About a mile north of downtown Fresno, at the intersection of Blackstone and McKinley, a really exciting project is well underway: Fresno’s first transit-oriented apartment building. Aside from looking impressive in person, I think this is the first time in Fresno history that a real apartment building is being constructed outside the downtown core. And by “real,” I mean as one urban unit. There are apartments all over Fresno, but they tend to be two-story, 2 or 4 unit blocks built among an oasis of parking and grass. Those are perfectly fine, but they’re suburban in nature. This building will have four floors, which will make it twice as tall as 98% of Fresno buildings.
It has finally happened—Fresno has a protected bicycle lane! The new lane is located downtown, on R Street between Ventura Street and Tulare Street. The roadway previously did not have bicycle lanes, but had one lane in each direction, parking, and a central turn lane. The central turn lane was removed, the parking was moved out from the curb, and bicycle lanes were added between the curb and the parked cars. Additionally, regular bicycle lanes and sharrows were added between Tulare Street and Fresno Street, providing a link to Community Hospital.
I’m not quite sure why this was chosen as Fresno’s first protected bike lane. Many years ago, there were talks of protected lanes on Fulton and Van Ness, connecting Downtown and the Tower district. Those were never built. This lane is a bit out of the way, but that may be intentional, as no one is around to NIMBY it. Now that it is in place, the city can point to it as an existing product, instead of a hypothetical, when it comes to future implementation.