Month: February 2014

Important Fulton Mall Dates Coming Up

Time is running out to help preserve the Fulton Mall.

Monday is the deadline to send comments to Caltrans for their report on the Fulton Mall project. 

You can send Caltrans comments until Feb 24 to Kirsten Helton, Department of Transportation, 855 M Street, Suite 200, Fresno, CA 93721.

More important is February 27, when the council votes. Here is the item from the meeting agenda (large PDF)    While speaking in person is important, make sure to also contact to council members directly by email.When a public comment at a meeting drags on for hours, as it will, people stop listening. Sending an email means more attention.
So be brief, and use good point!
Remember to target your comments to the council members. For example, it’s probable that Brand and Brandau don’t care at all about park space, art, or history. So there’s no reason to send them a letter addressing those subjects. Instead, focus on the financial risk of the project to the city. 
Brand has attempted to portray himself as “Mr. Money Guy” while Brandau governs as “Mr. Tea Party.” That means pointing out that the fed grant won’t cover all the costs, especially the overruns. This is even more true in an older area, where there are likely old pipes, wires, and gas lines under the mall that aren’t on any map. Whenever an old street gets dug up, the crews ALWAYS encounter these problems, resulting in lengthy delays. That means the city is on the hook for cash. 

Or point out how flimsy the EIR and economic report are. A bad EIR means the city can and will be dragged through the court system. Aside from legal fees, lengthy delays mean forfeiting the fed grant. 

For example,
the EIR claims that there will be no traffic increase, and thus, no mitigation required.

The circular logic is astounding:

Project will create high economic impact -> more shoppers, more workers, more people  Click to read more!

Broadway Streetscape Project Photo Update

I’ve a lot of large posts I want to put together….however these photos I took a couple of weeks ago are getting stale, so I need to finish posting them!

Here’s quick look at the Broadway streetscape project. I took some photos a few weeks earlier, and construction has moved slowly. Mind you, the entire project has moved slowly. Here’s the times I’ve written about it, excluding the above link:

September 2011: Project announced
September 2011: Full details   – Construction scheduled for 2012 (lols)
July 2013: Comparison with LA Broadway streetscape project Click to read more!

Construction on Droge building progressing slowly

In 2012, the city, via the housing authority, moved forward on the process to tear down the old Droge building and erect a modern four story apartment building. A neighboring building (one which a couple of my family members worked in for many years) was also demolished. This is an interesting building as it’s going up with less parking spaces than is “normal.” And yes, people complained that would cause issues, even though a large garage sits across the street, which is always 99% empty at night. Click to read more!

Is Walmart changing the way they plan their new stores?

There was a surprising announcement in the Bee today: A new Walmart store in Fresno.

Walmart will open a supercenter in the former Mervyn’s that has sat empty for five years at Blackstone and Ashlan avenues in central Fresno.

The retail giant plans to open the store — which will include clothing, electronics, a full grocery department, but no auto center — this summer. At 107,000 square feet, the store is slightly smaller than a typical Walmart Supercenter, but larger than the average Walmart store. Click to read more!