Month: February 2013

Visalia votes for sprawl

The Fresno Bee reports that the Visalia City Council voted to move forward with an update to their growth plan. The update will divert focus from their downtown to new commercial strips on what is currently agricultural land.

I thought this quote was particularly amusing
Click to read more!

Google bets on suburbs for new campus

Late last week, Google hit the media circuit to preview their brand new mega-campus. 

Google Inc. is preparing to break ground on a 42-acre campus called
Bayview that promises to elevate the pampering of its hard-driving,
type-A workers to a whole new level.


This marks the first time Google has had the opportunity to build its
own campus from scratch rather than hollowing out the shells of
buildings once occupied by a tech giant of another era, Silicon
Graphics. The new campus is on the grounds of NASA’s Ames Research Center, which is next to the Googleplex.
LA Times
  Click to read more!

Comment on newest GV Urban proposal

GV Urban is the subsidiary of Granville Homes which has brought us the only residential development downtown has seen in decades. You know them from the Iron Bird Lofts, Fulton Village, Van Ness Cottages and a few others.

This past week they announced their newest project, which involves the Met block.

The site is home to the former museum, an abandoned commercial building (which GV owns and plans on restoring), a public park, and empty space in what used to be two buildings – the city knocked those down for free. Click to read more!

If light rail was built like roller coasters….

Fresno may not have a light rail line, or any plans for one, but I do like to follow the progress of construction on transit lines in other cities. In the past, I kept up with the development of the Expo Light Rail line in Los Angeles. Phase 1 opened last summer, and Phase 2 is is now well under cosntruction.

Phase 2 to Santa Monica now has almost-completed bridges, well graded sections of dirt, and even the first foray of construction deep into downtown Santa Monica. But even though the first track is scheduled to be dropped off this summer, the line isn’t going to open to passengers until 2016, if all goes well…..and these things never go well. Click to read more!

Clovis repeals bike licensing, registration requirement

Last May, Clovis launched a new voluntary bicycle registration system with the police department. That system allows residents the chance to register their serial number with the department to try and make theft recovery easier, should it happen. As I mentioned in that article, the new program conflicted with an existing law.

That law, in place since 1975, stated that in Clovis, one is required to register their bike, receive a license…..and display a license plate. The law also included rules on transfer of ownership, and fines. Such a ridiculous law has not been enforced in years, if ever. However, now the council finally took up the motion to repeal that entire section of the code as to not conflict with the new voluntary system. Click to read more!

Should parking hold up trail development?

This Sunday, the Fresno Bee ran an excellent spread on the plans for the extension of the Eaton Trail in North Fresno. The article was somewhat familiar…about two years ago, I reported on the very same trail having not progressed even though planning had been ongoing for a decade. Even though two years have passed, nothing has happened.

Normally, you’d think the reason for the delays would be money. Not in this case. $30 million is sitting in the bank, waiting to be spent on river improvements, including the trail, bathrooms and canoe launches. If you want to know what the existing trail to the north looks like, I have a few photos here. Click to read more!

UPS to deploy EV trucks in Fresno market

I’ve talked a few times in the past about how even though Fresno and the Central Valley are home to the nations worst air, we have almost no electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.

During the summer, the air board asks people not to drive, because the air quality approaches very unhealthy levels, but at the same time has to issue warnings for people not to bike because that would involve breathing the bad air. So naturally, people drive just as much, if not more, than they would on any other day. And without a push for electric vehicles, the number of non-polluting cars on the road is minimal. Click to read more!

Destroy pedestrian mall so drivers can cruise?

This week was home to the annual “State of Downtown” breakfast, once again held in the Pacific Southwest Building’s ballroom, which anchors the Fulton Mall. Naturally, as has been the case the past few years, talk centered on what to do with the mall.

The mayor has been pushing for years to rip the whole thing up and turn it into yet another two way street with parking – ie, every other road in the city. She’s asking the feds for millions of dollars to get the bulldozers going, claiming that it will start revitalization downtown, even though she ignores that every other street is open to cars, and not one is doing economically better than Fulton. Click to read more!

What Fresno can learn from Oklahoma City

Streetsblog recently ran an interesting series of articles about Oklahoma City and the changes implemented by their current mayor to make the city a more attractive, more liveable and healthier place. The lessons for Fresno are extremely relevant.

Cornett’s zeal to make Oklahoma City a healthier city led him to take
a hard look at the built environment. He realized that car-centric,
pedestrian-unfriendly streets weren’t just costing residents their
health, they were costing brainpower — too many of Oklahoma City’s
talented young people were leaving. Businesses didn’t want to locate
there because their employees didn’t want to live there. Click to read more!