Year: 2015

Clovis now has an Urban Greening Master Plan

Clovis recently released an an “Urban Greening Master Plan,” a new plan which calls for adding more trees, more green infrastructure, and promoting more sustainable transportation.

Now by recently, I do mean July, which is a little embarrassing. Embarrassing, because this is the first I have heard of it. Not only did I miss the release of the final plan, but I also missed the release of the draft, and nine public workshops held in 2014.

Although to be fair to me, a search through Google News reveals zero articles on the subject. Also, the final report shows the first community meeting with a grand total of 28 attendees (13 with white hair), and according to the workshop summaries, the 4th, 5th and 6th workshops had attendances ranging from 1 to 5 people. Click to read more!

Tijuana Airport is now directly connected to San Diego!

It’s been a long time coming, but just this week a private company finally opened a new “terminal” in the US that connects you directly into the Tijuana airport.

An innovative privately operated international port of entry connecting San Diego with Tijuana’s A.L. Rodriguez International Airport launched operations on Wednesday, opening a new chapter in cross-border travel.

Years in the planning, the 9 a.m. opening of the Cross Border Xpress took place with little fanfare — just the presence of luggage-toting airline passengers who smiled broadly after taking minutes to cross from Tijuana to San Diego. They emerged from what looked like a long hallway spanning the international border, presenting documents to U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors, and proceeded to their destinations.
sandiegouniontribune.com Click to read more!

Last chance to comment on plan to remove the Fresno Fulton Mall – act now!

On December 3rd, at 1:30pm, the Fresno City Council will be presented with the last step of the process to eliminate the Fulton Mall and turn it into a street. They will vote on whether to award the contract or not to begin the destruction of the pedestrian mall.

At this point, the project is 11 months late and, more importantly, $3 million dollars over budget.

At $23.05 million, American Paving had the lowest of three bids for
the project. The other two bidders were Lewis C. Nelson at $23.3 million
and Granite Construction at $27.68 million. Right off , the city
is eliminating a bid alternative that will save around $600,000. That
takes American Paving’s bid to $22.4 million. The cash on hand for the
project – around $20 million – means City Hall now needs to either cut
around $2.4 million from the proposal or find some additional revenue.
It looks like the city isn’t counting on the latter. Click to read more!

Fresno is finally getting a Tesla Supercharger

Over the past few years, I’ve posted about how Fresno is severely lacking in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It’s especially disturbing because the state has put so many incentives in place, and yet, instead of deploying the chargers where the worst air quality is, they’re all installed in the Bay Area or LA. Three years ago, there were a grand total of zero public chargers in the area. Fortunately, that has improved. Now, Fresno State offers public chargers, and there are a few others scattered across town. Click to read more!

If high viz is so important, why don’t US police lead by example?

It’s that time of the year again, when you leave work at your usual time and suddenly get hit with a blast of 10pm darkness. Although the thermometer says “perfect biking and walking weather,” our corporate overlords demand we work our regular hours, which happen to extend past sunset. As such, the evening commute becomes a nighttime affair.

Cue the “be visible” safety campaigns kicking into high gear. The Boston Globe has an article on being visible at night:

In self-defense, “push yourself into the driver’s awareness as much
as you can” by exploiting biological motion, said Jonathan Dobres, a
research scientist at MIT’s AgeLab. “Make yourself as big and bright and
reflective as you can. You’re really helping the brain of a driver
figure out, ‘Oh, that’s not a road sign, that’s a person moving
around.’ ”
Boston Globe Click to read more!

Tesla’s new Autopilot – not self-driving, and not so safe

Did you hear? Self-driving cars are here! Or at least that’s what the headlines suggested last week, as Tesla released an update for their pricey cars to enable a new “autopilot” system. As it turns out, the new system isn’t new – but the deployment is. And, unfortunately, that’s what makes it so dangerous. Tesla is setting expectations for their “autopilot” system much higher than what the car can actually do – and someone is probably going to get killed. Click to read more!

New Amtrak Award Valuation: Major downgrade for California passengers

When it comes to rewards points, a new press release is a frequent traveler’s worst nightmare. Enter Amtrak:

A simpler process and more flexible earning and redemption options will be hallmarks of Amtrak’s completely overhauled Guest Rewards program, set to be implemented January 2016.
Travel Pulse

Translation: If you ride Amtrak California frequently, you need to use your points before a massive devaluation hits in January.

We are confident this program combines what passengers want most — the ability to grow points earnings rapidly with the freedom to use those points in the way that best fits their individual travel needs.” Click to read more!

What developer Darius Assemi forgot in his editorial on how to fund road construction

Darius Assemi is the president of Granville Homes, one of the most prolific residential developers in the Fresno area (one which oddly doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry). According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been president for 6 years, and served as vice president for 25 years before that. The guy knows the Fresno market well, especially when it comes to selling single-family homes.

But how much does he know about funding our infrastructure? Let’s take a look at his Fresno Bee editorial on the subject. Here are his main points: Click to read more!

Google Sunroof launching in Fresno thanks to an engineer’s mom

Google has gone ahead and launched a really cool new program that shows you how much solar energy potential your rooftop has, how much money you could save, what size you should use, and what it will cost you.

They have a video explaining the project

Problem is, it’s only launching in three cities for now. 

Wouldn’t that be absolutely perfect for Fresno?  After all, the potential for solar energy is ENORMOUS and yet adoption has been so limited.

And wouldn’t you know it, Fresno is included (and most, but not all of Clovis, it ends at Temperance Avenue). Click to read more!

A look at the Fulton Mall (de)construction diagrams

If you haven’t been paying attention, Fresno last year approved the removal of the 50-year old pedestrian mall in favor of a street for cars.

Well in under two weeks the construction bids are due. What that means is that the design has been completed (or is at least at 90%) and we can take a look at what will actually be built. I say actually being built because what we have seen previously were simply pretty renders. While renders capture the concept and some detail, they are subject to much change; what you see is rarely what you get. Click to read more!