The stretch of Jamboree Road that runs between the I-5 and Barranca Pkwy. is a mini freeway, with only two signals and a long stretch of open road, complete with overpasses over side streets. Had planners been more prescient, extending the 261 Tollway to the 405 along Jamboree might have made sense. Now, impatient drivers may get the next best thing with the proposal to add a lane in each direction. Studies show that Jamboree Road is the busiest Irvine arterial, servicing the Irvine Business Complex and providing access to the I-5 and I-405 freeways, as well as the SR-261 tollway. The Jamboree Road Widening Project is proposed to expand the existing 8-lane road to a 10-lane one along the 1.2-mile stretch from Main Street to Barranca Parkway. We reviewed the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration reports for the project, and were impressed that adding two lanes seems to require only a limited taking of private property along the route. It seems that the most ambitious Alternative 3 (it includes adding pedestrian protection, losing some left turns to maximize signal timing optimization while adding easier access to Diamond Jamboree center) is the way to go. To learn more, or to make a public comment before the Aug. 5 deadline, go to cityofirvine.org/news-media/news-article/jamboree-road-widening-project
Craft beer at Sand Canyon
Last month we listed several new attractions in Irvine opening in coming months. Grater Grilled Cheese, a San Diego-based fast casual chain, was noted as coming to Sand Canyon Plaza. Now, the plan is to add a Left Coast Brewing Co. to the center, too. Since one of the promising things about the grilled cheese spot is the $5 craft beer it offers at other locations, now, the center will have two spots to go for craft brew. Look to Irvine City News for confirmation and updates about what to expect from the San Clemente-based brewery when it opens in Irvine.
Cycling in the city
Irvine receives regular accolades for its network of on-street bike lanes (301 miles when last we checked) and off-street bikeways (62 miles or so)—and deservedly so. But as those that ride around the city regularly know, there are some head-scratching gaps in the system. We’re happy to report that an obvious gap in the cycling system is being filled with the city’s plan to extend the Jeffrey Open Space Trail from Walnut Avenue near Interstate 5 down to Barranca Parkway, and include a bridge across the freeway. The existing 2.5 mile Jeffrey Open Space Trail is perhaps the most impressive in Irvine, with overpasses, landscaping and even historic markers along its route. And the section of the Jeffrey Trail from the 405 to Barranca is a more typical sidewalk-like trail that’s serviceable. But it ends abruptly at Barranca. The extension is designed to close that 1.2-mile gap by running along the Southern California Edison towers. The only problem is that’s where the iconic Manassero Farms has their fresh produce facility, which also hosts amazing dinners and events. We’d hate to lose this very cool connection to Irvine’s agricultural past, and a key component of the farm-to-table culinary scene in OC. We suggest a reroute of the trail extension be studied. The trail could be moved to the opposite side of the Edison right-of-way from Jeffrey, and run adjacent to the Irvine Valley College frontage road followed by a tree-lined stretch of the path next to Oak Creek Golf Course, link up with the Walnut Trail Connector. This would put the path further from traffic and make for a nicer route all around, while giving the Manassero family the room it needs to keep things growing