Tuesday, April 6, 2021

UPLAND ADDS AMENITIES TO PE TRAIL DOWNTOWN

 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

In the last 5 years, the City of Upland has been steadily increasing resources to transform Historic Downtown Upland into a viable commercial and residential hub in the city.  These revitalization efforts have been made possible by federal dollars invested into Downtown specific economic development programs, Public Works infrastructure projects and proactive action by City staff to identify and recruit new business ventures and residential projects to the area.  The goal is to make Historic Downtown Upland a destination place that offers an enjoyable variety of dining, shopping and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike.

 


The Development Services Department invited the public to participate in a Community Meeting in February for review and comment on the Historic Downtown Upland Urban Open Space Project (“Project”). To create an epicenter for Downtown events, congregations, public art, and open space.  Community members were encouraged to participate by sharing ideas of what types of amenities would benefit the neighborhood such as benches, display of historical fruit labels, water fountains for humans and pets, and of course drought tolerant landscaping.  Also discussed at this meeting were possible names to be considered for the new downtown plaza project.  Upland celebrates its rich historical citrus industry and the founders who made Upland what it is today.

 

 

The City of Upland has just completed the construction of a gender-neutral public bathroom adjacent to the PE Trail for trail users.  The City is considering an open-air plaza that could be used for intimate concerts or public gatherings.  Stay tuned for future announcements of public meetings and the progress of this historic transformation of downtown Upland.

 

Downtown Plaza Project



Historic Downtown Upland Urban Open Space Project (a.k.a. “Historic Downtown Plaza Project” a.k.a “Old Magnolia Plaza”) is located between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and adjacent to the Pacific Electric Trail.  Creating a pleasant and inclusive Downtown environment by improving the aesthetics of the hardscape and landscape while preserving historical character and charm.   Expanding the amenities to this location adjacent to the PE Trail is vital for the neighborhood as well as visitors who ride their bikes to Upland to shop or have breakfast at Molly’s Souper that is right around the corner.

 






The project involves the Development of an urban open space on 0.69 acre in size of vacant land located on the Pacific Electric Trail between Third Avenue and Second Avenue to be used as a "Downtown Plaza" and continue the City's efforts to revitalize the Downtown area. Public Input is sought as to community amenities and overall design of the project.  The City of Upland has put safety first by adding a new signal at Euclid Blvd., for cyclists and pedestrians to cross this busy thoroughfare.   With the help of SBCTA, Upland was able to install this traffic signal and identify other locations for trail improvements in the future.  Have you visited downtown Upland lately, please comment below?

 


 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

 Victoria Jones, Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A DAY ON THE TRAIL TO CELEBRATE SPRING

 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

Welcoming Spring is like a breath of fresh air like when an old friend drops by to say hello.  What better way to celebrate the beginning of Spring than spending Sunday morning with our longtime partners at Cyclery USA on the Pacific Electric Trail at Central Park. 

 


2020 was challenging for everyone and for those of us who live in the Inland Empire, we can always count on enjoying the 21-mile Regional PE Trail to be there for us day or night, 365 days a year to ride our bikes on, walk our dogs, get out and exercise physically and get some much-needed social interaction.

 


The awesome Cyclery USA team of Bob and Dillon volunteered to join us at Central Park with their equipment to offer “free bike checks” for cyclists on the Trail.  They handed out patch kits and bike levers and more importantly, they shared their great technical advice.  The Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail handed out chilled water bottles for trail users and bottles of bubbles for the steady flow of kids.  We met the community that was out walking their dogs, running, cycling and of course numerous families with strollers. 

 


There was a healthy amount of visitors at the newly installed Fitness Court that is just a few hundred feet from the Trailhead at Central Park.  Bootcamps were busy going through their paces and everyone was having fun.  There are two recent installations at this Trailhead: The Military Women Veterans Unity Group donated a bench, landscaping, and a plaque along with The Incredible Edible Community Garden, Supervisor Janice Rutherford and CalFire.  The City of Rancho Cucamonga installed a historical landmark plaque built 1915 The Pacific Electric Railway Corridor.

 


It was invigorating to return to community outreach with our friends at Cyclery USA and engage with the neighborhood.  Most trail users were practicing safe distancing and wearing face masks.  Everyone had a big smile on their face and while some enjoy the trail every day, others were just coming out of the quarantine like bears rising out of hibernation.  Everyone was enjoying the fresh air and sunshine and delighted to see each other again.  Truly, a good day was had by all.  What is your favorite section of the PE Trail, please comment below?

 


Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

 Victoria Jones, Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Suffering In Silence

 

Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail

Before the Pandemic hit the world, mental health problems such as depression and anxiety in children between the ages of 6 – 17 were on the rise according to the Center for Disease Control. Add to this the mandatory isolation that we are all experiencing, and the problem increases.



When we are at home and the kids are entertaining themselves, we have a moment to relax and focus on our needs. What we do not realize is that a full 30% of children today are suffering in silence! Given their position in the hierarchy of the family and society overall, they feel frustrated at their powerlessness. None of us have any real control over these current events, but kids feel the lack of control even more acutely than most. Not only can they not change the issues that bother them, but frequently they feel that they cannot even vocalize how they feel.

Historically when marriages fail, and children are involved they feel responsible. It is part of their DNA to blame themselves either consciously of unconsciously. So, they are reluctant to bring up feelings of loneliness and depression for fear that it will add to their parents’ burden. Add to this schedule changes, financial uncertainly, and not being able to be with their friends for comfort and they are at times walking an emotional tight rope without a net. For all of us, our traditional safe harbors have been quarantined!



The writer Christine Derengowski wrote about her son’s feelings of failure trying to keep up his previous level of academics in the 1st grade. His schooling like others is via Zoom. He was near tears about a writing assignment that he was struggling with when she had an epiphany. She told him that “you won’t get in trouble and you can’t fail 1st grade!  While sitting in his very special superhero decorated bedroom, she said that “you are kind of a Superhero yourself.” He sat up in his chair just a little and looked at her is disbelief.

She said, “Do you know that no kids in the history of kids have ever had to do what you’re doing right now? No kids in the history of kids have ever had to attend school from home, sitting in their bedroom, watching your teacher on a computer. You and your friends are making history.”  He looked up and said, “what does that mean?”

She told him it means she hadn’t given him nearly enough credit for rolling with the punches. She let him know how proud she was of him and his friends. That kids this year are doing the impossible and they are doing a really great job!



We have thanked everyone from grocery store workers and healthcare professionals and first responders, but we haven’t thanked this exceptional generation of kids for bearing the burden of what we’ve put on their shoulders this year.  I was so profoundly moved by her experience and how eloquently she expressed it. She opened my eyes to her sons’ plight, and I was floored by her insight. Later when I shared this story to my wife, I found that my eyes were leaking. Christine Derengowski has my vote for Quarantine Mom of the Year!






 

We say that kids are resilient, and they are. However, they are the real superheroes in this whole scenario for having ZERO say in their lives but doing their best to adjust each and every day.  Take the time to comfort them and listen with new ears. Engage them and value what they say. They may not say it well at first, they are still evolving into who they will be and so how they express themselves imperfectly may be both a learning and trust curve. But by comforting them, we may find that we are comforted.  Do you know someone who may be experiencing stress in silence, please comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail


Saturday, March 6, 2021

FITNESS COURT ARRIVES IN RANCHO CUCAMONGA

 


One of the most popular amenities in the Inland Empire is the 21-mile Regional Pacific Electric Trail that spans five cities: Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, and Rialto.  During the world-wide pandemic, gyms were forced to close, leaving most of us with safety restrictions to find other ways to get our physical exercise.  Here in the Inland Empire, we are fortunate to have a Class I bike path to walk our dogs, commute, run on or ride our bikes and fortunately remained open 365 days a year, 24/7.  Last Spring the Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail produced a “Safe Distancing” safety video last spring to help encourage and remind trail users to wear face coverings and use safe distancing while using the PE Trail.

 


Towards the end of 2020, the City of Rancho Cucamonga was notified that they were the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the County of San Bernardino County’s CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund.  Along with the NFC National Fitness Campaign awarding a $30,000 grant to the City of Rancho Cucamonga. These funds were made possible to help municipalities address exercise options due to the public health pandemic COVID 19. 

 


These monies had to be spent in 2020 and implementing a plan, selecting a location at Central Park, and completing the project was due to the city departments working together to make it happen in such a tight production schedule.  All the planets aligned, and the Team decided to add a Fitness Court which is an open-air exercise amenity adjacent to the PE Trail.  The 7 minutes – 7 movements exercise system is designed to be efficient due to the simplicity of using your own body weight as part of the exercise.  We visited the Fitness Court last week and saw other residents stopping to try it out.  There is a free Fitness Court App for users to download on their phones and a guide posted for easy reference.

 


The Fitness Court amenity compliments the Healthy RC initiative and the city’s commitment to wellness.  Amenities on the PE Trail enhance the user experience and we salute the City of Rancho Cucamonga for responding to these grant opportunities in a short time frame to bring a great exercise amenity for our residents to enjoy.  Have you visited the new Fitness Court at Central Park, please comment below?

Victoria Jones, Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

California's Oldest Winery

 

In its hey-day, this location was home to the Thomas Vineyard Company Winery which is located on the famous Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga.  Prior to the Thomas Vineyard Company, AKA Cucamonga Winery, this location still proudly features a number of the historic monuments to the original owner Don Tiburcio Tapia and the original wine barrel from 1849 (The oldest winery in California) that is visible from Foothill Blvd., and a historic Mission Bell recognizing the famous El Camino Real 1789 & 1906.

 


The original winery has been reinvented numerous times over 182 years to serve the community in a variety of ways such as a restaurant, coffee shop and a wine tasting room. The front porch of the winery is home to the original grapevine planted near the entrance and has grown to cover the entire veranda.  You can’t miss the giant wine barrel that flanks the front door and a few feet away is the original paddle wheel that was used for grape crushing and was powered by the Cucamonga Creek.  There is a California Historical monument at this location honoring the TAPIA  ADOBE  SITE as well as another significant California Historical monument to the CUCAMONGA  WINERY that was donated in 1950 by:  the Ontario Parlor No. 251, the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Los Ranchos Parlor No. 285 and the Native Sons of the Golden West.

 



 

Cucamonga's first large planting was in 1838 at the Cucamonga Rancho by Spanish land grant that was deeded to Don Tiburcio Tapia.  In 1859 rancher John Rains began large vine plantings (over 125,000) in Cucamonga and started a revolution by introducing agriculture on a large scale to replace cattle and sheep raising. By 1917, Secondo Guasti was advertising his vineyard as, "The Largest in the World." Cucamonga-Guasti vineyards spanned over 20,000 acres. Prohibition which should have hurt the Cucamonga Wine Industry during Prohibition (1919 – 1933) but due to a small variance, local vintner’s could produce sacramental wine as well as wine for personal use and were able to operate at a reduced production.

 


The Cucamonga Winery was started by Alfred Accomazzo and his brother Eduardo Accomazzo after Prohibition in 1933. The Cucamonga Winery is closely connected with the founding of the city of Cucamonga, California. The Accomazzo brothers came to the United States from San Desiderio in the “Asti “region of Piedmont in northwest Italy at the turn of the century, 1902.  

 


This previous winery location while historically was a landmark for people traveling the original Route 66, continues that legacy as an anchor for Cucamonga businesses.  This stop was the half-way mark on route from Palm Springs to Los Angeles and was where customers migrated to in search of purchasing cases of wine from this region.  The Thomas Winery Plaza retains the charm and pays homage to the past by preserving the rich history of the wine making business in the Cucamonga Valley.  What is your favorite memory of the Cucamonga Winery AKA Thomas Winery?  Please comment below.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

ETIWANDA PACIFIC ELECTRIC DEPOT along the Regional Pacific Electric Trail

 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

Our next stop is our visit to the historic ETIWANDA PACIFIC ELECTRIC DEPOT

along the Regional Pacific Electric Trail

The Etiwanda Pacific Electric Depot was built in 1914 as one of the first tilt-up commercial construction buildings in California.  The Historic Etiwanda Pacific Electric Depot sits at the intersection of Etiwanda Ave and the PE Trail just a short distance north of Baseline road. It proudly resides in the historic Etiwanda neighborhood along with the Chaffey Garcia House across the street along with the Norton Fisher House and the Chaffey-Isle House.  The architect was Irving Gil who had the vision to create a multi-use train depot to carry passengers from the Inland Empire through the San Gabriel Valley on into Los Angeles and points beyond and transported fresh picked citrus and grapes that were harvested in the Cucamonga Valley.  In the early 20th Century, electric trolleys known as Red Cars connected people to previously isolated areas of Southern California. Freight trains delivered locally grown citrus and grapes to San Bernardino and destinations across the country. During the World War II era, the railway moved materials and troops to the ports of Los Angeles.                 


                               

The Pacific Electric Railway Company, nicknamed the Red Cars, was a privately owned mass transit system in Southern California consisting of electrically powered streetcars, interurban cars, and buses and was the largest electric railway system in the world in the 1920s. Organized around the city centers of Los Angeles and San Bernardino, it connected cities in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County. 





The Pacific Electric Trail is a 21-mile regional rail trail that has been constructed as a Rails to Trails conversion along the former San Bernardino Line and connects five Inland Empire cities:  Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and Rialto.  The Etiwanda Pacific Electric Depot is centered at the midpoint adjacent to the 21-mile regional trail making it a desired location for a trail head stop for pedestrians and cyclists to stop at for refreshment, socialize or put air into their bike tires. 


The historic Depot is charming with its’ Spanish Revival design by Architect Irving Gill. Commissioned by Henry Huntington’s Pacific Electric Railroad, it now sits in suspended animation waiting for its’ next role in the community. Like a blank canvas waiting for an artist to infuse life back into it, the Depot stands as a testament to the significance of preserving history for generations to come.  To be sure, this remnant of a bygone era has more to offer us in its’ future. We are all waiting for its’ next chapter to be fulfilled….

Do you wonder when the Depot will be restored comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail


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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A Life Outdoors is a Life Well-Lived

 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

At Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) they believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.  Since 1938, they have been your local PREMIER outdoor co-op, working to help you experience the transformational power of nature.  In 2005, REI built their newest location in Rancho Cucamonga and were successful even before they opened their doors.

 


REI supports community involvement especially when it comes to physical fitness and outdoor activities.  REI Rancho Cucamonga was “THE FRIENDS” first community partner and hosted our inaugural bike event in 2005.  They had barely opened and the stripes in the parking lot were still drying when they graciously opened their doors for our Poker Ride.  Participants headed out from REI over to the newly built Victoria Gardens and points around town then eventually returned to REI for food, fun, refreshment, and prize drawings.

 

Photo by Oziel G√≥mez from Pexels

REI believes in working with the community and developing lasting partnerships.  The Team at REI graciously gave us meeting space for several years until the point when we grew out of the space, thank you Team REI.  They have been our proud sponsor of the CUCAMONGA CHALLENGE for 14 years and we are grateful for their commitment to the Friends and their valued partnership.  Have you experienced their outdoor Team?  Please comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

 Victoria Jones of the Pacific Electric Trail

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

MARKS BICYCLE WATCHES OVER THE PE TRAIL

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail



Marks Bicycle moved to the corner of Baseline Road and the PACIFIC ELECTRIC TRAIL recently and the increased visibility and P E Trail traffic has been successful for the entire cycling community.  For many years, Marks Bicycle was located in the Sunrise shopping center and although business was good, Mark saw the opportunity to move his business to the corner of Baseline and Roberds street.  Marks Bicycles is the place to go for bike repair and of course, he offers an array of new bikes to select from if you’re in the market for a new ride.

 


Mark lives local and rides his bike to work daily.  He collaborated with a client that over the years became a good friend to design and build a custom mini-bike shop trailer that sits out in front of his shop.  He supports the community in various ways and always delivers the highest customer service for his customers.  Welcome to our neighborhood Mark.  Have you stopped by Marks Bicycle for a bike tune up?  Please comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail


 Victoria Jones of the Pacific Electric Trail

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Discover The Day Creek Trailhead

 

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

The next stop on our Tour is THE DAY CREEK TRAILHEAD

 

 

Businesses giving back to OUR community, is what continues to make Rancho Cucamonga so special.  With the continued success of residents and visitors incorporating exercise on the Pacific Electric Trail, there is always room for additional amenities for the community to discover and enjoy.

 


The newest shopping center at Day Creek and Baseline is no exception.  Through the generosity of the property owners / developers designed and installed an exceptional trailhead at the street crossing adjacent to the Fire Department for walkers, runners, or cyclists to enjoy.  Its beautiful design and location add to the charm of the neighborhood and is a convenient place for the public to meet up and enjoy a picnic meal.  The trailhead features shaded seating, several picnic tables, a bike fix-it station, bike racks, doggy station, trash cans and a water fountain that is pet friendly.


 

The tradition of amenities along the PACIFIC ELECTRIC TRAIL help increase the user experience, whether you are walking your dog, commuting, rollerblading, running or cycling.  Vision combined with synergy for our community created this beautiful amenity for the neighborhood to enjoy.  Are you a “Trail regular” who enjoys amenities on the Trail?  Please comment below.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail