Tag: kings canyon

Surprise! Fresno FAX bus routes changing Monday 2/19/2018

What’s the best time to let people know you’re making some major changes to bus routes? If you’re FAX, Fresno’s bus system, the answer appears to be “the day of.”

On Monday February 19, Q launches, which is Fresno’s new rapid bus service on Blackstone and Kings Canyon (recent construction photos here). The route was chosen because it covers two of the busiest transit corridors. Naturally, those corridors have existing bus services, which will change once the new system is introduced. 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!

No one noticed, but Fresno killed its proposed BRT system

Nashville, and the ludicrous attempts to ban bus rapid transit (BRT) there by state legislators, has been getting all the news lately, but it’s not the only BRT system to see its future flushed down the toilet by short-sighted elected officials.

After two months of “retooling,”  the Fresno BRT project returned to the City Council a few weeks ago; problem is, there was no BRT left to approve.

Back in January, the Fresno city council put a temporary hold on the $50 million BRT plan which had been in the works since 2008. Even though the process had gone through dozens of public workshops, council presentations, and other forms of outreach, the council acted as if this was the first time they’d heard about it. I wrote about their “concerns”  here. Click to read more!

Is the Fresno city council about to give the finger to fed funding?

BRT is in the news again in Fresno. It’s sad for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they’re arguing about funding when the system was originally supposed to open this year. Fun fact: the RFP for the BRT buses went out in 2011. A winning bid was selected but obviously the buses have not been ordered.

Today, the city council will vote yet again on approving funding. Not city funding, but federal funding, free money that has fallen from the sky and is intended to help the city fix a portion of its terrible transit system. Click to read more!

Fresno Governments Should be Proactive about Stranded Tourists During Federal Park Shutdown

Every year, millions of people come through the Central Valley to visit the area national parks. In 2012, Yosemite saw 3,853,404 visitors, Sequoia got 1,106,584 and Kings Canyon received 566,810. Sadly, I can’t look up monthly stats because the National Parks website is closed (seriously), but it’s safe to say that even an off-season month like October gets significant visitors. Indeed, due to the weather, it may be one of the best months to visit.

Of those visitors, countless make their journey from international locations, primarily Europe. I know every time I visit, I hear more French and German than English in the National Parks. While not all those visitors pass through Fresno, many do arrive at FAT or drive through the city on the highway. Fresno has done little to capitalize on this tourism, as most see the area cities as little more than a rest-stop and a chance to try In-n-Out. Right now is prime time to change that, at least a little bit. A trip from Europe to Yosemite isn’t planned at the spur of the moment, and is probably impossible to cancel at last minute. After all, planes have been booked, vacation days have been requested, and backpacks purchased. Rather than leaving these visitors to struggle to find activities, the city and county should try their best to direct visitors to other local attractions. Remember, while San Francisco is calling, it should be expected that most had already set aside time for that during their trip.  While the parks may be closed, outdoor recreation is still possible. The area is full of mountain lakes to kayak on, and trails to hike. A local tourism expert can provide info on the differences between the lakes, boat rental information, and directions.  Other unknown destinations exist as well. The Cat Haven, just a few miles east of Clovis, is an interesting destination for anyone, and is well worth a visit. In the city, the underground gardens and the Fulton mall can also provide for a few hours of sight-seeing. Agriculture also provides a destination, as I guarantee the produce here is better than that found in Stuttgart.  It’s food, in my opinion, where the area shines brightest. Without orientation, a European tourist might assume that River Park provides the best cuisine of the land, with its bright lights and full parking lots. In fact, if they were to poll a passer-by, they might come to the conclusion that Elephant Bar is the highlight of the state. Of course, we all know that’s not true. On their own, a tourist would never stumble upon Tacos Tijuana, Dusty Buns, Organic Fresno, or the “pho collection” on McKinley….never mind countless other delicious local favorites.  Even if these tourists are only captured for a day, it’s money and exposure that’s badly needed. So Fresno, Clovis, and County….get something going ASAP. Set up a stand at the airport, and put up a sign on 99. It may not quite be Yosemite, but surely some time with the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Fresno ArtMuseum can lessen the pain? Incidentally, Yosemite is not fully closed…

Signs will soon be posted around the Yosemite Valley to warn visitors they have less than two days to leave. The only people who will be let into the park will be those driving through to another destination. Click to read more!

Federal budget includes more money for Fresno BRT

Part of the recent release of the 2014 federal budget included a list of what the FTA will fund as part of their “small starts” program. That budget includes another piece of the Fresno BRT (bus rapid transit) funding puzzle – another $10 million. The Fresno Bee last reported on the initial $17.8m grant over two years ago. No money was handed out in the 2013 budget.

BRT in Fresno is supposed to improve bus service along Blackstone and Kings Canyon, via downtown (and eventually the high speed rail station). Those are currently the corridors with highest bus ridership. Click to read more!