Tag: fail

Pictures of newly extended Enterprise Trail in Clovis

I’m still making my way through a backlog of pictures. These were taken last month.

I’m looking at a new section of the Enterprise Trail in Clovis. I previously looked at it before here.

Construction happened very quickly, but it’s a very odd trail. Goes absolutely nowhere. In this map I showed before, the green was the existing, and the orange is new.

There was one modification, a section of trail was built from the end of
the orange line to the west, where the road dead ends. Thats a shopping
center with a Mcdonalds, Starbucks, etc. I believe that section is temporary. Click to read more!

A quick look at Campus Pointe Development – Pedestrian oriented? Not really

If you’ve been past Fresno State on Shaw any time this year, you’ve seen construction underway at Campus Pointe. It’s yet another shopping center for Fresno, in a part of town that isn’t exactly lacking in retail options. The project is a joint development between Fresno State, and the people who brought us River Park.

The “selling point” is that it is directly next to Fresno State, so it’s being advertised as a place for students to visit, and somewhere they can do so walking or biking. Sadly, the fundamentals are missing which make it a real walking or biking destination, and parking is a huge center-piece, as expected. As is the case in every Fresno development, the main street (Chestnut in this case) is fronted by parking. Click to read more!

Two years later: Clovis crosswalk STILL not done

How can you tell that a city prioritizes vehicles over pedestrians? Clovis might be revealing their hand with this absurd level of incompetence.

In the past two years, they’ve added well over ten miles of lanes in widened roads, installed and began operating multiple new stop lights, and resurfaced various streets.

And yet they can’t quite finish a single crosswalk that connects an elementary school, a church, and two residential neighborhoods. I guess the safety of children in no one near as important as adding new lanes in rarely used places. Click to read more!

Bike lanes: Keeping fast cars safe from opening doors

You know how it seems like most American bike lanes are almost entirely in the door zone?

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And you know how most local governments will claim it’s just an unfortunate side effect of limited road space?

Well, the Fresno Public Works Department has decided to be extremely candid about the REAL benefit of bike lanes. That is, bike lanes are great because they keep drivers safe from those pesky doors that may suddenly be opened.

Behold the department’s report to the city council about an upcoming road diet. Click to read more!

For the longest time – traffic signal fail

I’ve been planning on writing a post about how building bigger streets can actually slow down traffic. A central point of that post will be how bigger roads require lengthier traffic signal cycles.

I got lucky, or shall I say, unlucky, the other day as I found myself driving home and yet again getting stuck at Herndon and Fowler. Mind you, it’s not really luck. As I’ll talk about later, the wider the road, the more likely you’ll get red….

There is a signal here that is not working properly, and while I reported it to the city back in January (the 7th), no change was made. Click to read more!

Misuse of air quality funds

As you’ve heard me mention on this blog many times, the San Joaquin Valley, home to Fresno, has the worst air quality in the nation. So it makes sense that funding would arrive from multiple sources to attempt to clean things up. Because transportation emissions are such a large portion of the air quality problem, it makes sense to target transportation infrastructure. (The other large source of pollution is agriculture, and that’s a touchy subject).

One such source of funding to help clear the air is called CMAQ Click to read more!

Rail-trail land grab

In his Sunday column in the Fresno Bee, Bill McEwen informs us of a plan by a restaurant owner to grab some of the right-of-way used by the Fresno-Clovis rail trail and convert it to private restaurant space.

While the land-grab wouldn’t decrease the size of the currently paved path, it would take a large portion of the publicly held land, and so block any future improvements, including something in the far-future, like a rail-transit line. It would also remove mature vegetation which makes the path comfortable to use. Click to read more!

Parking in the rear can be a failed policy

When talking about what is wrong with suburban planning, many (including myself) will tell you about how damaging the enormous (and enormously underused) parking lots that front strip malls can be. Many urbanists will tell you that a great way to fix ugly sprawl is to mandate that parking being forced to the rear of new and redeveloped retail. That way, customers get their ample free parking, but it’s not as detrimental to the landscape, because it’s hiding out back. But what if suburban cities decide to half-ass it, and send only some parking to the rear? Apparently, that’s what’s mandated in commercial development here, and it’s a failed policy. Click to read more!

A frontage road with a frontage road…?

I was using Google Maps the other day to find the location of an office, as I had a medical appointment to get to. The office was located off Herndon, a street Fresno has developed into a limited access highway. There are no driveways or mid-block turns on Herndon, the only way on and off are at intersections .5 miles apart. So to get to the medical office, I was looking to see the best intersection to turn off.

That’s when I noticed something quite odd, and very wasteful. A triple road.

Sections of Herndon were developed with a “frontage road” which is where all the driveway entrances are, and where street parking is allowed. This isn’t surprising, as Fresno has many frontage roads. I’ve always thought them to be a waste of space and money, but oh well. Mind you, as far as I can tell, frontage roads are a thing of the past and are no longer being developed. Click to read more!

Fresno building a new trail, but doing it badly

Fresno has finally begun to take advantage of its extensive canal system by starting to build a section of a multi-use trail, one of hundreds of planned miles. But what if the trail is being built to satisfy lines on a plan, and the design choices make it clear that accessibility or ease of use was never really considered? Below, I take a tour of a recently completed section of trail and document many of the design flaws, including terrible access for those in wheelchairs.

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The Fresno area, thanks to the agricultural roots, is crossed by many canals which bring much needed water to farmers. As the city grew, and buildings replaced farms, the canals remained but the city turned their back on them. The canals weren’t seen as a place to enjoy, but as a place to be kept off limits. This is odd because the area is lacking in water features. There are no natural lakes in the region, only artificial ones, like the bird habitat at Woodward Park or the dam-reservoirs up in the mountains. The San Joaquin river marks Fresno’s northern boundary, but access to it is limited and difficult. Indeed, because of the way development was organized, it has become isolated, leading to drug use and prostitution along its banks. This only scares off people wanting to enjoy a water feature. Click to read more!