Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail, Phase I from Maple to Cactus Avenue (“Rialto Trail”) Project
The “Rails to Trails” project is in the final stage of the design. Public Works staff is reviewing the final design Plans and Specifications. It’s anticipated that the project will go out to bid for construction in the coming months. The City has received a Transportation Development Act (TDA), Article 3, Grant in the amount of $330,000 from SANBAG. Staff is working to obtain a Traffic Enhancement (TE) Grant in the amount of $600,000 also from SANBAG for this project. The project includes construction of an eleven (11) foot-wide concrete trail along with landscape, lighting and traffic signals between Maple Avenue and Cactus Avenue.
This project is Rialto’s response to the AWESOME, BEAUTIFUL and calm walking trail Rancho Cucamonga has that extends from the 15 freeway to the far west cities like Claremont.
As the Picture above shows on www.CrimeMapping.com in the last 4 months this area where the trail is that connects to the East side of Fontana has experienced 59 documented crimes. I use this trail when I have time and I feel comfortable knowing that my wife and daughter use it as well when they want to get out.
Now Rialto wants to have their own trail that connects to the Fontana one, meaning you would be able to walk or ride from Rialto to well beyond Rancho Cucamonga. Nice right? No not really because they chose a bad area to put it in and last time I spoke about this before the Dias at council meeting everyone in the meeting thought this was a safe area surrounded by Single Family homes. I guess former Chief Mark Kling (who was the police dept rep at that meeting) was unaware of the nickname for the area where phase 1 is to begin. Its Called THE WOODS. It’s a reference to the street names inside this area and the mixture of low-income condos a massive apt complex and some single family homes scattered about.
In this picture above you will see crime in the Phase 1 area for the walking trail is 4 times what it is in Rancho. The city of Rancho Cucamonga makes sure that it has the appropriate amount of resources to keep crime off the trail and deal with surrounding areas. Rancho has police on, off-road vehicles, bike & volunteers in units going up and down the trail giving bad guys the signal that these people are not easy marks & walkers the ability to feel safe while excersing. Rancho has something Rialto doesn’t money because of the creative development they have created there. Yes Rialto has a bike team of officers but it’s always getting shut down to put officers on patrol. Don’t get me wrong I love our police officers and they do the best job they can with the resources provided, but Rialto is a much ruffer city than Rancho and until the City Leadership takes this issue head on nothing will really change.
Now before Councilman and Bar owner (O’Learys) jumps down my throat because he doesn’t like to be questioned let me state the following:
Yes I understand that this is grant money that can’t be spent on anything else. With that said just because we can get the money that doesn’t mean build it no matter if we can keep it safe.
Yes we need nice things for people who live here and are looking to live here to do. But if you are building it you need to make sure that extra money is there to make it safe. If it’s not dedicating police officers have CSO’s or its hiring a private security firm to patrol in uniform and can act as a deterrent. Because leaving people at the mercy of criminals looking to take advantage of people as well as the overburdened dispatch board is simply unacceptable.
At the last Council meeting Joe Baca Jr stated that he thinks that we need more parks and amenities for residents to enjoy, he used bud bender park as an example. An old poorly lit park in disrepair and I agree this park is in bad shape, but I also look at the crime in the area and the amount of tagging that is left on walls and gangs that are left residing there. This park has parking lots that are set in the back and hard to see from street and our police don’t have time like they would like to drive into every park. Plus volunteers can only look and see they don’t make contact.
In conclusion we found out at the council meeting on April 24th that this city has been ignoring the plight of our Rialto Girls Softball. Fallen down light poles and poorly manicured fields leave the girls in a un-safe state of affairs with the city offering little to no solutions.