Month: June 2013

Clovis trail gap filled – picture tour

I thought it was more recent, but it was way back in January that I mentioned three area bike trails would be getting a little longer. A couple of weeks ago, I paid a visit to one in Clovis, to see if anything had happened; it had, and construction was done.

The location is Cottonwood Park, in Clovis, which is part of the Dry Creek Trail. The existing trail had a gap where one had to use a segment of sidewalk, which had no signage indicating where the trail picked up again.

    I guessed that a path would be built diagonally across the park, to the intersection. I was right.   Let’s start where the old trail was (at the bottom right of the water pong in the image above). You can see the existing trail was asphalt, and the new one is concrete. The new trail curves left, the old trail remains and continues straight/right.  Also note the light: the old trail had no lighting. Note that lighting was only added to the new section.  photo DSC03709_zpsef187ca5.jpg This is looking at the same area, but backwards (ie, towards where I was standing for the last picture)  photo DSC03708_zpse64adac8.jpg And this is at the junction. That entire viewing area straight ahead? Brand new.  photo DSC03707_zps3af060dc.jpg  photo DSC03710_zpsdd1236a8.jpg  photo DSC03711_zps88dac613.jpg Some attention to design  photo DSC03712_zps5ec16666.jpg  photo DSC03713_zpsc6c7217a.jpg Shame the fence is so far away from the water.  photo DSC03714_zpse5b6888f.jpg  photo DSC03715_zps5b0b3045.jpg The path itself is smooth, wide and has lighting, but I’m not a fan of the curves. Do they look nice? I guess. But if you’re using this trail for transportation, then they’re simply a pain in the ass. Not everyone is here for 5mph recreation. I do like the placement of lights, not too far apart.  photo DSC03717_zpsfdc013b8.jpg New benches were added as well  photo DSC03703_zps9850798e.jpg  photo DSC03718_zpsa4de29d9.jpg We near the intersection  photo DSC03719_zps66463b73.jpg Water fountains were added for people and pets  photo DSC03720_zpsaca38015.jpg A new gateway was added to match the existing one across the street. Now it’s obvious where the trail is, unlike before when you had to know where to go.  photo DSC03721_zps1b2cea43.jpg But one massive problem: No improvements to the intersection. The shortest, and most logical, crossing is straight. But in Clovis, automobiles get full priority, so anyone using the trail must make two long crossings, essentially making crossing the road a 3-5 minute exercise. Even though the trail is active, if the button isn’t pushed, the pedestrian signals dont indicate one can cross. The ramp also sends people straight into the intersection, dangerous for the blind.   photo DSC03722_zpse67125da.jpg Crossing involves going backwards, due to the diagonal orientation of the crossing. The button is not oriented with the ramp at all.  photo DSC03723_zps7d8e62ae.jpg One can cross either way, but the crosswalks are blocked by concrete medians  photo DSC03724_zps33562b09.jpg Wouldn’t going straight be so much better?  photo DSC03725_zps91450f56.jpg  photo DSC03726_zps43353339.jpg This was the old trail, not signed.  photo DSC03727_zps3986cfd6.jpg One thing I did like. This picture is taken down the street, the stop light is where the last pictures were taken. Note the path on the right…. a direct sidewalk was added to the trail, so people don’t have to walk in the grass or go all the way to the corner to access it.  photo DSC03728_zps8dce7fcf.jpg  photo DSC03699_zps8889cec1.jpg  photo DSC03700_zpsa2db921b.jpg     It was very exciting to see that construction happened so quickly, and it was of high quality. Lights, concrete, and amenities make it obvious someone is taking this trail seriously….for recreation anyway. The unimproved crossing and curves make it obvious that those in charge still don’t see this as a transportation option, which it is. Now, why can’t they fix the old town gap? As far as gaps go, that one is much more serious. 

One year after opening, Expo line ridership meeting projections for 2020

A bit over a year ago, the city of Los Angeles welcomed its newest (and long delayed) light rail line, called the Expo Line. Taking riders between downtown LA and Culver City (and eventually Santa Monica), the line had been greatly anticipated to fill a large gap in the metro system. For one, the line would have three stops serving USC, which includes a stop at the famous and frequently used LA Coliseum.

Not everyone was excited about the line. One conservative group, the Reason Foundation, which had spent years yelling about the horrors of rail transit in LA, sent out two reporters to the new line to count, and thus estimate, ridership. They used their loose estimates to declare the line a failure. Click to read more!

One year later: Clovis crosswalk still not done

What takes longer to build, a half mile of road widening, or a crosswalk? If you’re in Clovis….

During April of last year, I documented the construction of a new enhanced crosswalk in Clovis, connecting a small trail system, with an elementary school. The area is residential, except for the large church adjacent to the crosswalk.

This crosswalk was special, because it was to be the type with flashing lights embedded in the concrete. Pedestrians were to push a button to turn on those lights, and also a series of flashing signs placed before the crosswalk. Click to read more!

A picture review of 1612 Fulton

Last week, GV Urban held the grand opening of their newest residential project, 1612 Fulton, on the corner of Fulton and San Joaquin. I’ve been meaning to write about this place for a few months now, but it keeps slipping away…. Basically, when the project was announced, it included one section of street-wall which was to become the biggest turd built downtown in decades. The Fulton St section looks good, but the section on San Joaquin is abysmal.

While I didn’t attend the opening ceremony, I did drop by a week or so before hand to take pictures, so here they are. By the way, to the GV Urban employed gentleman that oh so subtly followed me in his car during my entire visit….creeping people out is not the proper way to get people to sign leases with you. Click to read more!

Is Google betting $1bn that you’ll use your phone while driving?

The tech world was lit up yesterday by Google’s $1 billion (with a b!) purchase of an Israeli app company called Waze.

Never heard of them? I hadn’t either. But what the company does is run a phone application that is supposed to save you time on your driving trips. What it does is combine GPS map information with real-time updates by users.

Think of Waze as the “wisdom of crowds” meets digital maps. “Join
other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info,
saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute,” Waze says
on its website. The goal? “To outsmart traffic and get everyone the
best route to work and back, every day.” Waze users receive mobile
alerts about traffic hazards based on their location Time Magazine. Click to read more!

Citibike hits major snags – will it delay Chicago and SF launches?

It’s been over a week since the nation’s largest bike-share system launched in New York City. That launch was accompanied by a very predictable stream of media – naysayers, doubters, and then the tabloids looking for trouble.

I predicted as much over a year ago when the system details were announced:

With bike share, New York has been following the exact same media
pattern we saw in Boston in 2009-2011. Boston, naturally, was mirrored
in London during the same period. Both of course were simple repeats of
what happened in Washington a year earlier.
Click to read more!

A look at the site of the demolished Droge building – photo tour

A few weeks ago, the old Droge building was finally demolished. The building had sat at the corner of Van Ness and Inyo for 91 years, although it spent the last years of its life as an eye-sore. Like many buildings in Fresno, being old did not save it from the wrecking ball because it had been left to decay into such bad condition, it wasn’t worth saving.

Supposedly only held up by those metal poles on the sidewalk (which made the building a local icon), it did take some effort from the bulldozers to bring it down. Nether-less, the facade was plain, and the roof was not salvageable. Click to read more!