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Sizdeh Bedar... High Congestion Possibilities Driving in Irvine this Weekend

3/26/2003

On Sunday, March 30, 2003, members of the Persian community and their guests will gather at William R. Mason Regional Park, located in the city of Irvine to celebrate the Iranian New Year “Sizdeh Bedar.”  This event historically attracts thousands of people and will result in periods of severe traffic congestion along roadways surrounding Mason Park.  

In anticipation of the congestion associated with this event, the Irvine Police Department is suggesting alternate routes be used when driving in this area between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.  The following roadways in particular will be affected:            

University Drive between the I-405 freeway and MacArthur Boulevard
Culver Drive between Campus Drive and the I-405 freeway
Harvard Avenue between Culver Drive and Michelson Drive 

In addition, access to the village of Rancho San Joaquin will be limited to the Sandburg entry via Culver Drive.  Vehicles entering this area will be restricted to residents and their guests.  The Irvine Police Department will have personnel assigned to this and other areas to encourage voluntary compliance.  Major thoroughfares in the vicinity of the park will be posted “no parking, tow away” zones.  Vehicles left in these areas will be towed at the owner’s expense.  Parking within Mason Regional Park is limited to 600 vehicles.  Fees for parking this year have been set by the County at $10.00 per vehicle.  This charge will be assessed each time the vehicle enters or re-enters the park.  When on-site parking is exhausted, the park gates will be closed.  No additional vehicles will be admitted.  Historically, this occurred near mid-day. 

Parking off-site is generally available at adjacent facilities such as area schools and churches.  This parking is also limited and each venue sets it’s own fees.  The City of Irvine does not regulate parking fees at any of these sites.  University High School, located at the intersection of Culver Drive and Campus Drive, will, as in the past, provide limited paid parking.  This will also be the case with the University of California.  Both of these latter sites are situated within moderate walking distance from the par. 

Event attendees wishing to utilize the limited parking at Mason Park are encouraged to use University Drive from Campus Drive by way of Jamboree Road.  Those opting for University High School or the University of California are encouraged to access those sites from Campus Drive via Jamboree Road.  The prohibition of on street parking where posted will be rigorously enforced.  Violator’s vehicles will be removed at their expense.  

Due to the limited availability of desirable parking within close proximity to the park, attendees are encouraged to restrict the number of items they bring to the park.  As there will be no shuttle service provided, all items will have to be hand-carried from the parking areas.  As a courtesy to event attendees, a loading zone will be established on University Drive between Harvard and San Joaquin.  As this area tends to become heavily congested, vehicles may not be left unattended at anytime.  Those left unattended will be towed immediately. 

In light of the crowding associated with this very popular event, the limited availability of parking and the related traffic congestion; the County of Orange and the City of Irvine recommend that potential visitors consider using other park facilities near their homes.   

Visitors are reminded that the County of Orange maintains a variety of pristine regional parks, all of which should be considered as an option.  These parks include: 

Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA. (714) 633-8072 

477-acre park with Santiago Creek bisecting the park and a large water pond in the center of the park.  Plenty of parking for event attendees inside the park. Parking is $4.00 per vehicle. 

Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel, CA.  (949) 831-2790

80-acre park with 44-acre lake located inside the park. Parking is $4.00 per vehicle.

Mile Square Regional Park, 16801 Euclid Ave. Fountain Valley, CA. (714) 962-5549 

640-acre park with two fishing lakes located within the park.  Plenty of parking for event attendees.  Parking is $4.00 per vehicle. 

Craig Regional Park, 3300 State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA.  (714) 990-0271 

124-acre park providing abundant shade with a natural area for waterfowl and a 3-acre lake.  Parking is $4.00 per vehicle. 

Ralph B. Clark Regional Park, 8800 Rosecrans Ave. Buena Park, CA. (714) 670-8045 

105-acre park with open grass areas and rolling hills, and a three-acre lake.  Parking is $4.00 per vehicle.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park, 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, CA. (714) 996-5252

124 acre park with a ten-acre grove of Coastal Redwoods and a 4-acre lake.  Parking is $4.00 per vehicle. 

The sites described above are similar in nature to William R. Mason Regional Park.  Each of these facilities feature areas of open grass and bodies of water.  In order to reduce inconvenience associated with limited parking and projected traffic congestion to potential attendees, it is suggested the above parks be considered as alternatives.  

Both the City of Irvine and the County of Orange join in wishing the Iranian community a very happy New Year.  We are committed to making this event safe and enjoyable for everyone.  

Question concerning this release may be directed to Sgt. Denny Jenner at (949) 724-7022 or Park Ranger Chuck Thornburgh at (949) 854-2490.  This information is also available on Irvine Police Department’s website at “http://www.cityofirvine.org/ipd.”