Garden Grove

Big plans possible for Harbor Boulevard

HARBOR BOULEVARD could be the spine of a large rapid transit network (OCTA photo).

HARBOR BOULEVARD could be the spine of a large rapid transit network (OCTA photo).

By Jim Tortolano

The first shovels aren’t in the ground for the planned OC Streetcar line which could link Santa Ana to Garden Grove by 2020, but plans are being laid which could make that project just the starting point for a much larger transit network.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council, Eric Carlson, senior transportation analyst for the Orange County Transportation Authority, spoke on the Central Harbor Boulevard Transit Corridor Study.

THE STUDY AREA takes in Fullerton, Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana (OCTA graphic).

THE STUDY AREA takes in parts of Fullerton, Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana (OCTA graphic).

“Harbor Boulevard is the busiest transportation corridor in the county,” he said. In addition to having a higher-than-average density of population and employment, Harbor Boulevard serves a growing resort clientele of 27 million visitors a year, he added.

The study area is a pistol-shaped polygon, which runs from Santa Ana and Garden Grove in the south, north through Anaheim and Fullerton. Conceivably, a web of streetcars and/or “enhanced” buses could allow passengers to travel from downtown Fullerton past the Disneyland Resort, with a side trip to Angel Stadium and Honda Center, then back down Harbor through Garden Grove’s still-booming hotel and entertainment district and from there to downtown Santa Ana.

The OCTA is studying 12 draft alternatives, ranging all the way from making no changes all the way to building a true rapid transit system of streetcars, which would run on their own dedicated lanes.

A public hearing on the study is set for March 30 in Garden Grove. The deadline for a draft final report of recommendations is due to the OCTA Board of Directors in July of this year.

For more on the study, go to https://www.octa.net/Projects-and-Programs/Plans-and-Studies/Central-Harbor-Boulevard-Transit-Corridor-Study/ .

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