Sunday, May 11, 2008

A trail for the Pacific Electric Trail Bike-A-Thon?

I like the way that the Daily Bulletin staff writer(s) described the most recent Pacific Electric Trail Bike-A-Thon.

There was something different at the third annual Pacific Electric Trail Bike-A-Thon on Saturday.

Bicyclists had a trail to ride on.

Sounds like a no-brainer, but this trail is actually a work in progress, and is challenging because each portion of the trail is being developed separately on a city-by-city basis.

Here's Fontana's story, from May 2005:

The City of Fontana was the first City to complete a segment of the 21-mile Pacific Electric Trail that will eventually run through 6 cities including Claremont, Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and Rialto.

In September 2004, Fontana celebrated the completion of the downtown segment of the trail that is about three quarters of a mile in length.

The Daily Bulletin article, and the Bike-A-Thon itself, concentrated on the Rancho Cucamonga portion of the trail. See for more information on this segment.

The only segment with which I'm personally familiar is the Upland segment, but I'm not finding a lot of information about it, other than this 2004 engineering report.

For the Montclair portion, I found a map.

For Rialto, I found a funding request in a March 31, 2008 Press-Enterprise article:

Rialto's portion of a 21-mile recreational trail to Claremont could get the green light tonight if the City Council approves the funds needed to plan and design the westernmost segment.

The Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail is a walking and bicycling path being built on the route of a former streetcar line. The old "Red Cars" of the Pacific Electric system traveled all over Southern California, and Rialto was a stop on its 59-mile, San Bernardino-to-Los Angeles line.

Segments of the new recreational trail already have been built along the old streetcar right-of-way in Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland and Montclair.

But there's a reason for the holdup in Rialto - unlike other portions of the old railbed, Rialto has some track that is still being used:

Railroad tracks remain along the route, which is parallel to and a few blocks north of the Metrolink tracks.

In Rialto, part of the old Pacific Electric route is still used by Union Pacific freight trains, which deliver lumber from Oregon once a week to Orange County Lumber, at 436 W. Rialto Ave.

The company, which owns 14 acres near Lilac Avenue and Rialto Avenue, moved to the site in the early 1990s, said Richard Hormuth, co-owner and president of Orange County Lumber....

That portion of the trail would be part of the project's second phase, a three-quarter-mile segment between Cactus and Riverside avenues. "Options to consider include relocation of the lumber yard ... or reassigning the rail service to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (tracks), south of the lumber yard, and truck (the deliveries) on-site," the Guerra & Associates report said.

"The city has never contacted me," Hormuth said Monday.

So we'll see what happens there.

By the way, there is also a Flickr group called "Friends of the PET".

(A personal aside: this is obviously a story that I never could have covered in my old blog, mrontario. The trail doesn't go through Ontario at all.)

blog comments powered by Disqus