Tag: measure c

Fresno City College Axes Free Bus Passes, Celebrates $18m Parking Garage

Last week, at the bottom of a newsletter, FAX dropped the bombshell that students at Fresno City College would no longer enjoy free rides on local bus routes.

In 2017, when the program was initiated, officials boasted that it would ease parking concerns, help students save money, and decrease emissions.

Apparently, those concerns no longer matter. According to State Center Community College District Vice Chancellor Christine Miktarian:

“Parking revenue is supposed to be paying for the maintenance of our parking lots, and so since we’ve been using bus passes, we have been not doing the maintenance we should have been for the last couple years,” says Click to read more!

Fresno might get its first protected cycle track!

I’ve been angrily hammering away on an article about the proposed Smart and Final project, but fortunately I found something in this weeks City Council Agenda that has temporarily soothed my nerves: =&0=& and the preparation of a feasibility study for a Class I bicycle trail along the Herndon Canal and Mill Ditch canal banks and to authorize the Public Works Director or designee to sign and execute the standardized agreement on behalf of the City (Council District 1, 3 ,4 and 7)=&1=&

Sanger mayor excited that highway expansion will boost sprawl

Over the past decade, California has passed various laws and initiatives aimed at decreasing driving, carbon emissions, and sprawl.

No one has told the Central Valley, which is celebrating the groundbreaking of yet another highway expansion project. 

“This will connect us all in a more meaningful way,” said Henry
Perea, chairman of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and one of
many speakers at a ground-breaking ceremony Friday. “When I see this
freeway, I see a gateway to economic prosperity.”

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/08/16/3445266/work-kicks-off-on-next-eastward.html#storylink=cpy
This week the Fresno Bee announced that yet another round of highway expansions would kick off in the rural parts of the county. The expansion plan will take a two-lane road, and make it four lanes, with a median wide enough to support two more.

Everything you see marked as 180 was built over the past decade, and there’s more to come.

 photo sanger02_zps8d654686.jpg
 Image: Fresno Bee

That “gateway to economic prosperity” has the mayor of Sanger seeing dollar signs. For him, the highway means people can choose to live further and further away from Fresno, where most of the regional jobs are. With a four-lane expressway, one can comfortably commute at 80mph, rather than having to suffer the indignation of being stuck behind a truck doing 55.

Since the first phase of the expressway was built, Sanger’s Mayor
Joshua Mitchell said that “more families bought homes in Sanger month
after month than any other city in the Fresno area.”

The last round of expansion finished up about a year ago. The speakers at the groundbreaking to this new phase were thrilled to talk about the many changes that have come to the area.

Speakers applauded the Kings Canyon Expressway project for helping with
the movement of goods and services, improving traffic congestion and
driver safety, and connecting communities. Click to read more!

Fresno: Use TOD funds to open pedestrian mall to cars…?

The mayor of Fresno, Ashley Swearengin, made one of her central campaign focuses a revitalization of downtown Fresno. That is certainly a great thing. Unfortunately, one of the center pieces of her plan involves ripping up the city’s one and only pedestrian mall and making it a street like any other.

The Fulton Mall today, the city does little to maintain it
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Her logic is as follows:
The mall is in bad shape. It has a high vacancy rate and the shops that exist are low end. To get shoppers and developers back, the street needs car traffic (because apparently cars are big spenders).

Ripping up the mall, knocking down the mature trees, removing the dozens of art pieces and fountains and laying asphalt requires money. A lot of money.

Playgrounds don’t remove themselves
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Fresno does not have money. Well, sort of. There’s lots of money for things like street widening in the suburban parts of town, but nothing available to revitalize the urban areas.

So the mayor took the most cynical step possible…

She applied for a TOD grant to fund the removal of the mall.

How to get the revitalization dominoes to begin falling? For starters, Swearengin wants $700,000 in TOD funds to fill the developer-incentive gap caused by the death of redevelopment agencies. Then she wants the remaining $2 million in TOD funds to pay for engineering work on the corridor/mall’s future.

Swearengin wants cars on Fulton. But the city is considering other options, as well. The $2 million would tackle them all.

Bee

No, not to add a streetcar, or BRT, or anything like that. Just to add cars. Oh, and that $2 million? That’s just the engineering. Not a single tree can be felled or fountain ripped up without another $20m in fed bucks.

The saddest part is? In the past five years, Fresno, the only city in the county really eligible for TOD funds has never applied for them, until now.

Transit-oriented development funds were born in 2006 when voters renewed Measure C, the county’s half-cent transportation sales tax. In theory, any of the county’s cities — or any noncity hall group — can apply for the money. In reality, Fresno with its huge population and equally huge need to curtail sprawl is the prime candidate.

There now is about $2.7 million in the so-called TOD account. No TOD grants have been awarded yet. In fact, the TOD scoring committee hadn’t even scored an application until Monday Click to read more!