Note: This is part one of my posts regarding the Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan. I will update this note with links to the remaining parts as they are written and posted.
Next Monday the City of Anaheim is bringing forward the Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan for consideration by the Planning Commission. The Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan sets out goals and policies to revitalize the industrial portion of Anaheim, sickness north of the 91, visit web between the 57 and Imperial Blvd.
During its initial development starting in the 1950s through the 1980s, Anaheim Canyon was home to many of Orange County’s aerospace companies. The area was anchored by Rockwell and then Boeing, and had numerous other smaller and support companies located throughout the area. However, towards the end of the Cold War, many of those aerospace companies moved out the Anaheim Canyon and the area started to decline. Over the next 20 years, the area continued its decline as the building stock aged and the public facilities and rights-of-way were neglected. The final signal of decline happened in 2006 when Boeing shuttered its plant entirely and moved the remaining 4,000 workers to their facility in Long Beach.
While Anaheim Canyon declined, other industrial areas in Southern California were created and grew. Many technology companies moved to or were founded in the Irvine Business Corridor, and logistics, warehousing, and fulfilment companies found fertile ground in the Inland Empire, especially in Moreno Valley. Anaheim Canyon had lost its competitive edge. It was cheaper for developers to build on greenfield sites outside of Anaheim than it was to demolish the existing buildings within the Anaheim Canyon. Companies looking for a home could move into newer buildings, with nicer surroundings, at a comparable price elsewhere.
As Anaheim Canyon has continued to decline, real estate prices have followed a similar trajectory. At the same time, the land in the other industrial centers has been largely built out and real estate prices there have increased. Anaheim Canyon now has a price advantage over some of the other industrial centers in Southern California. It is now possible to purchase real estate within Anaheim Canyon for demolition and redevelopment at a comparable price to greenfield development elsewhere. We are already starting to see this redevelopment on some parcels within Anaheim Canyon and the Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan intends to capitalize on this competitive advantage and maximize the value of the area for the City, as well as businesses, residents, and employees in the area.
Over the coming decades, nearly every building with the Anaheim Canyon will be demolished and rebuilt. The Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan is the template from which the new buildings will be drawn. The Specific Plan must create the appropriate conditions to encourage and ensure a vibrant industrial area of Anaheim.
In following posts, I will look at the ways the Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan will encourage redevelopment of the areas and some places where the Specific Plan may be improved.
Note: This is part two of my posts regarding the Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan. Part one can be found here.
The Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan intends to create a more transit oriented, shop walkable, nurse
and bikeable industrial area for Anaheim. To achieve this, the Specific Plan proposes streetscape improvements including the installation of sidewalks and bike lanes throughout Anaheim Canyon, as well as enhancements to the Anaheim Canyon Metrolink Station and bus routes in the area.
However, many of the roadways within the Anaheim Canyon will remain too wide to effectively encourage walkability and multimodal transit. Currently, La Palma provides three, wide travel lanes in each direction, allowing motorists to race down the road at freeway speeds. These speeds, and the width of the roads, do not make pedestrians feel safe even if sidewalks are provided, and therefore will not achieve the goals of the Specific Plan. While the streetscape improvements being proposed are necessary, roadway widths must be reduced.
Roads like La Palma are designed to move cars from one end of an area to another, and do little to provide benefits to the area they traverse. In such cases as the Anaheim Canyon, when these roads traverse a productive place, through traffic should be discouraged in favor of local traffic. Furthermore, the goal of the roadway system in a productive place should not be to move cars, but to move people within the productive place in order to enhance commerce.
Reducing the speed of traffic on roads like La Palma has an added benefit, it improves traffic at bottlenecks. Currently, motorists are able to race down La Palma only to find traffic jams getting on to the freeway at Lincoln, Tustin, and Kramer. These intersections do not have the capacity to ensure the freeflow of traffic from La Palma onto the roads that access the freeway. By slowing the flow of traffic on La Palma, cars become more spread out. Instead of a bunch of cars hitting these congested intersections at once, the cars trickle into the intersection and are able to be handled much more efficiently.
For the Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan to create a walkable, transit-oriented industrial area in Anaheim, the roadway network must be reconfigured to support modes of transportation other than cars.