Tag: widening

Barstow near Fresno State to get bike lanes

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.

 photo bikeways2_zps3ce300bb.png

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: Click to read more!

Off-ramp “improvements”, terrible for pedestrians

If you thought all the CA-41 on-ramp widening projects were finally finished, there’s more work planned for this year. This time, it’s an off-ramp that’s getting widened.

This project will widen the off ramp of northbound SR41 at the intersection of Shaw Avenue from three lanes to four to provide dual left and right turns. Existing equipment affected by this project will be updated and this project will also upgrade the existing curb ramps to meet ADA standards. The project will improve traffic flow and relieve congestion at the off-ramp intersection with Shaw Avenue.
Council Documents (PDF) Click to read more!

Boston case shows declining car volume on major street

When it comes to planning street infrastructure, there is a rule of thumb traffic engineers use when designing roads. That rule is that vehicle volumes will always go up, usually at 0.5% a year. That’s what results in roads almost always being overbuilt, as a street designed today is built to comfortably hold projected traffic 50 years from now. As the projects always show increasing vehicle volumes, we get extra lanes and such.

But what if that prediction and the rule of thumb is wrong?

Can a city gain residents and grow economically if traffic values stay constant….or even decline? As one study in Boston shows, the answer is absolutely yes. Click to read more!

Why is Fresno Bee being so critical of HSR?

And why hold the project to a higher standard than anything else?

The Fresno Bee has taken to writing a front-page article about the California High Speed Rail (HSR) project every Sunday. On their part, it’s an excellent idea. HSR is a huge project, not just for Fresno, but for the entire state and the country. Because Fresno is ground zero for the project, as construction is slated to start here first, it makes sense for the Bee to stake their claim and try and become the authoritative source on all news related to it. Not only will that preserve their subscription base, but it grows web readership as their articles are linked into from around the country. Click to read more!

Misuse of air quality funds

As you’ve heard me mention on this blog many times, the San Joaquin Valley, home to Fresno, has the worst air quality in the nation. So it makes sense that funding would arrive from multiple sources to attempt to clean things up. Because transportation emissions are such a large portion of the air quality problem, it makes sense to target transportation infrastructure. (The other large source of pollution is agriculture, and that’s a touchy subject).

One such source of funding to help clear the air is called CMAQ Click to read more!

A frontage road with a frontage road…?

I was using Google Maps the other day to find the location of an office, as I had a medical appointment to get to. The office was located off Herndon, a street Fresno has developed into a limited access highway. There are no driveways or mid-block turns on Herndon, the only way on and off are at intersections .5 miles apart. So to get to the medical office, I was looking to see the best intersection to turn off.

That’s when I noticed something quite odd, and very wasteful. A triple road.

Sections of Herndon were developed with a “frontage road” which is where all the driveway entrances are, and where street parking is allowed. This isn’t surprising, as Fresno has many frontage roads. I’ve always thought them to be a waste of space and money, but oh well. Mind you, as far as I can tell, frontage roads are a thing of the past and are no longer being developed. Click to read more!

$250,000 to add a right turn lane?

There are lots of ways to spend a quarter of a million dollars, and with the municipal budget continuing to find itself in a poor state, one would expect that expenditures are scrutinized and prioritized.

Since this is Fresno, we know there’s nothing higher on the priority list than finding yet another way to widen a street. An upgrade, as it’s usually called, although the only thing being upgraded are vehicle speeds. And even that is questionable.

On December 15th, the city council took up the routine issue of approving a contract for a local company to expand an intersection to provide the ever-so-important right turn lane. Click to read more!

When “improving” a road means destroying everything that makes it pleasant

In this post I will talk about a Fresno road project in which the importance of moving traffic trumps the aesthetic charm of a local road, to the point that a residential neighborhood is being leveled to let commuters speed by on two new lanes.

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Fresno is lacking when it comes to good looking roads. This isn’t intended as a bash on Fresno, but just an observation that is painfully obvious to anyone who lives here or stops by to visit. Fact is, most of our main streets are exceptionally wide and bordered with parking lots and signs. It simply isn’t attractive. Click to read more!