The California High Speed Rail Authority have recently posted aerial shots of the various construction sites that are well underway in the California Central Valley, primarily around Fresno. They tend to post updates on their official Flickr account once or twice a month, but most are taken at ground level. Since the Google Earth satellite images are unfortunately over 2-year old at this point, these new photos, taken last week, provide a unique vantage point. Seeing the action from above, you can really understand the scale of the various bridges, and make sense of how they fit in.
What do you call 30,000 homes being developed outside a city boundary on farmland?
This is what Norm Allinder, Madera County planning director thinks, according to a new article from the Fresno Bee:
“This doesn’t perpetuate the legacy
of sprawl,” he said. “Gunner Ranch is contiguous; it’s a logical
expansion for urban development.”
The yellow star is the area he is talking about, in relation to the clearly identifiable City of Fresno.
And this is what they’re planning there:
Principal owner Tim Jones’ vision for his nearly 6,600-home
development a few miles north of Woodward Park is a subdivision with six
separate themed districts. Riverstone will compete for home buyers with
southeast Fresno, northwest Fresno, southeast Clovis and a new
community planned south and east of Clovis North High School.
Is 2016 finally the year for High Speed Rail (HSR) in California? Construction has been underway on the boring part for over a year now – relocation of utilities, and demolishing of abandoned buildings. However, for most people, that type of invisible work doesn’t count. It’s hard to tell if a hole being dug in a street is for HSR or one of 200 other possible reasons, after all.
We want to see real construction – that means bridges, tracks, tunnels, etc.
And so a couple of weekends ago, I decided to tour the High Speed Rail construction sites in Fresno to take a close up look at the real progress. I’ve done this tour before, for about three years now, and each time came up with a big pile of nothing. Was the January 2016 edition any better?
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.
I thought I was well versed in the myriad reasons people pull from their hat to oppose an expansion of transit. Thanks to a very helpful link provided by a comment in my recent post about a new bus service linking Fresno and Yosemite, I see I was wrong; there is much to learn about transit opposition. It really is fascinating how deep people will go to find a way to oppose even the most rudimentary improvement to transit(5 round trips a day).
The comment linked to a well written article in the Sierra Star about the new bus service. As a newspaper based in Oakhurst, they are by far the authority on happenings in the area, and were able to go into much greater detail than the Fresno-based news outlets on the new service. Part of that coverage included a history of opposition.
There’s something almost sinister about the way a developer gushes about the natural landscapes, beautiful views, and rolling hills he is about to bulldoze to build cookie-cutter tract homes.
The Madera County Planning Commission approved the tentative map for the first phase of the project two and a half weeks ago. Now, the builder is working on detailed plans which will bring more than 850 homes to what Bob McCaffrey, the company’s chief executive officer, calls “the most romantic piece of land” he’s ever seen.