Category: Parks

What should happen with Fresno’s Eaton Plaza?

Alternative Title: Do master plans mean anything?

Fresno does not have enough park space. In 2015, the city’s proud accomplishment was going from dead last in the nation in parks….to tied with dead last, in a ranking developed by the Trust for Public Land. In 2016, the city “rose” to 3rd from the bottom.

But only because the ranking system expanded.

2012 – 40th out of 40
2013 – 50th out of 50
2014 – 60th out of 60
2015 – 74th out of 75
2016 – 97th out of 100

Oh, and the last two cities were last because they failed to respond to the survey. Click to read more!

Fresno downtown and midtown photo update!

This will be my last Fresno construction update photo dump for awhile! Once again, I’ve gotten far behind and my photos are quickly becoming out of date. So rather than 2-3 posts, they’re all going in here!

This follows a couple of other recent photo updates:
Clovis Infill
Fresno BRT
Fulton Mall

This update contains:

Manchester Mall Revitalization
Mid-Fresno Trail pre-construction
Fancher Creek
Trolley Creek Park
Kings Canyon Steak n Shake and Del Taco (plus lack of BRT work and residential parcel).
Cosmopolitan Restaurant
H Street Redevelopment 
Greyhound Station
Community Hospital
Cultural Arts Park
Park Crossing  (Fresno 40) Click to read more!

Clovis Infill – A Photo Update

It feels a little odd talking about infill in Clovis. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, as the city is known for its endless subdivisions. And yet in 2017, Old Town Clovis appears to have almost as much infill construction as Downtown Fresno going on.

I reported on two of these projects in July 2015, but I’ve added a few other ones here.

  • Centennial Plaza
  • La Quinta Inn
  • Rail-Trail Housing
  • New Library
  • Sierra Meadows Park
  • Clovis Community Hospital

Centennial Plaza

Let’s start with the big one: Centennial Plaza. This is the heart of Old Town on Pollasky, and I last took a look in May 2016 when the new plaza was finished. That update was focused on the street improvements, but now new buildings are rising up to frame the plaza. Click to read more!

A quick update on downtown Fresno cconstruction projects

It’s been a few months since I’ve been able to post photos of what has been changing in downtown Fresno. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to explore the area and take photos, so I present to you a different type of update. Here are some photos I took in May, along with a look at what those projects look like this week, with photos sourced from friendly people around the web. It’s amazing how much (and how little!) can change in 3 months.

Tuolumne Bridge – High Speed Rail Project 

When I last visited this project, it looked like this:

And now it looks like this: Click to read more!

A quick look at Clovis’s new Centennial Plaza

Tomorrow Old Town Clovis hosts their first ever parklet festival. When posting that reminder, I realized I never upload photos of the new Centennial Plaza and streetscape development. I talked about it back in July of 2015, and I visited the area a few months ago, but never actually posted them!

If you visit the parklet exhibitions, you will surely see the new plaza. The city planners will also be using the festival as an opportunity to celebrate the groundbreaking of two new buildings what will ride on vacant lots on either side of the plaza.

So let’s take a quick look. As you can clearly see, these photos were taken in January, but aside from more greenery and less holiday decorations, the area looks the same today. Click to read more!

Reminder: Clovis Parklet Festival is This Weekend!

This is a reminder that on May 14 and May 15, Old Town Clovis will be hosting a “taking it to the streets” event, where a variety of parklets are presented to the public. Parklets are mini parks installed on a street parking space to add greenery, seating, art or other amenities to downtown areas. The event is intended to build teamwork, showcase art, and provide a proof of concept to area businesses of what a permanent installation could look like.

This is what the website says:

The Old Town streets have always been a place where people gather to enjoy local life and festivities.  Streets increasingly play important ecological roles in the city, with strategies that serve to magnify the space as a livable and living, place.  Many highly beneficial social outcomes, including economic growth, increased health, and improvements in air quality are linked to well-designed streets that enable active social and ecologic life.  “Taking it to the streets” seeks to elaborate on the street’s role as an agent of social life.
This PDF map shows the planned locations.  Attendance is free of course, and I believe they will have comment cards so people can talk about their favorite installations.  ‎Dwight Kroll, the Director of Planning and Development Services, commented on my post from February to let us know that on Saturday they will also be celebrating the groundbreaking for two new buildings scheduled to rise around the new Centennial Plaza. I talked about those proposed buildings last July.

I was going to link to my photo tour of the new plaza but, uh, I never actually posted it. Woops. I’ll have that up shortly. I’m not the only blogger with too many draft posts right? Click to read more!

Thoughts on Chaffee Zoo Expansion and Roeding Park (with pictures)

I haven’t been a huge fan of the expansion of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Not because I hate zoos, but because the expansion required taking a huge portion of a public park and fencing it off. What used to be free public space now requires a ticket, and is only open during business hours (until 4pm for most of the year).

Unfortunately, Fresno has one of the worst park systems in the country, and the expansion reduced the size of the system further. It makes sense to expand the zoo in a contiguous fashion – you can’t
have half the zoo located three blocks away. Also, it’s cheaper to
replace grass and benches then it is to replace an elephant habitat. However, no mitigation was put in place. No effort was made to replace the park space anywhere else, including across the street, in a lot that has sat empty for decades. Click to read more!

Fulton Mall supporters continue to fight removal of pedestrian mall

Last week, the city of Fresno held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the deconstruction of Fresno’s Fulton Mall. However, there is still a small chance that this project can be stopped and the pedestrian mall can be saved.

Groundbreakings are purely symbolic. Some are held months, or even years before real construction begins. Others are actually held after construction has begun. All a groundbreaking is, is a photo opportunity for politicians involved in the project. For private projects, a groundbreaking can serve as a way to reassure investors on progress. For public projects, they serve as fodder for campaign materials Click to read more!

Clovis to host parklet festival this May

Well, this is unexpected.

This May, the City of Clovis will host an “Urban Design Festival” which appears to be a competition to design and build a parklet. If you have never seen a parklet, it is where a mini-park is created using what were previously 1-2 parking spaces. Usually, these parklets offer some seating and greenery, as a way to expand the sidewalk and interface with nearby business. You know, the opposite of what Fresno is doing by removing park space to accommodate cars.

Parklets have popped up throughout the country, including in Los Angeles and San Francisco. As far as I know, there haven’t been any installed in the Central Valley. Click to read more!