Fresno State, officially California State University, Fresno, has for decades been a driving university. The campus arrived at its current location in 1956, and at the time it was located far from the city. That was intentional – with agriculture as a core mission, the University purposely surrounded itself with farms. Even today, the 388-acre main campus is attached to the 1,011-acre University Farm. As such, one was expected to drive to campus. Especially because students came from all over the Central Valley.
This weekend, public transit service begins for the first time connecting Fresno to Yosemite. Aside from serving a tourist purpose, the system also will operate as an important commuter and community connection. Thanks to the anonymous comment letting me know the schedule was up!
Stops will be at:
- Fresno Greyhound
- Fresno Amtrak
- Fresno Airport
- Fresno State
- Outside Kaiser Permanente Hospital (near River Park)
- Madera, Highway 145 Park and Ride
- Coarsegold Market
- Oakhurst Best Western
- Tenaya Lodge
- Wawona Hotel
- Yosemite Valley (three stops)
YARTS has developed an extensive long-distance bus network to serve Yosemite.
The first bus leaves the Fresno airport bright and early at 4am, with the next four trips starting at the Greyhound station at 7:52am, 9:10am, 12:10pm and 2:10pm. A final commuter run leaves Fresno at 5:45pm and goes only as far as Oakhurst.
Two months ago, I decided to look back at the state of public electric charging infrastructure for electric cars in Fresno. Sadly, the situation was still very dire.
Fortunately, there has been some news on that front. Chargers have arrived at Fresno State and Downtown:
Fresno State is planning to give electric car drivers more
options to “charge up” under plans announced Friday to build a six-stall
charging station on campus.
University officials say the station
located west of Save Mart Center will have two quick-charge pumps — a
car’s battery could recharge in 20 to 30 minutes — plus four more for
longer charges. It’s being paid for through a $397,000 grant from the
California Energy Commission.
I was pleasantly surprised to see last month that the City Council approved the general plan update on a vote of 5-2. Honestly, I expected them to punt it to 2015 on some sorry excuse about a need for more input. If you haven’t been following the new plans puts a focus on infill growth, rather than sprawl.
Mayor Ashley Swearengin, who championed the plan, said the real work is just beginning as the city now must take steps to implement the document’s vision.
“Excellent vision and excellent execution may not be enough,” she told the council. “We will all challenge each other to execute as best as we can.”
Last week, the League of American Bicyclists released their updated list of “Bicycle Friendly Universities.” The list ranks universities with a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum award for being bike friendly.
The Bicycle Friendly University (BFU℠)
program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and
providing a more bikeable campus for students, staff and visitors. The
BFU program provides the roadmap and technical assistance to create
great campuses for cycling.
The Bicycle Friendly University program evaluates applicants’ efforts
to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement,
education, enforcement and evaluation/planning, known as the Five E’s.
Applications must be submitted online.
A critical east-west connection in Fresno will be getting bike lanes in the near future, as Fresno State received a grant that will help fund construction.
The following map shows Fresno State and existing the bike infrastructure. Barstow is the only east-west route, as Shaw has been designed to be very dangerous for bicycles. The A-B line is the rough extent of phase 1.
Back in August, the state released the list of projects to be funded under the Active Transportation Program for 2014.
Here’s what Streetsblog wrote:
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.
Over the past 3 weeks, three were killed by motorists, and one by a train. This is actually the second time this very year in which three pedestrians were killed in such a short span of time. I don’t know the total, but I would wager it’s trending higher than the 14 last year.
The latest incident happened at an intersection adjacent to Fresno State. The person killed was a high-school special ed teacher, who apparently was also studying at Fresno State. It happened on Shaw, between the college campus and the student neighborhood, filled with apartments, frats, and some restaurants. You know, the kind of place one finds heavy pedestrian traffic.
Amtrak has been offering college students in California a discounted ticket option for travel from now until June 13, 2013. Sadly, there are blackout dates, like Thanksgiving weekend, but there are many opportunities to save money.
Not all college IDs are valid for the discount, but in the Central Valley students at Fresno State, Fresno City, Bakersfield State, and UC Merced are among those included in the promotion.
Tickets must be purchased online at least three days in advance at this website, which also has the full list of details and restrictions. ID is presented on board if requested.
If you’ve heard only one thing about the California State University system in the past couple of years, then it’s probably the words “budget cuts”. Details like “enrollment slashed” or “tuition hiked”. “Classes eliminated”. Remaining classes “doubling in size”. That’s what we’ve been reading in the news every month for the past few years.
So it’s especially maddening to see this piece of news which hit every station in Fresno today.