Community Voices

Union Pacific Trail gets support from residents

My involvement with the banner stems from the following:

  • Council’s total disregard of Parks & Rec Commission’s unanimous vote in favor of Trail Only
  • Council’s ignoring the efforts of an underserved portion of our city (how do you do that & claim to serve the citizens??!!)
  • To demonstrate my support & solidarity with South Fullerton residents


Student group People Above Things (PAT) calls for a protest on Tuesday, September 19 at 5 p.m. on Harbor Blvd and Commonwealth Ave in Fullerton. They believe saving the Urban Greening Grant Program for Union Pacific Trail Phase II is possible.

The Council majority voted against the urban greening project for Union Pacific Trail on August 15, but the people still have time to rally behind the project and see it through.

The project aims to construct approximately .5-mile multi-use side-by-side pedestrian and Class 1 bicycle paths. The trail would fill a gap connecting the eastern and western sections of the city and transform a former railroad right-of-way. It would also include the planting of approximately 176 trees and over 10,000 shrubs, as well as water capture components and other trail amenities. This is only phase two of a multi-phase project that would give Fullerton residents more trees and walking space.

A short segment of the trail (phase I) was completed in 2006 and extends from Harbor Blvd to Highland Ave, running along Union Pacific Park and behind a few industrial buildings. The new segment of the Trail, funded with the $1.76 million Urban Greening Grant, will extend the Trail from Highland Ave to Independence Park, which is open, along a corridor that is mainly flanked by industrial buildings.

A newly formed group calling themselves PAT, which stands for People Above Things, is calling Fullerton residents to join in a protest to demand that the city go forward with the Union Pacific Trail Phase II.

“We need to show we care, raise our voices, and demand the changes to make our community stronger,” said Eli, a Fullerton College Student.

The group plans to rally on September 19 at 5 p.m. on the corner of Harbor Blvd and Commonwealth Ave in Fullerton and march to City Hall for the 5:30 p.m. City Council meeting.

“Protestors should bring signs, be informed about the trail in case they want to speak to the city council, and wear comfortable shoes,” said Dominique, a CSUF student.

“This is important not only to our neighborhoods but also to our environment,” said Bethany, a local high school student, “We have to be the ones who change our communities for the betterment of everyone. I watched the city council meeting and saw all the people who advocated for the Union Pacific Trail. I reached out to my friends, and we all felt we needed to do something. We are a majority, and that is Democracy. With enough support from all parts of Fullerton, we can change the decision.”

37 replies »

  1. That is not what the council said. They said to direct funds to another project and work with the state. Don’t lie and make vulnerable people come out to meetings to protest your particular narrative.

  2. Sharon Kennedy finding it within her moral compass to respond to each and every comment that doesn’t agree with the Fullerton Observer or her perspective is amusing.

    • Hi Robert – yeah back when I was running the paper I had no time to even read comments – but now that I am retired with plenty of time I do read them and some inspire me to comment. Happy you are finding it amusing! I think your comment on me commenting is pretty funny too.

  3. Fullerton Observer volunteers should really read the book “How to win friends and influence people” It talks about the keys to effecting leadership. The approach here is all wrong.

  4. Zenger – You might be right about the east/west thing. Harbor divides East from West and I do get mixed up about that sometimes. UNION PACIFIC TRAIL – PHASE II is from HIGHLAND AVE. to INDEPENDENCE PARK on W. Valencia. (Phase I went from UP Park on W Truslow at S Harbor to Highland).
    This new portion will connect the two parks.

    More on this item with the grant application is in the back up of the 8/18/2020 council meeting on city website. This pathway has been in the planning stages since 2014. with various community meetings along the way – and even earlier in the 2012 Bike Plan. Maybe you will reconsider your opposition once you look into it more.

    • Kennedy – I’ve looked into it a lot more than you have. It’s a boondoggle supported by outright falsehoods. There’s not one person who really wants to use this – just people spouting silly slogans.

      • Zenger – Please send your proof of falsehoods to the Observer at
        I have also looked into the grant and everything I can find on issues in the area and haven’t found anything you mention. I do see that there is a lot of public support in all the surveys, public committee meetings, Park & Rec Commission, public comments at P&R and council meetings.

        The only thing I haven’t found is the mysterious Bushala/Zenger Rail District plan even though I have asked to see it. All I found was a map with an outline of the area but zero labels or details. This makes me think an actual plan doesn’t exist – but if I am wrong about that – Please send it.

  5. Today, Tuesday September 19 at 5pm is a hard time for people who work until 5 or 6 to join in on. But – hopefully those of us who work other hours and care about keeping Fullerton green will join.

    I am going to the protest to support the residents of District 5 who, when they come to council meetings to voice their wishes, are constantly dissed by Jung, Dunlap, Whitaker as being a “special interest group” (apparently related to District 5 voting for Councilmember Zahra who the three are also constantly rude to). Really astonishing behavior from grown men and elected representatives.

    Sending back the $1.78 million grant instead of using it for a green trail with 176 trees punishes the whole town. I am not happy with my District 2 council member Dunlap’s vote against the trail. None of the three gave a reason that holds up.

    It would be great if it could be used to open UP Park (now closed behind a chain link fence for many many years) but according to the grant it can’t be used for anything but the urban greening trail.

    • Option 3 does not say it can’t be used for anything else but those trails. It says they can discuss w the agency to use the money for a different project which is reopening UP park which Mayor Jung motioned or return the money. They never stated the money will be returned.

      • It effectively kills the project because the grant rules are so strict. If a very similar project and design cannot be found (NB: it can’t), the funds will have to be returned.

        Thus one of the reasons for the outrage: Option 3 was a cop-out, a way for council to basically kill the project while saving face by claiming they would repurpose the funds, and then pulling an ‘aw, shucks!’ when such a replacement project could not ultimately be found.

      • Jeff – And at the council meeting, where the issue was discussed, the motion was to see if the granting agency would agree to use the $1.78 million for opening the long chain-linked closed Union Park – and if not SEND the grant back.

        While it would be wonderful to see the park open the grant is specifically for the urban trail. Though staff is trying to get the agency to shift the money to the park – that is unlikely to be successful since
        the grant itself says it can’t be used for anything but the planned urban trail. Just one of the three council members could agree to bring the issue back for another vote and change their motion to using the grant money for the trail if it can’t be used to open the park but so far no one is doing that. There is also a timeline to reach benchmarks in order to keep the grant.

        Another issue is that the city could open the park tomorrow by taking down the fence and doing a little maintenance sprucing up. So we could have both an open park and a new green trail. The residents would like that according to the survey and numerous meetings.

        • The two Councilmembers that want this trail did not bring the issue back at all. They could have, but they did not. So how badly do they want this trail? Instead they brought out over 150 protestors for not even half to speak their concerns or disagreements in public comment.

          • According to City staff, only the council majority (Whitaker, Dunlap, and Jung) can bring the Union Pacific Trail grant issue back to City Council. Which they did not do at last nights council meeting.

            • Exactly! It needs to be a 3-2 vote. You have 2 votes already, how are you going to convince the other Councilmembers to change their vote to get that 3-2 vote, by yelling at them? insulting them?

              • I agree insults aren’t the way to go. Hopefully one of them will wake up and see it is a good plan for entire city and save the trail.

                • If you were being insulted and criticized, would you wake up and change your vote? Maybe if you change your approach things might change for the better!!! There’s an idea!!

  6. John doesn’t agree with my freedom of speech, only the Observer and others who agree with him. Sad moment in the country that I can’t fault a community newspaper for not informing the community with news. Nearly every article picks a side. That’s untruthful John. Neutrality and factual honesty are pretty important to journalism.

    • No, your freedom of speech is not in any danger.

      Your post is there, no government interference.

      Freedom of speech is you saying something and me disagreeing with you and us both being able to do so without the government preventing us.

  7. PAT = Participants in Ahmad Tantrums.
    Not sure what this protest is going to do when the vote is in already. Council voted for Option 3, which is to reopen Union Park where the community can have trees, shrubs, water capture components for the residents to enjoy.

    • A protest (also called a demonstration) is a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one. Protests can work to the degree that they can scare authorities into changing their behavior. Protests are signals: “We are unhappy, and we won’t put up with things the way they are.”
      Protests are not easy to organize and they do not always make a difference. But if you try, you have a better chance at succeeding.

  8. What local support? Observer rattles sabers + a series of opinion articles critiquing former contributors of the Observer + blind followers of Ahmad = resident support. Not very truthful and not at all logical.

    • It’s an announcement of a protest happening today Wayne. What about the announcement is “untruthful?” People like parks so it’s certainly “logical” for residents to support it.

      There was community support for the trail at the council meeting. Not evidence enough for you Wayne? What would be?

      What will the turnout be for the protest? Who knows. But not sure why you feel the need to stomp on it with no information.

    • There are many people who support Union Pacific Trail Phase II who are not in Ahmads District. Have you seen the banner on the corner of Chapman and Malden? I hope many people will stand with those who support Union Pacific Trail and keeping the $1.76 grant to make it happen. It is just the kind of thing the area needs and is only phase II of a larger plan with a longer bike/walking path.
      I am willing to understand your opposition, but I have not read any valid arguments or alternatives. Insults are not a good argument.

      • The banner is in district 5 which is Ahmad’s district! Again this is incorrect information the Observer keeps posting!

        • Of course it’s incorrect. The Observer is run by volunteers, see? Speaking of incorrect information some of the stirred up folk are claiming the strip in question links east and west Fullerton – a complete falsehood. It ends at Harbor Blvd. on the east and never even gets as far as Euclid on the west. Zero connectivity with anything else. That’s what correct information looks like.

        • Jeff, you are right the banner is on the District 5 side of Chapman looking north to District 2 on the other side of Chapman. But the trail is good for residents in District 2, District 4, and anyone visiting downtown.

          • “But the trail is good for residents in District 2, District 4, and anyone visiting downtown.”

            How? I know it’s hard, but please be specific.

            • 176 carbon sequestering trees, shade, habitat for animals not to mention the greenery. It is phase two of a larger walking and bicycling (which is healthy for mind and body). Let me ask you why you are so against the phase II trail? Does it hurt you in some way? I know it does not cost you anything, so the only conclusion I can come to is that you have other plans for the area. I am willing to consider other alternatives, but I do not know your plan. Will you please tell me?

            • Zenger – people who like going outside and walking and biking in green areas understand – sounds like that group doesn’t include you.
              And of course real trees and plants are carbon-sequesters – which is part of the purpose of this urban trail grant which requires planting native landscape.

              • Kennedy – Utter nonsense. As usual. Can’t you name one person? Give me a name of one person. That should be simple – even for you. I’m talking to a carbon sequitur, I guess.

                • If you had attended any of the meetings you would have seen numerous people from all districts – but especially District 5 speak in favor of the trail. I understand why our neighbors are for the trail since we live here and would use it but I really don’t understand your intense opposition as an Anaheim resident.
                  You said you have researched the topic and found something that backs up your opinion. Maybe I have missed something. Please let me know where I can find it.

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