Jamboree bikeway proposals unveiled

Two alternate paths (yellow dots) for a class-one bikeway along Jamboree Road have been proposed by OC Public Works.

Two alternate routes for a Class 1 bikeway along Jamboree Road have been proposed by Orange County Public Works, and the public is being asked to comment.

The concepts, presented at a community meeting Feb. 7, are preliminary and, at this time, intended only to assess the bike-riding public’s interest in replacing the current Class 2 bikeway that runs along Jamboree from Canyon View to Portola, with an off-street Class 1 lane.

Class 1 bikeways provide a buffer between traffic and cyclists, using wide medians and vegetation to separate car lanes from bike lanes. The proposed routes would close a gap in the Mountains to Sea Trail that extends from Weir Canyon to Upper Newport Bay.

The Jamboree portion of the route was originally proposed to run through the middle of Peters Canyon Regional Park, but neighborhood protests forced the county to abandon that plan. Peters Canyon devotees did not want the park bisected by an asphalt thoroughfare serving bike riders traveling faster than people or horses can walk.

“It’s a good sign that OC Public Works is doing this,” said one meeting attendee, “and not OC Parks.”

One proposed route for the new bikeway runs down the east side of Jamboree, commencing at Canyon View, goes behind the fire authority facility, and ends up just west of the 261 on the north side of Portola Parkway. It would provide a connection to the existing Class 2 bikeway on Portola. The constraints of that route are steep slopes requiring major grading and retaining walls, the need to relocate utilities, several street crossings and the intrusion into sensitive habitat.

The second alternate traverses the west side of Jamboree, continues along that street to the northwest corner of Portola Parkway, where it connects to the Peters Canyon Trail (a leg of the Mountains to Sea Trail). The downside of the western path is that established trees would have to be removed, rights of way granted for city-owned property, and the sidewalk realigned. Some grading and retaining walls would be needed on the route bordering Peters Canyon. The cost of both 3.1-mile alternatives is $20 to $25 million.

The county reports it has grant money for the design phase of the project, but not for the environmental impact report or construction. If additional funding is found, the design phase would commence in 2020-21 and construction in 2022-23.

But only if the public wants it. “We’re early on the in process,” says Nathan Wheadon, manager of OC Public Works strategic communications. “We’re determining the level of public interest and support.” 

OC Public Works is seeking additional public input through a survey that can be completed on its website, ocpublicworks.com/peterscanyonbikeway.

March 2019