water that takes days to drain off, graffiti covered road & walls, meth addicts/strawberry hookers..you get the idea. No one bothers you, but what a lousy path!

I used to ride this from Costa Mesa to Orange. Going past the homeless camps on the trail made me a bit nervous. For those who haven't ridden on the trail, the camps are ON the trail, not next to it. Lent my friend a bike and went for a ride. In 3 blocks all of our tires were flat. Lost count of the thorns. If you continue past Warner, the path continues through the old Santa Ana neighborhoods. Stop signs every 100 yards or so. Due to bad city planning, the area is way overcrowded and short of parkland. The locals use the trail for all occasions. I literally crashed a first communion shindig, missing the little guests by inches. The trail through Santa Ana is an old Pacific Electric spur. I applaud the effort, but the result is not practical for bicycle use.
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Old 03-22-12, 10:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Flying Merkel View Post
I used to ride this from Costa Mesa to Orange. Going past the homeless camps on the trail made me a bit nervous. For those who haven't ridden on the trail, the camps are ON the trail, not next to it. Lent my friend a bike and went for a ride. In 3 blocks all of our tires were flat. Lost count of the thorns. If you continue past Warner, the path continues through the old Santa Ana neighborhoods. Stop signs every 100 yards or so. Due to bad city planning, the area is way overcrowded and short of parkland. The locals use the trail for all occasions. I literally crashed a first communion shindig, missing the little guests by inches. The trail through Santa Ana is an old Pacific Electric spur. I applaud the effort, but the result is not practical for bicycle use.
I call the area north of the 405, west of the 55 and south of the 91 Old Orange County, you can see the differences between in how the streets are laid out, most notably when bike lanes/paths turned on. Even more so when you drive some of the roads. Going from outside that bubble, to inside, the streets get narrower.

Oh, there are some small pockets of blue on the Bikeways Map from OCTA....wonder is someone lost parking for a lane and shoulder/bike lane in those areas.

Last edited by snowman40; 03-22-12 at 10:23 AM. Reason: looked at "new" map
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Old 03-22-12, 10:41 AM   #12
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Stop signs every 100 yards or so. Due to bad city planning, the area is way overcrowded and short of parkland. The locals use the trail for all occasions. I literally crashed a first communion shindig, missing the little guests by inches. The trail through Santa Ana is an old Pacific Electric spur. I applaud the effort, but the result is not practical for bicycle use.
Merkel, your post made me laugh! It reminded me when I came across a girl smoking a cigar on that short span of the Pacific electric.
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Old 03-22-12, 05:06 PM   #13
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Call me strange, but I normally enjoy the tree-shaded Maple Av PE trail.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:07 PM   #14
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Well, at least there aren't any potholes!

This is on Cerritos Ave in Stanton. There is at least half a mile of road where cars that are legally parked completely block the bike lane.

Face-palm anyone?
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Old 03-25-12, 10:19 PM   #15
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When half the bike "lane" is useless cement drainage, is it really a bike lane? (re: Cerritos ave in Stanton)

What about mysterious parts of a street... you're riding along, bike lane, bike lane, bike lane, oops, no more bike lane. Are you supposed to teleport a quarter mile down to where the bike lane picks up again?
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Old 03-27-12, 03:51 PM   #16
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My vote would have to be in CostaMesa/SantaAna Sunflower Ave. between Main St. and Bristol. That section is riddled with rough pavement, loose gravel, and cracks. The section of Sunflower Ave. between Bear St. and Fairview has good pavement, but gets debris from the trees, as well as a "pinch point" where two traffic lanes become one. If you are riding more than 3 feet from the curb, you can get taken out by drivers who don't realize the road becomes narrow at that point.

Another bad bike lane is in Newport Beach. Irvine Ave, between 15th and Cliff. This bike lane is in a residential district. There are cars parked ON the bike lane all along this stretch. How can a bike lane be a bike lane when the city allows residents to park on it?
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