Tag: Clovis

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!

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!

Fresno State Finally Gets Serious About Non-Car Transportation!

Fresno State, officially California State University, Fresno, has for decades been a driving university. The campus arrived at its current location in 1956, and at the time it was located far from the city. That was intentional – with agriculture as a core mission, the University purposely surrounded itself with farms. Even today, the 388-acre main campus is attached to the 1,011-acre University Farm. As such, one was expected to drive to campus. Especially because students came from all over the Central Valley.

Fresno State in the 1950’s

However, much has changed since 1956. Fresno grew, and now the campus is completely surrounded by urban (or suburban) activity. The University has also grown tremendously, and now hosts a population of over 25,000 (students and staff). While commuter students still represent a large portion of the population, 8,000 students and 2,400 staff live within 5 miles of campus – an easy bicycle commute over perfectly flat land.  Click to read more!

Clovis now has an Urban Greening Master Plan

Clovis recently released an an “Urban Greening Master Plan,” a new plan which calls for adding more trees, more green infrastructure, and promoting more sustainable transportation.

Now by recently, I do mean July, which is a little embarrassing. Embarrassing, because this is the first I have heard of it. Not only did I miss the release of the final plan, but I also missed the release of the draft, and nine public workshops held in 2014.

Although to be fair to me, a search through Google News reveals zero articles on the subject. Also, the final report shows the first community meeting with a grand total of 28 attendees (13 with white hair), and according to the workshop summaries, the 4th, 5th and 6th workshops had attendances ranging from 1 to 5 people. Click to read more!

What developer Darius Assemi forgot in his editorial on how to fund road construction

Darius Assemi is the president of Granville Homes, one of the most prolific residential developers in the Fresno area (one which oddly doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry). According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been president for 6 years, and served as vice president for 25 years before that. The guy knows the Fresno market well, especially when it comes to selling single-family homes.

But how much does he know about funding our infrastructure? Let’s take a look at his Fresno Bee editorial on the subject. Here are his main points:

  • Deteriorating roads cost Californians $44 billion a year in repairs, accidents, time and fuel
  • Deferred repair costs exceeding $57 billion
  • Caused by diminishing purchasing power of gas tax
    • Not tied to inflation
    • More fuel efficient cars mean less gas taxes
    Funding solutions include:
    • Raising gas tax
    • Indexing gas tax to inflation
    • Increasing fees 
    • New usage based fee
    Cost solutions include:
    • Caltrans performance should be equal to or exceed private performance  
      • More efficient staffing 
      • Increased transparency 
      Only use gas tax for construction and maintenance of highways  CEQA exemption for roads using existing right-of-way Design-build projects  Multi-modal future

      Generally, it’s a pretty standard set of recommendations. The only big controversy is the “highway only” line for funding, although it appears he’s more concerned with the previous raid of the transportation fund to plug other budgets rather than eliminating all subsidies of mass transit. It is unclear if he also wants to eliminate that. As a suburban developer, I wouldn’t be surprised if transit didn’t even cross his mind when he penned his piece. Click to read more!

Exciting infill development coming to Old Town Clovis!

Two new exciting projects are in the work for Old Town Clovis. One is an office/commercial development near the heart of Old Town, at Pollasky and Bullard. The second is a new residential project up Pollasky at Sierra, what could be considered the original suburbs of Old Town.

The commercial project will be coming to the old DMV lot, next to a brand new plaza built as a beautification project. The Fresno Bee reports:

Two local development companies will build commercial buildings next to the recently completed Centennial Plaza in Old Town Clovis, bringing more restaurants, retail and office space to the city’s growing urban center. Click to read more!

Don’t let the drought kill your trees!

Not a day goes by without the mention of the word drought in California. At this point, everyone understands how serious the problem is, and what steps need to be taken to help.

Yes, we need to save water, but more important, we need to use water wisely, and that means watering your trees to keep them alive.

Frequently you hear people talking about the evils of landscaping. In most cases, they’re right. Bright green lawns serve no purpose aside from aesthetics. Places to play? Theoretically, but outside of the 4th of July, I can’t ever remember seeing a neighbor play in their front lawn. Click to read more!

A novelty for Clovis: new hotel to be built over parking

Fresno and Clovis are the land of surface parking, where commercial garages, both above and below ground, are rare. Indeed, the only non-surface parking structure I can think of in Clovis is the garage at the Clovis Community Hospital (not counting surface lots with solar panels above them).

So I raised my eyebrow at a proposal for a new hotel on Clovis Avenue, not far from Old Town. The empty lot where a new La Quinta Inn is proposed is quite narrow, so to fit the required parking, they’re planning on building the hotel over it.

This type of building is common elsewhere, especially LA, but as far as I can tell, it the first such example in Clovis. Click to read more!

Old Town Clovis Bike Trail Missing Gap Complete!

I’ve been wanting to share these exciting pictures for some time now, but had serious internet issues at home that caused my picture uploads to keep failing. Fortunately the internet company has finally fixed the problem. The pictures are no longer hot off the presses, but they’re still very exciting, and I haven’t seen any pictures posted elsewhere.

The longest bike trail in the Fresno area runs from Riverpark, up along Shepherd, and then down across Clovis, ending south of Sierra Vista Mall. It’s a great recreational asset, a lot of fun to ride, and great for commuting too. It’s known as the Sugar Pine Trail and also the Old Town Trail. Click to read more!

A look at the newest bicycle trailhead in Clovis (picture tour)

Let’s take a little break from Downtown Fresno and jump all the way up to the far reaches of Clovis, or more specifically, Shepherd and Sunnyside. Clovis has built a new park and trailhead for the “Dry Creek Trail” that runs south and eventually connects with the Old Town Trail. In the future, the trail will continue north, and presumably link to the partially built trail to the west (Enterprise).

The trailhead includes some nifty new features, such as a bike repair station, a water fountain with a water bottle feature, some interesting art, maps, and more.

For some history, way back in July 2013, this project was announced, and I last looked at this project in August, when work had barely begun. Click to read more!