Tag: trail

Fresno is asking for public comments on the “Trail Network Expansion Feasibility Plan”

The City of Fresno recently published their draft (PDF) of the “Trail Network Expansion Feasibility Plan,” and they are looking for public comments until November 12, 2019.

According to the city:

The Fresno Trail Network Expansion Feasibility Plan (Plan) builds on the City of Fresno’s efforts to develop the Class I bikeway (trails) network proposed in the adopted 2016 Fresno Active Transportation Plan. The goal of the project is to prioritize all planned but currently unfunded trails, to select five corridors, roughly five miles in length, and to develop concept designs and analyze the feasibility for the five selected corridors. The resulting recommendations will help the City begin to build out its trail network. 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.

Let’s take a look. 

The map below shows the plot of land used…

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And this map shows the existing (as of now) Dry Creek Trail in red, and the Enterprise Trail in yellow. Dots mean future plans. How far in the future is anyone’s guess.

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Clovis sees their trail network as a recreational, rather than commuter asset. As such, one of the goals of the trailhead was to provide ample parking so people can load up their bikes on their SUV, drive here, park, and use the trails. Presumably, those who prefer to bike on mountain roads can also park here. Why street parking isn’t an option, I don’t understand.

As such, we start our tour in the parking lot. Looking north towards the orchards (and Clovis development border) and the new welcoming sign.

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The parking lot is not the most exciting part, so let’s look at the park…

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At first glance, it looks….really damn weird. Almost like a moon scape. I understand with the drought, grass was not an option, but it still looks odd.

In we go.

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Restrooms are included, which is good. Clovis does a good job at providing public restrooms in every park.

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Standard park stuff here

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There’s also some interesting signage, aimed strictly at the “weekend warrior” bike types. It has maps of recommended riding loops, including elevation gain. I didn’t check the QR code, but I’d assume it links to an interactive map? These routes are on country roads.

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There’s also a map of the Clovis trail system.

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Map boards in context

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The park has some farm-related art, like a plow. A Fresno plow.

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In context… I wish the trees were spaces closer together honestly, more like the orchard in the back.

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Ok, continuing with many more pictures after the jump here…

Some more farm art, and you can see the other map board. Through the windmill is the trail.

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More trees. I mean, they’ll look nice when they’re big, but there’s not a whole lot to do here? They really need to add hammocks.

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Windmill thing

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And this path leads over the dam, towards the trail that existed before

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Standing at the last position, looking back, a dead area along the canal. You can see the park across the canal, fenced in for some unnecessary reason

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In the other direction, the canal is dead. There is an empty lot.

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If you look straight, you would follow the canal with water, and eventually reach the yellow trail from the second map. This new park was not built to support that connection, even though it’s planned.

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Not dry creak

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From the empty lot, across the dry canal

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Let’s head back in. I don’t know if those lights are real.

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Wasted land.

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The new park includes fake rocks

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The bench area is nice, and has lights…but no grills!

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A sidewalk/trail was built to connect with the existing sidewalk on Shepherd.

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Future light and/or camera

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Existing sidewalk to the west

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Looking back again

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For whatever reason, they did not use the construction to widen Shepherd. And they also built the geometry really weird. No idea what the plan is here.

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More trees

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Decorative lights, not so great for seeing things at night

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There’s a fake well, with fake gold

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A bicyclist goes by

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Clovis has modernized their water fountains! The usual drinking area for dogs and people, but now for water bottles too. Sadly, no mist feature. I don’t think it was working when I stopped by. 

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There is ample, ample bike parking. Good bike parking too, covered and of a decent design. But, uh, why would anyone use it…? Why would you lock your bike here? There’s no where to go on foot really…

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But here’s something really great…. bike repair stations!

A pump

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Repair instructions

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There are two

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More trees!

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And let’s take a look at the main entrance

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Oddly, they didn’t finish the street and ramp?

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This is not good. No sidewalk on Sunnyside!?

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Honey for sale across the street

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And the grand entrance

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It’s an interesting development. The bike repair station and water fountain with the bottle thing shows that someone on the project team does rides a bike and knows what cyclists need and want. The project was also built incredibly quickly, and looks nice.

On the other hand, the moonscape is very odd, and a lot more could have been done to make it interesting. There are also no traditional park elements, like grills and a playground, which makes you wonder why so much space was needed. Further, the parking lot cements the idea that Clovis sees the trails as only for recreation, and still insists on paying tens of thousands for a lot rather than simply stripe street parking.

Even then, with this continued trail development, Fresno is being left in the dust.

Speaking of trails, I have some very good news about the Old Town Trail for an upcoming picture post…

What are your thoughts?

Pictures of newly extended Enterprise Trail in Clovis

I’m still making my way through a backlog of pictures. These were taken last month.

I’m looking at a new section of the Enterprise Trail in Clovis. I previously looked at it before here.

Construction happened very quickly, but it’s a very odd trail. Goes absolutely nowhere. In this map I showed before, the green was the existing, and the orange is new.

There was one modification, a section of trail was built from the end of
the orange line to the west, where the road dead ends. Thats a shopping
center with a Mcdonalds, Starbucks, etc. I believe that section is temporary.

We start at that little shopping thing, looking west. It’s just a sidewalk.

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A 180 turn and it looks like a trail, this was built when the shopping was.

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Looking back again, an extremely unfriendly crossing

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Looking from above, you’ll note the dismal connectivity to the shops.

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This thing was built, and it looks very useless

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Onto the trail then.

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Freeway 168 off to the side. Why on earth wasn’t the planned trail crossing built from day 1?

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 Here is where what I think is the temporary connection meets what I think is permanent. Why? Because this section we just saw will run next to the road, so it will probably be made with concrete once the road goes in. The section off to the left will probably stay asphalt. I think it’s permanent because they installed lights – which surprised me.

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 Only the lights and trees hint at any difference

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Looking back at the shopping

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 Looking back at the highway, one day this will continue straight over or under the highway, to the hospital

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Moving on then

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 Lets skip way forward and get to the other end, where the road just swings back to Temperance. Maybe by the time this trail is useful the trees will have grown in.

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It goes by the canal

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And very close to this building

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And here it meets the street. Surprise surprise, no access to the bike lane

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Just a sidewalk

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From the sidewalk

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Looking across the street. No crosswalk to continue on the canal path.

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But naturally the road is getting widened

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Just to clarify…

here you see the new trail end. How do you get across?

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If you try to go north on the sidewalk you find this

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New sidewalk under construction. Very odd, it gets wide like the trails, but not where the new trail is

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Widening, widening everywhere

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BONUS: This corner had already existed….with two ramps.

Now they’re just building one. WTF?

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So much fail.

Next update will be the new trailhead for the Enterprise Trail and the Dry Creek Trail.

Small Gap in Herndon Bike Path to be Filled

There’s a small improvement coming to the Fresno bike network.

As everyone from Fresno is well aware, if you’re in the north part of town, Herndon is the only way to go east or west…if you have a car. 6 lanes of 50mph traffic might get you across quickly in a motor vehicle, but it’s an obstacle by bike. Sure, it’s legal to bike on Herndon, but no one would ever actually do it.

The streets to the north of Herndon are calm and quiet…but they don’t really connect. You can always go south, but that’s a .5 mile detour just to get to the next road.

The city is attempting to solve this issue by creating a multi-use path on the north side of the avenue. Why wasn’t it built when the six lanes of asphalt were? I don’t know. But for now, every year some money trickles in which is used to fill in gaps.

This time, it’s for the gap between Fruit and Palm.

Here’s what the path does west of Palm.

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And here’s what the path does east of Fruit

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According to this resolution (PDF), $260,000 will buy about .3 miles of trail. The cost seems very high to me, but it’s in line with what Clovis paid for a trail expansion earlier this year.

Once this is done, one will be able to bike comfortably along Herndon from Ingram to Marks, which is 2.5 miles.

Chipping away at the Clovis trail system – again.

A few years ago, Clovis developed master plans for future residential areas of the city, namely the Harlan Ranch and Loma Vista areas. Both of these master plans required that all new development include a new trail system, and provide the necessary connections so that cyclists and pedestrians can use the trails for recreation and commuting. 

Most developers comply with the requirements and build the trails. They realize that it’s an important asset that will increase the value of their property and make their new homes easier to sell. Residents who move in expect that the planned trails will materialize.

Some developers, however, disagree. They care only about the shortest of terms, and request that the trail requirement be removed so that they can fit in one extra lot, or a larger backyard somewhere.

Sadly, the city is usually quick to agree to these changes, even when the developer wants to block existing trail connections with a masonry wall.

This month, another developer is at it again, and is requesting that their new subdivision not include any trail at all. Like usual, the city is ok with it, even though once these homes are built, the missing trail will be all but impossible to build in the future.This type of policy not only hurts future residents, but current residents who bought their homes with expectations that the master plan will be followed. 

Map showing the proposed trail link being eliminated, in the red bubble

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Image showing the existing trail was planned to continue straight….now it will just end. Existing homes to the north will lose a planned amenity.

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That’s not all – in the master plan, this property was zoned for high density residential (15.1-25 units per acre) and the developer asked for the city to change the zoning to medium density (4.1-7 units per acre). Of course, they got that change. So the developer wants to build suburban housing instead of apartments, AND they want to eliminate the path requirement? 

The item being discussed (PDF) goes before the planning commission on April 25th, which is open to the public if you want to speak against the change.

Incidentally, if you look at the previous image, notice something….even though everything you see here, the roads, houses, sidewalks etc were all built within the past 8 years, it was done wrong. The crosswalks don’t connect. Three curb ramps point diagonally and one only points in one direction. In all cases, pedestrians and cyclists must leave the crosswalk and enter the center of the intersection to cross the road.

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