Monday, June 16, 2008

The "One-Stop" Ticket

Whether you love him or hate him (or have no clue who he is), Don Cribb proposes the idea of a "One Stop" ticket between the Santa Ana and Orange stations in an article featured in the May/June 2008 edition of the Old Towne Orange Review.

The train depots in Orange and Santa Ana present exciting changes. Both areas are experiencing new residential loft development and new business and retail opportunities in these areas. Orange’s Depot Walk and Santa Ana’s Santiago Street Lofts have introduced fresh ideas and energy into established dynamics. In Orange, new loft development helps reinforce the importance of Chapman University’s growing role in the socio-economics of the area driven, in part, by its celebrated new film studio. The Orange Plaza is becoming a smaller version of “Westwood Village” near UCLA! In Santa Ana, the Santiago Street Lofts, one-hundred ten of them, with the launch of monthly art walks, have demonstrated the vitality and appeal of transient-oriented development and reinforces the role of the Downtown Artists Village as an urban interactive arts district. A new streetcar system is under review that would link the depot to the Artists Village, the Santa Ana public library and the Orange County Civic Center, where a new Court of Appeals is under construction.

What happens when these two depots better relate? New residents at Santiago Street Lofts soon discover that they have few restaurants and retail amenities nearby, even though Downtown Santa Ana has new cafes such as The Crosby at 4th & Broadway, an ultra-cool and tasty music cafe, and a stylish small development called “Art House,” a residential/professional address next to Chiarini Marble and Stone on Washington, as an example of new ideas moving into established, older areas. This said, it doesn’t take long for new buyers to recognize that a five-minute drive up Grand Avenue onto Glassell can lead to Gabbi’s, one of the best regional Mexican restaurants, or to a wealth of other good cafes and quality retail opportunities - in Orange!

The Orange and Santa Ana Depots have one important and unique feature they share; proximity! A special “One-Stop” ticket, created to encourage residents near either location to move easily back and forth by rail for educational, artistic or business benefit, would enable others to look at rail transportation more seriously in their daily lives. It means they could leave many cars at home!

Santa Ana is set to acquire county land near its depot. There have been discussions regarding more art, educational and residential development, near the depot. The first Artists Village boundaries included the Santa Ana depot and some land south of the depot reads “Artists Village influence” in terms of future development, to make use of light industrial properties.

Much as has been done in Orange. The two depots help to offer positive transportation consideration while discouraging automobile use. The more cars that enter Old Towne Orange and begin to congest the area, the less appealing the area becomes. No one wants to lessen the charm and attraction of Historic Old Towne Orange.

At a time when fuel costs are ever high and pollutants are becoming increasingly regulated, more MetroLink use could help ease vehicular demands! Much mutual benefit could be realized between two important Orange County cities with so much to share! They share a community college district, public school district boundaries and have city boundaries that move back and forth irregularly through neighborhoods and retail and office addresses. Both cities share so much! This relationship could become even more important when transportation opportunities become more important and are shared, too, to help preserve quality of life and ensure sustainable growth and maybe add a bit more interest and fun!

Don Cribb served on the Santa Ana planning commission for eight years, is currently sitting on the Environmental and Transportation Advisory Committee and is the President of the Santa Ana Council of Arts & Culture.

Would a "One-Stop" ticket encourage you to visit our neighbors to the north more frequently? If you haven’t been to Gabbi’s, my growing gut and I highly recommend.

Are there Any Depot Walk residents out there? Would this ticket encourage you to visit sunny, sometimes scary Santa Ana?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Frito said...

I'd do it in a New York Minute.
Felix's and Watson's and O'Hara's just a quick one stop away? How can it lose?

Anonymous said...

What's this "Art House" place on Wash?? Otherwise, hell yes.

Robert said...

Cant wait till all this happens

Anonymous said...

It's a great idea, but what time is the last train? We were going to take the train last year to the Orange Street Fair, but the last train back was around 7:00pm. A little early for a party!

Ben Dayhoe said...

From what I've read, by 2010, the goal is to have commuter trains running every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight weekdays between Fullerton and Laguna Niguel (hopefully weekend hours won't continue to suck).

Should gas prices remain "high" (we still pay less than many countries), this could definitely become a reality sooner than later.

Saint Chris said...

Sign me up! Especially if the trains are going to be running later, because I don't even think District Lounge OPENS before 7...