Tag: parking

A novelty for Clovis: new hotel to be built over parking

Fresno and Clovis are the land of surface parking, where commercial garages, both above and below ground, are rare. Indeed, the only non-surface parking structure I can think of in Clovis is the garage at the Clovis Community Hospital (not counting surface lots with solar panels above them).

So I raised my eyebrow at a proposal for a new hotel on Clovis Avenue, not far from Old Town. The empty lot where a new La Quinta Inn is proposed is quite narrow, so to fit the required parking, they’re planning on building the hotel over it. Click to read more!

Broadway streetscape project almost done, results are disappointing

It’s been almost three years since the project was announced, and now the Broadway streetscape project in downtown Fresno is almost done. The plan involved giving Broadway a small road diet, removing a center turn lane and one general lane to add angled parking on each side. The project included absolutely no bicycle accommodations (contrary to the master plan) but did add some amenities for pedestrians in the form of sidewalk extensions at intersections.

Sadly, the project has done many things wrong. The lack of attention to detail shows that Fresno does not have a planner that understands bicycle or pedestrian planning – or even basic ADA. Sort of shocking for a city of half a million. Let’s take a look. Click to read more!

When parking minimums attack

Moving around Clovis or Fresno, it’s easy to see that almost every business has a parking lot that is too big for even the busiest of days. The reason is due to parking minimums. The city requires that businesses provide a certain amount of spots, which is odd, because cities tend not to demand that businesses provide things to customers. There’s no law, for example, that a movie theater must provide popcorn with every ticket, or that a supermarket must fill every grocery cart with chocolate. Click to read more!

LA’s newest light rail line ignores the pedestrian

This past week, I was in Los Angeles and rode the Expo Light Rail Line for the first time, from end to end. I’ve written about the line before, and taken pictures of its construction, but had never been on board since it opened last April. The line runs from downtown LA to Culver City, with an under-construction extension to Santa Monica scheduled to open in 2016.

One thing I’d observed during the construction phase was the seeming lack of attention to how riders actually get to the line. A transit line cannot only focus on the immediate tracks and stations – people need to arrive safely and comfortably. And because we’re talking about rail transit within a city, many passengers will arrive on foot or by bike. Ignoring them doesn’t just depress ridership, but it can be dangerous too. Click to read more!

Should parking hold up trail development?

This Sunday, the Fresno Bee ran an excellent spread on the plans for the extension of the Eaton Trail in North Fresno. The article was somewhat familiar…about two years ago, I reported on the very same trail having not progressed even though planning had been ongoing for a decade. Even though two years have passed, nothing has happened.

Normally, you’d think the reason for the delays would be money. Not in this case. $30 million is sitting in the bank, waiting to be spent on river improvements, including the trail, bathrooms and canoe launches. If you want to know what the existing trail to the north looks like, I have a few photos here. Click to read more!

Mexico City to finally get parking meters

One of the most traffic choked cities in the world has always been home to an oddity – street parking is free and with almost no restrictions. No time limits, no permits, no payment required – at least officially. As long as you don’t block a driveway, you can park on a local street. This past weekend, a neighborhood got to vote on the novel idea of introducing parking meters to restore some order to their streets.

As “The High Price of Free Parking” taught us, a policy of free and unlimited parking comes with many serious drawbacks. For one, by making parking free, more driving is encouraged, which is especially troublesome in a city known for its endless gridlock. At any given point, how many tens of thousands of drivers are circling the block, looking for an elusive empty space? 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!

Why is it so hard to install bikes racks properly?

Anyone who has ever pulled up to a store or office on a bike, and has looked for a rack to lock up to, has encountered a rack installed incorrectly. In Fresno, it’s remarkably common. In fact, I think I see more racks installed incorrectly than correctly, and I just don’t get it.

It doesn’t make sense.

Not everyone rides bikes. But almost everyone has, at one point in their life, ridden a bike. And those who have never tried one, even as a child, know what a bike is, knows what it looks like, and understands the general geometry. Click to read more!

Dying mall cancels outdoor market due to popularity, parking concerns

This new development is quite frankly, baffling.

Say you owned a mall built in the 1950’s, that had seen better days. Much better days. Say almost all your national brand retailers had left years ago, and the entire second floor was now being leased to government agencies and other office uses. Say your biggest anchor, one of only two, went bankrupt and liquidated in 2009, and nobody has expressed serious interest in the location yet. And your other anchor, is Sears, a brand that has fallen on tough times. Click to read more!