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Old 02-08-13, 02:12 PM   #1
marquhar
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CC River Trail conditions at Alondra/Rosecrans

CC=Coyote Creek

Status Change - Monday 2-4-2013
---------
Since the closure of CC trail at Alondra, it was still possible to enter (going North) at Freeway Dr.

Of course, you can exit there too through the Drive-In parking lot.

The entrance/exit gate is now gone and the trail is off-limits from Alondra!

Coming south from Rosecrans
--------------
On Tuesday 2-5 I entered CC trail from Rosecrans while going south. No signs were
posted to warn that there is no exit anymore at the Drive-In. If you get caught in this
predicament, the best decision is to return to Rosecrans and find your way to Bloomfield or
Valley View, with Bloomfield the best choice.

It may seem that descending the CC wall into the channel is a good alternative. I've seen
riders doing this. The channel conditions are unpredictable. You can expect glass, fine silt, and slimy moss, with pot holes where you least expect them.

Don't risk riding in the channel bottom, instead return to Rosecrans. The southbound entrance to CC at Rosecrans should have a signed warning, but there is none.

Last edited by marquhar; 09-26-14 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 03-18-13, 12:28 PM   #2
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After a bit of google, I found this Los Angeles County Public Works website
http://dpw.lacounty.gov/bikepathclosures/

The above is an official site, no matter how useless it is. I submitted a notice on their contact form about the conditions I encountered. What an f'up situation. Nobody is watching out for cyclists and dangerous conditions are popping up all the time.

Its best to stay away from Freeway Dr. at Alondra (as of late February 2013) as they plan to demolish the freeway bridge soon.

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Old 03-18-13, 01:16 PM   #3
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I dunno, I was pretty excited that they repaved the southern part but it's a useless trail until you can ride the whole dang thing. I don't think they'll be done blocking it off for at least another year either.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:11 PM   #4
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May 2, 2013 report

Success in penetrating the I-5 curtain from South to North.

Rode North up the CC today. On advice from other riders, I found that the Firestone exit (last one before Alondra) from the bike path is open, and is surprisingly clean. It dumps out adjacent to Mike Thompson's RV Store. We took this to the left along Firestone (2 lanes), then out to Marquadt, then turned right onto the Alondra I-5 bridge.

Alondra Bridge is open
--------------------------
This bridge was up for demolition back in late January. Its still open and is an easy way to get past the I-5.
To get to Rosecrans, we then zig-zagged through the Industrial Park above Freeway Dr., first north on Spring, cross Excelsior, Spring again, then left on Pumice, then right on Best, finally right on Rosecrans.

Unethical Striping (lane markings)
------------------
Heading east on Rosecrans, we saw some restriping after the first intersection that almost eliminated any shoulder. This seems to imply that cyclists are not in their plans in this section of Rosecrans: very bad form on their part.

I-5 Status
Bridges
---------
Valley VIew (N/S), open, OK for riding
Shoemaker (N/S), closed/demolished, N/A
Carmenita (N/S), open, barely passable
Alondra (E/W), open (demolition soon), OK for riding

CC Gates
----------
Carmenita, open, OK for riding
Artesia/Marquadt, open, not recommended << this is the suggested detour up to the Carmenita bridge
Firestone, open, OK for riding (could change soon)
Alondra, closed, forget it (closed till 2015)
Swap Meet, closed/removed, gone for good << this change was without notice and is still causing trouble

Lobby for new Swap Meet gate
-----------------------------------
Something tells me that there is a way to convince the operators of the SM to open their fencing along the CC, about 100 yards north of the old gate, and let riders onto their access road. This service road dumps out to Freeway Dr.

I am still rehabbing my Fx Hip. Its almost 90 days since surgery and today is the first time I went north of the I-5 and climbed Colima. I turned around at Casino Dr. and descended. Today we had N/NE winds which almost gave tailwind. There are enough thermals to kill most of the tailwind. I made all the lights going down and hit 40 MPH briefly.

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Old 05-02-13, 10:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the status report on CC... I really want them to finish that damn thing.

I live right off Colima - I hope you waved at that ghastly dolphin fountain when you rode by (my street, not my fountain). Guess what his favorite football team is... no, i'm not going to tell you, you have to guess.

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Old 05-03-13, 12:37 PM   #6
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Alondra bridge to be closed on June 3, 2013 with demolition to follow soon after
http://www.whittierdailynews.com/new...ure-tenatively

If I don't google around weekly I miss these tidbits.
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Old 05-03-13, 02:08 PM   #7
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I called the News Rep for District 7 at Caltrans. She instantly picked up the phone. We had an amazing talk.

The date given above (June 3) for the Alondra bridge closure is not so hard and fast - it is tentative.

I had a couple of questions for them:
How is the Swap Meet factoring in to Caltrans decisions?

Will the SM continue normal operations during bridge work?

Is Firestone Blvd, between Marquadt (or CC) and Valley View, to stay open for the next year? This is on the south side of the I-5.

So they took my number to get back to me. I am excited that I got that far.

My idea for a bridge to unterminate/open CC
----------------------
I commented that closing the Swap Meet gate to CC path is not stopping riders from coming south on CC from Rosecrans. I flippantly said, Why not install a temp bridge from the CC/Swap Meet across to the VV side of Alondra.? The reply was music to the ears: they already have a study for this in progress.
It makes sense for the Swap Meet business too so they give access to all the weekend foot traffic coming from the huge parking lot east of them. When Alondra bridge closes, so goes Alondra from Marquadt to Freeway Dr. This means access to the SM is only from inside the Freeway Dr. industrial park, or with some development, from the east (namely Valley View).
Like this:
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File Type: jpg bridge_add_sm.jpg (43.6 KB, 16 views)

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Old 05-10-13, 07:45 PM   #8
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Here's some links and a summary of what I've learned about Coyote Creek bike path management.

1) Most local bike paths (not in a construction zone) are maintained by Los Angeles County Public Works. However, the CC path has been taken over by Caltrans (District 7) for the duration of I-5 improvement project.

2) Caltrans District 7 is huge. Their office is in downtown LA. They do give some lip service about 'being bike friendly'. Sure they played a huge part in Ciclavia. While Caltrans support of street riding seems weak, they do have a position called 'bike coordinator':

San Diego's Bike Coordinator pages
http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist11/departm...cyclepages.htm
http://bikesd.org/2011/12/seth-cutte...e-coordinator/

(cc)District 7 does have a bike coordinator!
http://www.google.com/search?q=caltrans+bike+coordinator+'district%207'

3) The CC path at Alondra was closed in April or May 2012. They used the exit area as a place to pile up dirt and poles/pillars to be used for the new freeway bridge. This bridge demolition has been delayed nearly 6 months. No problem, the dirt and poles are safely still there.

4) Caltrans engineers are experts at designing and building highways. Another bike path exit on the east side of the CC channel should be easy for them to build. Take a look at the Firestone exit of the CC path, cross over to the east side and look down. Much of the infrastructure is already there.

5) When it comes to CC path, Caltrans attitude towards bike infrastructure is 'close it and abandon it'. They show no interest in building safe alternatives for the sections they closed. This is going to lead to injuries to the biking public.

Caltrans Dist7 home page
http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/

I-5 Project page
http://www.i-5info.com

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Old 05-10-13, 07:51 PM   #9
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I think you do caltrans a disservice! I have yet to see a project of any stripe that they cannot bring home at least 5 months late and way over budget. I'd love to be responsible for their budgets! Eh, just pick a number, we're going to miss it anyway.
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Old 05-11-13, 07:10 PM   #10
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Apologies to the forum: Caltrans District 7 does have a bike coordinator. I won't name him here. Get the contact info at the bottom of this page:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/Publica...ory.php?id=239

By the way, he is not mentioned anywhere in bikeforums.net
I will try and call his office ASAP, which is Monday.

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Old 05-11-13, 08:34 PM   #11
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Actually District 7 is fairly small, considering that it's pretty much just LA County (OC is District 12). District 7 is also, bless their little hearts, the only district which posts a .pdf of their Mile Post Markers online. Wonderful resource when you have to send oil trucks out to boost spreaders.
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Old 08-27-13, 03:31 PM   #12
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I've contacted Caltrans District 7 via their website contact form regarding the horribly unsafe detour route Caltrans has provided for the Coyote Creek closure.

This is the message I sent and their canned reply:

Quote:
Answer to your question submitted on 08/12/2013 (Reference #69451)

Question:
The Coyote Creek trail is projected to be closed between Alondra and Artesia until 2015. Has an alternative route been planned to keep cyclists safe?

The closest roads running North-South are Carmenita and Valley View, which are both incredibly unsafe and dangerous routes for bicyclists. Bicyclists are forced to ride in traffic lanes with vehicular traffic making conditions very treacherous.

Answer:
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. The subject bike path closure is due to the Caltrans bridge widening project at the I-5 freeway and Alondra Boulevard. An on-road detour for bicyclists has been established and has been in effect for the duration of the project. Guidance signage is posted along the detour route. http://dpw.lacounty.gov/bikepathclosures/ now has a PDF map of the detour route available for download.

Please contact Mr. Tim Nguyen (Tim_d_nguyen@dot.ca.gov) or Mr. Dale Benson (Dale_benson@dot.ca.gov) to discuss the closure and detour.
I have submitted followup responses including a copy of the photo I attached here to Mr. Tim Nguyen and Mr. Dale Benson and predictably have not received any response. I've also contacted the BikinginLA blog in the hopes that he may know someone who can help cyclists find a safe way to cross the I-5 curtain.

The Coyote Creek Trail was previously a staple on my daily commute route and I've simply grown fatigued of fighting this traffic. I fear that being forced into traffic lanes will inevitably result in a collision and we know how well cyclists fare vs. cars. I've attached a picture of the southbound lanes of Carmenita that comprise the most unsafe portion of the detour route as provided. The only consolation provided is the orange "Share the Road" sign as seen in the picture.

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File Type: jpg G0020551 Copy.jpg (100.5 KB, 20 views)
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Old 08-27-13, 04:27 PM   #13
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Thanks for the update. I've been missing the upper CC for awhile now . . .

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Old 08-27-13, 05:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ninevictor View Post
I've contacted Caltrans District 7 via their website contact form regarding the horribly unsafe detour route Caltrans has provided for the Coyote Creek closure.
I've talked to Mr. Dale Benson back in May '13. He easily gave me 20 minutes of his time.

My wish list:
1)mirror the CC bike path to the east side of the channel from Firestone, under the I-5, and out onto Alondra.

2)restore the gate at the Swap Meet so riders can exit out to Freeway Dr. (might be useless now that they closed southern
access here while they make a new freeway onramp).

He mentioned that once-in-a-while they will do field surveys and they would like to invite a few members of riding public. This
has not come up yet.

Alternatives to Carmenita:
Southbound, VV is OK if you take the double left after the bridge onto the access road. It goes back to the CC trail entrance
at Mike Thompson RV.

Northbound, Bloomfield is OK too. It leads to the I-5 underpass on Rosecrans, then take Carmenita left and continue north to Leffingwell (ideally).

If you take the last northbound exit on CC bike path before Alondra, the Firestone frontage road to the east leads to the VV bridge. This is an easy Northbound way over the I-5.

Avoid riding Rosecrans westbound (very unsafe), but eastbound is OK.

@ninevictor - do you have any recollection of the week Feb 3 - Feb 8 2013? The sudden closure of the Swap Meet gate
was a huge part of my solo crash on Feb 5. The gate was open on Feb 3 but not on the 5th. I made a bad decision, went down into the river bottom, got almost clear of the over passes, then wiped out in the wash near the Firestone railroad bridge. I spent 3 days in hospital for Fx hip surgery. So far it looks like I will make a full recovery.

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Old 08-27-13, 07:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by marquhar View Post
Alternatives to Carmenita:
Southbound, VV is OK if you take the double left after the bridge onto the access road. It goes back to the CC trail entrance
at Mike Thompson RV.

Northbound, Bloomfield is OK too. It leads to the I-5 underpass on Rosecrans, then take Carmenita left and continue north to Leffingwell (ideally).

If you take the last northbound exit on CC bike path before Alondra, the Firestone frontage road to the east leads to the VV bridge. This is an easy Northbound way over the I-5.

Avoid riding Rosecrans westbound (very unsafe), but eastbound is OK.

@ninevictor - do you have any recollection of the week Feb 3 - Feb 8 2013? The sudden closure of the Swap Meet gate
was a huge part of my solo crash on Feb 5. The gate was open on Feb 3 but not on the 5th. I made a bad decision, went down into the river bottom, got almost clear of the over passes, then wiped out in the wash near the Firestone railroad bridge. I spent 3 days in hospital for Fx hip surgery. So far it looks like I will make a full recovery.
@marquhar -
Sorry, no recollection about that week in particular but the closure of the swap meet gate did come as a surprise. I recall backtracking to Rosecrans where I went east to La Mirada.

In the past I've taken Shoemaker and Valley View. For a while the Shoemaker crossing was closed. I think Valley View is completely unsafe in both directions during rush hour. At the very least the traffic on the Carmenita overpass goes very slowly during rush hour. It's the stupid drivers trying to nose in at the last minute that cause the most problems.

Glad to hear you'll make a full recovery. If I ever open a discussion with the project managers I will be sure to echo your wish list. I think suggestion #1 warrants the most consideration since most of the infrastructure already exists.
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Old 08-27-13, 10:13 PM   #16
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“It is very important for us at Caltrans to participate in these types of alternate transportation modes. It is not just healthy for you and for the region but, for us in transportation, it is an important piece of the transportation element and one that needs to be treated more seriously by a greater number of people,” says Doug Failing, District 7 Director and a supporter of the Department’s goals for its cycling commuters.
It's my intent to see how serious Doug Failing is about backing up his words about how important cycling commuters are in his Caltrans district. Thanks to @marquhar for the link.
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Old 08-29-13, 05:27 PM   #17
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Progress:
Quote:
Caltrans, in partnership with Los Angeles County (the owner-operator of the Los Coyotes Creek Bike Trail) are working on an improved detour. We would happy to meet with you in the field to discuss the proposal.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Dale Benson
District 7 Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
Senior Transportation Engineer
Office of Local Assistance
California Department of Transportation
100 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
@marquhar, would you like for me to let you know when the meeting Mr. Benson has proposed will go down?
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Old 08-30-13, 11:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninevictor View Post
Progress:
@marquhar, would you like for me to let you know when the meeting Mr. Benson has proposed will go down?
Yes, this could be interesting.
I was planning a trip up there to scout conditions at the southern edge of the Swap Meet. On Saturdays I would be surprised if SM customers were not entering from the south side, off of Freeway Drive. If they are still doing this, then it means that northbound cyclists should be able to go over the VV bridge, then cut through the Freeway Drive industrial park (and avoid the upper VV mess).

During the weekdays, SM customers are detoured to Carmenita and Excelsior (above the Carmenita I-5 bridge).

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Old 09-02-13, 06:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by marquhar View Post
I was planning a trip up there to scout conditions at the southern edge of the Swap Meet. On Saturdays I would be surprised if SM customers were not entering from the south side, off of Freeway Drive.
Rode up to SFS Swap Meet today, Monday. Used the last exit from CC bike path, went east on Firestone, after 2 right turns, went over the VV I-5 bridge. There is no Swap Meet access from Alondra/Freeway Dr. now. There is a k-rail dead end and pedestrians are banned too.

The 2nd image is the end of the north CC bike path at the Swap Meet. There is now a gap there, so it is possible to enter the SM grounds if you came south from Rosecrans. Unfortunately, you can only continue south to the Carmenita bridge. There is no way to go west or east to Alondra via Freeway.

There were 6 riders near the Mike Thompson RV store: 2 riding in the bottom of the channel and 2 Roadie couples. The first couple I debriefed had parked there to ride south (not interesting), but the 2nd couple were going north to Turnbull and intended to use the Valley View bridge (over the I-5), then turn right at Alondra, then Stage Road, and finally Biola to get clear of the project area. This was a fresh idea to me and made the whole trip worth it.

Once again Roadies show creativity and tenaciousness in helping each other out.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FwyAlond.jpg (85.7 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg CCEndAtSM.jpg (97.3 KB, 18 views)

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Old 09-03-13, 09:56 AM   #20
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The Valley View bridge over I-5 is OK on weekends and holidays. During the weekday commutes it's far more dangerous than the Carmenita bridge due to the speed at which traffic goes over the bridge. Carmenita, while narrower, can experience nearly stopped traffic at times which sets up another hazard: impatient drivers.
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Old 09-05-13, 11:06 PM   #21
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A follow-up email yielded this response from Mr. Benson. Evidently phone calls are the only way anything gets done at Caltrans so I'll call tomorrow and see if I can get more details regarding this supposed detour improvement.

Quote:
Craig,
My understanding is that Caltrans will be implementing some improvements on the Coyote Creek Trail detour soon. Please contact me at (213) 897-2934 if you’d like to discuss the changes we will be implementing, and also to schedule a time/day to meet. I’d like to coordinate the meeting so that both Caltrans and County of Los Angeles representatives can be present.

Thank you for your concern.


Dale Benson
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Old 09-06-13, 09:21 AM   #22
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Good grief - what's the fascination with scheduling a meeting and dragging all those people into it when a simple response will achieve the desired result?

Weird.

See if you can get them to tell you when they're going to complete the trail up to Imperial / Beach as long as you have them all in one spot.
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Old 09-06-13, 09:38 AM   #23
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I suspect it's because they really don't have anything in the works.

I also believe that people who don't want a paper trail prefer phone conversations over email. Some people prefer the he-said, she-said way of doing business rather than a solid paper-trail of correspondence.
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Old 09-12-13, 03:41 PM   #24
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So far I've spoken with Dale Benson and Samson Teshome of Caltrans.

In addition to the still images I provided I also sent them a YouTube video demonstrating the numerous unsafe conditions their detour route has created. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aePC_W5-tI

The video demonstrates a few things:
  • No bike lane (0:12 in the video)
  • Insufficient clearance between vehicle traffic and parked vehicles (0:46 in the video)
  • Bicyclists forced to cross a traffic lane in order to continue southbound on Carmenita (1:29 in the video)
  • Vehicles unwilling to yield to bicyclists (1:36 in the video)
  • Bicyclists being forced to merge into the traffic lane while contending with cars trying to turn onto Carmenita (1:41 in the video)
  • Bicyclists being forced to use the traffic lane on the overpass (1:53 in the video)
  • Unsafe road conditions coming down the south side of the overpass (2:30 in the video)
And this video was taken on a GOOD commute day on Carmenita!

Mr. Benson and I discussed:
  • Enhanced detour details to be implemented on the Carmenita detour route. He referred me to Samson Teshome for more information on the enhanced detour.
  • We also discussed Estimated reopening date of the Coyote Creek Trail and he referred me to Medardo De La Cruz for more information
  • Gateway Cities bike plan information and provided Matt Benjamin of Fehr & Peers as the contact person to obtain this information
  • Field meeting with multiple involved parties on September 20, 2013 at 0900 hours.

I emphasized to Mr. Benson that merely enhancing the current detour does not remove the risks inherent with riding a bicycle in traffic lanes in an area with heavy commercial traffic.

Mr. Teshome indicated that enhancements (sharrows and road signage) are due to be implemented on the Carmenita detour within two weeks. He also alluded to a new bridge spanning the Coyote Creek river but was unable to provide more details and encouraged me to wait until the September 20 meeting for a full presentation on the proposed span.

Obviously the biggest win here is the agreement to meet in the field on Friday, September 20. I encourage all cyclists and pedestrians who have been inconvenienced or endangered by the Coyote Creek Trail closure to attend this meeting in order to provide feedback on both the existing detour and proposed detour enhancements.

I will update here with a meeting location or any changes should they arise.
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Old 09-13-13, 10:59 PM   #25
marquhar
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My guess for the span point for new Caltrans bike bridge:
It will link the current CC bike path north of Alondra with Valley View via the junction channel

Nobody really knows yet. The bridge is sitting up on jigs inside the Swap Meet grounds. Can't wait to see what they do.

Ninevictor has done some top-notch field surveys to discover the jigs for this bridge. Over the last week he has done at least 50+ miles of riding near the Swap Meet under pretty sketchy riding conditions. Its right up there with Stanley and Livingstone in my book.
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Last edited by marquhar; 09-13-13 at 11:06 PM.
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