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.
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.
A minor item in this weeks city council meeting involved raising the speed limit of P street downtown from 25 to 30mph. While a small change, it’s probably one in the wrong direction. P street is close to City Hall, the train station, and a fair amount of pedestrian-oriented businesses. Raising the speed limit might help a driver save 3 seconds, but will negatively impact the safety and comfort of the street.
The two sections being raised are on P between Divisadero and Fresno, and between Tulare and Ventura. In green is the section remaining at 25mph
I got a tip a couple of months ago that a new roundabout was under construction in southeast Fresno. While new residential traffic circles have sprouted up all over town, real roundabouts at busy intersections only exist in two other places in Fresno, near Fresno State on Chestnut. While some large roundabouts exist at Copper Ranch, the traffic there is and always will be minimal, they’re more for show, so I don’t count them. The person who wrote to me was concerned about the bicycle treatment at the new roundabout, so of course I had to head down and take a look, but was only able to do so this past week.
We’re all very familiar with the idea that if a volcano blows in Indonesia, a plane crashes in Paraguay or a riot breaks out in Helsinki, news of the event will reach every corner of the globe in a couple of hours. The world is of course connected and news can travel quickly.
Theoretically, ideas can travel as quickly as news, and yet it seems that it isn’t the case. Indeed, new ideas, which may be fantastic, well-proven concepts, can take years to be spread and accepted.
When it comes to adopting proven best-practices, that’s a huge roadblock.