Tag: city council

Clovis adding large trailhead to Dry Creek Trail

The City of Clovis is looking to convert 2.5 acres of vacant land at Shepherd and Sunnyside into a new trailhead. The project would slightly extend Dry Creek Trail to Shepherd, and provide future connections to a new trail north, and the existing Enterprise Trail to the East. I recently provided a picture tour of a gap-closure on a portion of this same trail.

Here is an area trail map, with the trailhead indicated by the red arrow

 photo shepherd1_zps67cdf125.jpg

Here is another map showing the same thing. Dark green solid lines indicate the two trails, with the red line indicating where they end. The dotted green line is a future trail, which today is accessible as a dirt canal bank. The dotted beige line is a future trail (long distance future). The yellow shape is the planned trailhead Click to read more!

One councilman destroys a road diet three years in the making

The events of this post took place last Thursday, at the city council meeting. I didn’t write about it that night because I was furious. Four days later, I’m still upset about what went down, and how easily it was to ignore years of public and community work, and a panel of technical experts.

What happened is that Fresno County proposed a road diet on Fruit Ave, between Shaw and Herndon. Like all road diets, this was to take a 4 lane road, and make it three lanes, with two bike lanes. It was pretty much a sure thing, so much so that a month ago, I wrote about it saying we could expect to see the new diet, and new bike lanes, by this fall. Click to read more!

Who do the city councilors represent?

Last week, the Fresno City Council voted to support a proposal for a new medical college. The problem is, the proposed campus isn’t actually in Fresno, or even really near it – it’s 20 miles away from downtown, in an area currently used for farming and recreation.

Granville, the housing development company behind the medical college, owns large tracts of land by the lake, and wants to use it to build thousands and thousands of new suburban homes. They plan on using the medical university as an anchor, and what I see as bait to get public opinion to support the plan.

Many in the community have naturally been outraged. The area is home to beautiful natural scenery, and thousands of new cookie-cutter homes will destroy that. Worse, the area will be 100% auto-dependent. There are no services, stores, or jobs there. Meaning every time a home is built, multiple car trips will be added as people drive 10-25 miles to get to jobs in Fresno. Of course, the area already has some of the worst air pollution in the country, and this will just make things much worse. Click to read more!

Latest excuse to knock over buildings downtown: A park

Fresno likes knocking down buildings downtown. Perhaps love is a better word, as it seems to be some kind of never-ending fetish. Recently, two such adventures in demolition have gotten the city in trouble. In one lot, near Community Hospital, the city authorized GV Urban, an apartment developer, to knock down two century-old homes. The houses were torn down, and now a year later the lot sits empty, tangled in a historic preservation lawsuit. Elsewhere downtown, a property owner wants to eliminate the old YMCA. The replacement plan? A surface parking lot.

The result of this strange attraction is the current state of downtown: empty dirt lots and ugly asphalt surface parking as far as the eye can see. Click to read more!

Downtown speed limit to rise

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

 photo speedlimit_zpsaad53551.jpg

Across town, there is a change for the better – the speed limit is being lowered. The section is going from 40mph to 35mph and is on Fowler between Kings Canyon and Belmont. That just happens to be the location of the newest roundabout which I provided a photo tour of. Click to read more!

Visalia votes for sprawl

The Fresno Bee reports that the Visalia City Council voted to move forward with an update to their growth plan. The update will divert focus from their downtown to new commercial strips on what is currently agricultural land.

I thought this quote was particularly amusing

“Take
a cue from some of the mistakes Fresno made related to Blackstone,” he
said. “Once you open the barn door, all of the cattle leave and you can’t
get them in the barn again.” 
Click to read more!

Clovis repeals bike licensing, registration requirement

Last May, Clovis launched a new voluntary bicycle registration system with the police department. That system allows residents the chance to register their serial number with the department to try and make theft recovery easier, should it happen. As I mentioned in that article, the new program conflicted with an existing law.

That law, in place since 1975, stated that in Clovis, one is required to register their bike, receive a license…..and display a license plate. The law also included rules on transfer of ownership, and fines. Such a ridiculous law has not been enforced in years, if ever. However, now the council finally took up the motion to repeal that entire section of the code as to not conflict with the new voluntary system. Click to read more!

Fresno council committee recommending bus fare hikes

Yesterday’s City Council meeting included a presentation from the “City of Fresno Transit Rates and Service Committee” which issued a report outlining short, medium and long term goals for FAX (Fresno Area Express). The committee was formed in 2010 during steep city budget shortfalls, and recommended a fare hike of 25 cents, which was put into effect January 2011, resulting in fares of $1.25. That would be to correct the “problem” that was the political decision of keeping mass transit affordable, and on par with peer systems.

One of their first recommendations is a series of fare hikes, including one this year of an additional 25 cents, and raising the base fare to $2.00 by 2017. That would mean a complete doubling of the fare in just six years, and this is in spite of the fact that the last service expansion was over a decade ago. Indeed, over the past decade, as the city population has ballooned and unemployment has spiked (currently still over 14% in Fresno), four routes were actually eliminated and no new service has been introduced. Probably not the best way to connect people with jobs. Click to read more!

FAX moving towards strike?

In another example of the city of Fresno not realizing the importance of a functional bus network, the council today made a move that looks to push FAX closer to a strike….a strike that will jeopardize thousands of jobs as people have to miss work and may get fired.

The city fails to understand that buses connect people with jobs, and so fails to fund a network for the city of 2012. FAX hasn’t grown since 2000, and has actually cut routes since then. Bus service ends at 9:30pm, making commutes to evening jobs impossible. And now, the city doesn’t want to pay the drivers.

The union has been without a contract for quite some time, and instead of coming to an agreement, the city is imposing their own terms. Click to read more!

Clovis to get another year of abysmal bus service hours

Recently I noted how LA expanded the hours of their subway system to run past 2am on weekends. The city of LA already ran 24 hour bus service. I think it’s fair to say that LA is reasonably meeting the needs of its community.

Meanwhile in Clovis…..

Staff requested that the Route 9 proposal by FAX for FY 2012-201 3 contract be for the same service hours as FY 2011-2012, which includes weekend service from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and weekday service from 6:15 a.m. to 8:25 p.m.

Staff has analyzed the recommendation for the regional fixed-route transit services operated by FAX for FY 12-1 3 and have concluded that maintaining the same hours for service as FY 11-12 would reasonably meet the needs of the community. Click to read more!