Month: April 2011

In the news – Amtrak

The first interesting news article yesterday was that Amtrak California (Caltrans) will be purchasing 27 new coach cars.

8 of those coach cars will be designated for the San Joaquin. Of the entire purchase, 9 will replace older cars, leaving 18 cars to increase capacity. This is great news, as it shows Caltrans strongly believes that ridership will continue to grow, and the existing 4 car trains (3 coach, 1 cafe) aren’t enough. During the summer and on holidays, the San Joaquin gets 5 cars. This new order should allow 5 cars year-round.

What the order also indicates is that there are no plans to introduce business class to the central valley, as no new business cars were ordered. There are also no dining cars being ordered which can be configured to have a business section. Click to read more!

In the news

Two interesting news articles today. I’ll have full commentary for them this weekend.

Amtrak California to buy 27 coaches, 2 new engines. 8 Coaches to be assigned to San Joaquins.

Extension of Eaton Trail meets NIMBYs, budget issues

Google Maps 3

I found a news article from last year that listed all the new bike lanes.

I’ve gone ahead and added them via map maker, so hopefully they’re online for everyone by tomorrow.

It should be interesting to see the “explosion” of bike lanes in downtown.

Of course, the real change came last summer, when a combination of road diets and simple re-striping added them all.

Google Maps

Google maps is an excellent resource, because of the aerial and satellite imagery it provides. Unfortunately, the updates are rare. It took Fresno 4 years to get updates imagery (2005-2009) although in 2010 that was followed up with higher resolution aerial (angled) imagery.

One of the features google maps provides is a map of bike lanes. Google allows you to submit “problems” when the map is missing a lane or path that exists. However, I’ve found that the google employees only accept your input if they can verify it with the aerial imagery. Since the aerial imagery is now a year old, this is a problem when it comes to reporting new lanes. Click to read more!

Government Sprawl, Part 2

Here is the brand new school I mentioned yesterday. In what once was a lovely rural grove, is not concrete, open space (fantastic for our hot summer days) and rooms to fill with the teacher we can’t afford to pay.

What a nice rural road, lets explore

So pretty.

Oh no, what’s this? it’s been clear cut!

The horror

What this rural area REALLY needs is an extremely wide road. 2 lanes werent enough, we need 6!

Looking back

To be continued

Government Sprawl

According to the newspaper, the state is broke. The county is broke. The city is broke. Teachers are being laid off because there’s no money for schools.

But in Fresno, a beautiful orchard is much too appealing for development. It doesn’t matter that there’s no money. It doesn’t matter that there is plenty of space elsewhere. It doesn’t matter that there are no homes nearby.

It’s an orchard, and it’s of monumental importance that it be torn down and replaced with a cookie-cutter school.

What was.

What is.

Full ground-level tour tomorrow.

Transportation Hippos

You know when someone makes an argument, and sets out a series of points, and one of those points is a direct contradiction to an earlier point?

I’m going to call those transport hippos, for hypocrisies.

Today’s hippo of the day:
The nobody/everybody paradox.

An argument about why bike lanes are terrible:
-Nobody uses them!
-They’re a waste of money!
-I drive down main street every day and see, at MOST, 1 person on a bike a week, and they’re on the sidewalk!

Immediately followed by:
-All cyclists run stop lights!
-Cyclists break every law on the book!
-Cyclists are a danger to society, they scare pedestrians and frighten drivers!
-Cyclists slow me down! I can’t afford to be late to work because of people on bikes! Click to read more!