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Irvine Planning Commission Proposes New Trails Encouraging Active Transport

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The Irvine Planning Commission presented the 2020 Irvine Strategic Active Transportation Plan (ISATP), which aims to improve and expand Irvine’s biking and pedestrian trail system to encourage local active transportation, at a meeting on May 20. 

The main objectives of the ISATP are to improve the safety of trails for bicyclists and pedestrians, enhance the accessibility of trails for a wide demographic of users, encourage healthy lifestyles, and implement fiscally and environmentally sustainable improvements. 

Suggested improvements to encourage trail use include bicycle rental stations and creating an interactive geographic imaging system (GIS) compatible with both Apple and Google platforms that will help travelers navigate the city.

Other plans involve enhancing current infrastructure and programs for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as increasing connections within the regional trail networks, such as expanded access to employment, schools, healthcare and recreation. Safety improvements and clearer signage were also discussed.

“Pedestrians and bicyclists alike face challenges while traveling within the City,” the ISATP report said. “The ISATP will strive to decrease exposure for these vulnerable users, improve comfort for a spectrum of ages and ability levels, and prepare cost-efficient infrastructure facility options.”

The Commission also reviewed a trail feasibility study and implementation plan for the future creation of eight multipurpose trails in the Irvine Business Complex (IBC). The proposed trails will include three historic railroad corridors, three county-owned flood control maintenance roads and two privately owned corridor segments. Irvine’s General Plan for the IBC includes plans for tree-shaded sidewalks, benches and garbage cans. 

The proposed interactive imaging system will be based on a similar GIS that was presented at a Great Park Board meeting on April 27, which includes 360-degree images of the area with directions to popular local spots. It also provides the locations of parking lots, restrooms, drinking fountains, venues and food along with directions and additional information about the location or amenity. 

ISATP efforts began in June 2018 when the Planning Commission initiated an extensive Irvine Community Survey that took place from July 2018 to January 2019. Results of the survey were synthesized and included in the decision-making process for the ISATP. Recommendations were also reviewed with the public in September 2019.

To be officially incorporated in Irvine, the ISATP will face the Irvine City Council for final approval.


Eva Cluff is a Staff Writer for the spring 2021 quarter. She can be reached at ecluff@uci.edu.