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Old 10-22-13, 03:13 PM   #1
mwandaw
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Coyote Creek Park

A couple of times I have passed by a construction area alongside Coyote Creek, and today I was curious enough to call the City of Los Alamitos for more information.

The Coyote Creek Park is being built immediately to the east of the bikeway. It is just northeast of the 605 Freeway. Here's a map of the area. I was facing northeast when I took this picture.



When finished in November or December the park will feature wide pathways that wander through gardens of native plants. It will be accessible by foot and by bike. Funding was provided by the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.

I have asked for a rendering of the park, and I'll post it if one is available.

The Wikipedia description of the Coyote Creek Bikeway says with justification that it is "...generally devoid of scenery". Here's hoping that the new Coyote Creek Park will help!
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Old 10-22-13, 03:24 PM   #2
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The downside, for bike commuters that is, is increased traffic of dog walkers, strollers, and squirrels.
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Old 10-22-13, 03:40 PM   #3
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The downside, for bike commuters that is, is increased traffic of dog walkers, strollers, and squirrels.
The neighborhood has more attractive areas for dogs, walkers and strollers, so I'm hoping there won't be any noticeable increase. Squirrels, I'm not so sure.
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Old 10-22-13, 10:09 PM   #4
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Ah Coyote Creek Bike path: so many possibilities gone so wrong.

Grants from RMC were handed out in 2006-2007 time frame, after a State Bond was passed in 2004. About 7 cities got grants (for different reasons) to develop projects along the locally adjacent river channels.

I attended a meeting in September 2009 in Seal Beach chambers to discuss how they would spend their grant ($2.2M). Many recreational bike clubs sent reps, including Lightning Velo & SCOR Cardiac (about 10 members). It was a lively meeting and the planners used live polling tools with the audience. SB money was spent on the lower SGRT.

Cerritos ($200k) and Santa Fe Springs quietly spent their grants on Iron Work (gates) and paving the CC bike path in their boundaries. The work they had done is top notch.
All cities, except Los Alamitos ($1.4M), finished their projects by April 2012. This city is the lone RMC grant holdout, and the question is why?

So far, it appears all of the Los Alamitos money will be spent on this sequestered park with the serpentine path. There is no parking lot (done by SB), and no plans to improve the existing CC bike path. Not sure if a restroom is planned.

Long Beach and Seal Beach together managed to get the bike path paved (April 2012) from the beach all the way up to Willow/Katella. The path is freshly paved once again after Centralia Ave(Lakewood/Cerritos). So the CC bike path is a still a mess of fractured asphalt from Willow up to Centralia, near Forest Lawn in Cypress. Why can't Cypress and Los Alamitos get together and maintain the standard set by Seal Beach and Cerritos and pave their section of the path?

I've heard rumours that the Mayor of Cypress (P. Nahrain) has been seen on a brand new road bike on the CC path, so he knows what the condition of the path is.

Perhaps no one in Los Alamitos government believes that anyone would ever ride the length of the bike path from SFS to the beach, so why bother improving the bike path that currently exists. I have the horrible feeling that once they finish the park they will channel riders into it and close the existing trail. If this happens, you know they will do the provocateur, passive/aggressive routine and set a 10 MPH speed limit to put the kabash on Roadies trying to make good time. The folks that run Los Alamitos are straight out of the 1950's and are still upset that a bike path was put there back in the Carter Era (1978).

Last edited by marquhar; 10-22-13 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 10-23-13, 07:15 AM   #5
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The folks that run Los Alamitos are straight out of the 1950's and are still upset that a bike path was put there back in the Carter Era (1978).
Thank you for that whole spiel. This is the kind of thing that more people need to be aware of. I do not want to risk getting this bumped to P&R, but gotta say that a serious problem in this country is how little most know about the politics of their own back yards. I will write the LosAl council, and encourage all others who read this to do the same.

BTW, Los Alamitos is not my back yard, but I did live in the area back in the '90's, (Seal Beach north of 405) It is certainly one of the least progressive towns in OC. I do still ride the SGRT, albeit less than once a year lately.
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Old 10-23-13, 08:47 AM   #6
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Thanks for the updates on the Coyote Creek MUP progress or lack thereof. Since I live in South Whittier I really miss being able to just ride onto Coyote Creek at Foster and take it all the way down to the SGRT intersection (bridge).

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Old 10-23-13, 08:52 AM   #7
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marquhar - Wow... my interpretation is much more positive than yours.

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All cities, except Los Alamitos ($1.4M), finished their projects by April 2012. This city is the lone RMC grant holdout, and the question is why?
I spoke to two Los Al city staffers and received an detailed email from one of them. I was told that the area is So Cal Edison right-of-way, and negotiations with So Cal Edison took more than a year. That might explain why Los Al is behind the other cities.

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There is no parking lot (done by SB), and no plans to improve the existing CC bike path.
My wife and use the Oak Middle School access path that bisects the new park. We have found that it is very convenient to park in the large parking lot that serves the Oak Street Middle School athletic field.

The new park is long and narrow. In my mind, including a parking lot in the park would be unneeded, because there is plenty of parking nearby, and it would take up so much space that it would ruin the aesthetics of the park.

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Not sure if a restroom is planned.
One of the city staff members told me there is no restroom planned. That same staff member sent me plans of the park. (I will post some of them.) The plans do not show a restroom.

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...the CC bike path is a still a mess of fractured asphalt from Willow up to Centralia, near Forest Lawn in Cypress. Why can't Cypress and Los Alamitos get together and maintain the standard set by Seal Beach and Cerritos and pave their section of the path?
I ride fast on hard, skinny tires, and I don't think the pavement in that area is as bad as you make it out to be. More importantly, I agree with the Wikipedia article quoted in my original post: Coyote Creek is "...generally devoid of scenery". I will appreciate a little visual break from the continuous ribbon of 10 foot wide asphalt.

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I have the horrible feeling that once they finish the park they will channel riders into it and close the existing trail.
Come on... you're being inflammatory. The bike path is controlled by the Los Angeles Flood Control District, not Los Alamitos. Plans show no through route, and nothing in the park except the very short Oak Middle School access path is paved.

Last edited by mwandaw; 10-23-13 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 10-23-13, 09:25 AM   #8
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Here are some excerpts from the email I received from the Los Alamitos staff member.

"In 2005, the City of Los Alamitos was awarded funding in the amount of $1,440,000 from the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) to create a recreation parkway adjacent to Coyote Creek, Oak Middle School and the Royal Oak Mobile Home Park... Bond money from the state stopped for about 6 years which delayed the project."

"...The parcel is approximately 2,500 feet in length and approximately 4.0 acres. The site is comprised of a Southern California Edison (SCE) right-of-way area, an SCE easement for an existing oil pipeline, and an additional easement area for Orange County Flood Control District (OCFCD)..."

"The project focus is to create a passive recreation area with landscaping composed of native plants of significant ecological value to the region to attract habitat, and restore the site from a barren utility corridor into a passive greenway park along the Coyote Creek Channel..."

Here are sample photos of some of the plants that will be used.



Here are plans for the southwest and the northeast area of the park. The two sections in between are very similar. Note that the only access to the Coyote Creek Bikeway is via the existing path from Oak Middle School.
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File Type: jpg Plants2.jpg (99.6 KB, 7 views)

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Old 10-23-13, 12:37 PM   #9
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"The project focus is to create a passive recreation area with landscaping composed of native plants of significant ecological value to the region to attract habitat, and restore the site from a barren utility corridor into a passive greenway park along the Coyote Creek Channel..."
All well and good, except it makes no mention of it being intended to be an active alternative transportation corridor. I had thought the funding had to do with transportation corridors for bikes. Environmental enhancements are a good thing IMO, but not if the detracts from the original intent.
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Old 10-23-13, 12:44 PM   #10
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All well and good, except it makes no mention of it being intended to be an active alternative transportation corridor.
After talking to the city staffer and reading the email from that staffer, my impression is that the city's only intention was to take an barren stretch of land and turn it into a simple but nice park. The park itself is not intended to be an active alternative transportation corridor. It's just a park.
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