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Santa Anais generally safe, although visible signs show that crime is increasing once again. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in the Logan and French Park areas. Santiago Park is often used as a gang base at night, so avoid it if it's not during the day.
The distance between Santa Ana and Los Angeles is 49 kilometers (30 miles). The driving distance from Santa Ana to Los Angeles is 52 kilometers (33 miles). Santa Ana was listed as a municipality in Los Angeles County in the 1860 and 1870 censuses, with an area that encompasses most of what is now north and center of Orange County. Having been a constituent city since November 11, 1952, the citizens of Santa Ana amended the charter in November 1988 to provide for the direct election of the mayor, who until then had been appointed from among the members of the council.
The city of Santa Ana is a busy urban area with close ties to the founding of Orange County, being the county seat and still containing major government facilities, such as the Superior Courthouse and the Civic Center. Since the 1980s, Santa Ana has been characterized by an effort to revitalize the city center, whose influence had diminished, even as it had become a dynamic shopping and entertainment center for working-class Latinos. Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, an expert in exploring everything Orange County has to offer, and a children's book author specializing in history and human rights. For sports enthusiasts, Santa Ana offers easy access to all of the professional sports offerings in nearby Anaheim and Los Angeles.
The core of the city is the downtown area, which contains both stores and housing, as well as the Santa Ana Civic Center, which is a dense campus of administrative buildings for both the city and Orange County. One of Santa Ana's most notable businesses is the musical instrument company Rickenbacker, whose electric guitars and basses became famous in the hands of many rock and roll legends. Firestone Boulevard, the first direct driving route between Los Angeles and Santa Ana, opened in 1935; expanded to Santa Ana Freeway in 1953. The skyline of the city of Santa Ana in Orange County, California, includes city history and information for residential services, shops, restaurants, and points of interest throughout the city. The city's largest employers are Orange County, Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana College, First American Title Company, City of Santa Ana, KPC Healthcare, California Superior Court, Orange County, United States Postal Service, and Johnson & Johnson.
Amtrak, the national passenger train system, serves Santa Ana several times Monday through Friday with less frequent service on weekends. The Santa Ana Highway (Interstate) heads north to Los Angeles and south to South Orange County and San Diego. With a total population of more than 335,000, Santa Ana is the second largest city in Orange County and serves as the county seat. OCTA plans to develop the OC Streetcar, a modern light rail system for streetcars that will extend from the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center to the Harbor Transit Center in Garden Grove.