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Monday, January 28, 2008

Letter to Mayor Pulido - Santa Ana

Below is an email that I sent to Mayor Pulido - Santa Ana. What interests me is the lack of designated bicycle thoroughfares throughout many of the cities in North Orange County. This not only impacts the recreational rider, but commuter and many residents in the area that utilize bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. I believe that these individuals are particularly at risk since many do not wear a helmet, have appropriate lighting / reflectors and reflective or light colored clothing when riding at night. Additionally, they are often seen utilizing the sidewalks, often traveling against traffic, which we know increases the risk of a bicycle and motor vehicle collision.

I had previously contacted a number of departments within the City of Santa Ana via email and phone and have received no response to date.

Dear Mayor Pulido:

The City of Santa Ana is poised at the cross roads of viable economic development and quality of life for all of Santa Ana residents. This is certainly evident in thought put into the Santa Ana Renaissance Plan. Always a balancing act for yourself and the entire City of Santa Ana Staff,
as I am sure you would agree.

Mayor Pulido, I have made a number of phone calls into different City of Santa Ana Departments regarding the safety of bicycle travel within the city, recommended routes for cyclist transiting through Santa Ana for commuting purposes and the safety and use of the Santa Ana River Trail, an exceptional resource to all of us in Orange County, during the day and in the early evening for commuting purposes. I have only received a response and an attempt at assistance from one City Employee. All communications have yielded no response, which disappoints me.

Additionally, I am sure that you are aware that there are a large number of people within Santa Ana who utilize the simple bicycle as a primary means of transportation. I often see these individuals riding at night without:
  • Helmets
  • Lights
  • Appropriate Reflectors
  • Wearing Dark Clothing
It concerns me greatly for the safety of these individuals and the potential for serious injury or fatality from bicycle and vehicle collision. These individuals are often riding on the sidewalk and against traffic which puts them at an extremely high risk of being hit by a motor vehicle that is
looking to their left to enter the flow of traffic and will not see a moderate speed cyclist coming from their right. This is particularly true, as I mentioned above, for these individuals who are not easily seen at night.

With regards to the Santa Ana River Trail (SART), the Santa Ana Police Department discourages any use of SART other than during daylight hours. I was told that there are often muggings for bicycles, gang related activity and of course the homeless taking shelter under a number of the bridges over the Santa Ana River. I have also gathered incidental information regarding criminal activity on the trail to include a bicycle shop employee being mugged for their bicycle, a middle aged man having a bicycle thrown into his path and two individuals attempting to steal his bicycle and were unsuccessful due to the individuals personal efforts to protect himself and
his property and a military officer, now in Iraq, who was accosted by a group of youth that resulted in a serious crash and potential life altering injuries to the cyclist - broken neck.

Santa Ana, like many of the communities in North Orange County have paid little to no attention to providing bicycle lanes along major thoroughfares or secondary streets. This results in additional obstacles and safety concerns for all bicyclists traversing through the City of Santa Ana. If you would take the time to look at the Orange County Transportation Authority bicycle map you would see a dramatic difference between North Orange County and our neighbors to the South. It must be a joint effort between the City of Santa Ana, Orange County, the State of California and the surrounding communities.

Bikeways Map

Bikeways Master Plan

Mayor Pulido, I would greatly appreciate being directed to the appropriate individual within the City of Santa Ana who is tasked with addressing the melding of pedestrian, bicycle and motor vehicle safe travel corridors within the City of Santa Ana.

1 comment:

Fred T said...

No response has been received from Mayor Pulido or the City of Santa Ana.

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