Garden Grove

Tet parade, biking/walking trail are OKd

BIKE PATH entrance on Nelson Street just north of Stanford Avenue in Garden Grove. An extension and improvement of the trail was approved by the city council Tuesday night (OC Tribune photo).

By Jim Tortolano

A Tet parade and a bikeway/pedestrian trail are both coming to Garden Grove in 2020.

At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council approval was given on a 7-0 vote for the parade along Westminster Avenue west from an area east of Brookhurst Street to Taft Avenue to be held on Jan. 26, 2020 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Also on Tuesday, the council voted 6-1, with Councilmember George Brietigam (District 1) opposed, to award to Los Angeles Engineering Inc. a $1.9 million contract for the construction of the path along the former Pacific-Electric right-of-way from Stanford Avenue northwest to Brookhurst Street.

On the matter of the parade, the request came from two organizations, Tap The Chien Si Viet-Nam Cong-Hoa Hai Ngoai and the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California.

That came after the Westminster City Council voted for an agreement for its parade along Bolsa Avenue with a group other than the VAFSC, which has run the event in recent years.

The council chamber was packed with most of the audience there for the parade item. Some spoke against, it claiming it would cause “division” with two competing parades. But most of the speakers were in support.

Ken Do, chair of the programming committee of the VAFSC, said that the parade was “not just for the Vietnamese. It’s for all the people.”

He vowed that the complete cost of the event would be borne by the sponsoring organizations, paid in advance. Underlining the uniqueness of the parade, he said that it would have a worldwide audience. “Even in Vietnam, there is no Tet parade,” he said.

Bike/pedestrian path discussed

Regarding the trail, Brietigam spoke strongly against the proposal. He called it “a boondoggle” and described it as a “bike path to nowhere” and a potential “homeless mecca.” He expressed doubt it would get much use.

“We do have a lot of bikers,” responded Councilmember Thu-Ha (District 3). “They just don’t bike much because we don’t have bike lanes.”

Mayor Steve Jones, long a supporter of more bike and pedestrian paths, described the existing bare stretch – owned by the Orange County Transit Authority – as “blighted, a no man’s land” and praised the project as something that would beautify the community and could “bring the city together.”

The projected start of construction is January 2020 with completion by the end of May.

During discussion of the pathway, Public Works Director Bill Murray remarked that the city was seeking to possibly extend the route all the way to Chapman Avenue, linking the downtown area to the Brookhurst-Chapman retail district.

The next meeting of the council is scheduled for Nov. 26.



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