Tag: van ness

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=& which promote active transportation and provide a right-of-way designated exclusively for bicycle travel adjacent to a roadway and which are protected from vehicular traffic. Types of separation include, but are not limited to, grade separation, flexible posts, inflexible physical barriers, or on-street parking. Legislature

A cycle track, in Fresno!?

Sure, San Francisco has them….

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Streetsblog

 and Los Angeles has them (as of last week)…

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 Streetsblog

and cities like Chicago, Washington, New York and Boston have had them for years, but it looks like modern engineering has finally arrived in Fresno!

So where might they be built?

…an evaluation of Class IV bicycle facilities along Van Ness Avenue and Fulton Street between Divisadero Street and McKinley Avenue.

Van Ness Avenue and Fulton Street are the preferred connection between Downtown and the Tower for both motorists and people on bicycles. They each are one way, and were some of the first Fresno streets to get bicycle lanes added after construction (most new streets are designed with bicycle lanes in mind, but only within the last 5 years did Fresno start adding bicycle lanes to existing streets). Click to read more!

Work underway at GV Urban’s Met Block development

Way back in February of 2013, GV Urban went before the city with their newest apartment proposal. The plan involved building up the Met Block, named after the old Met Museum. The block is between Van Ness and Fulton, and between Calaveras and Stanislaus.

The plan involved keeping the Met (top corner) and restoring the only other building left standing, on the left.

Problem was, the plan sucked. GV Urban proposed sticking in the exact same template they’ve built five other times downtown, but this time with a hideous façade.

For quite possibly the first time ever, the city pushed back against GV Urban. Aside from the ugly façade, the city was concerned that such a prominent block should break GV’s 3-story barrier, as to match the height of the Met. Click to read more!

Construction on Droge building well underway!

When I last took pictures of the Droge development in downtown Fresno, it was February, and I was worried about how slow things were progressing. The new residential building was scheduled to replace a century old building that was demolished last year. I was concerned it would be another case of a failed project, leaving behind an empty lot. I also have a special attachment to this project because I have family members who worked for many years in a smaller building which was also demolished. My first experiences downtown as a young kid were at that building, and also parking there to go to events at the Saroyan. Click to read more!

Construction on Droge building progressing slowly

In 2012, the city, via the housing authority, moved forward on the process to tear down the old Droge building and erect a modern four story apartment building. A neighboring building (one which a couple of my family members worked in for many years) was also demolished. This is an interesting building as it’s going up with less parking spaces than is “normal.” And yes, people complained that would cause issues, even though a large garage sits across the street, which is always 99% empty at night.

As an aside: If you’re going to an event at Saroyan or Selland, they charge $8 (or $6?) for parking at the convention center garage. The spiral garage pictured is free after 6pm and all weekends, and is only two blocks away. They do however charge for stadium events (and I’d assume you could park at the convention center garage for free). This is how I know the garage is 99% empty at night. Click to read more!

A look at the site of the demolished Droge building – photo tour

A few weeks ago, the old Droge building was finally demolished. The building had sat at the corner of Van Ness and Inyo for 91 years, although it spent the last years of its life as an eye-sore. Like many buildings in Fresno, being old did not save it from the wrecking ball because it had been left to decay into such bad condition, it wasn’t worth saving.

Supposedly only held up by those metal poles on the sidewalk (which made the building a local icon), it did take some effort from the bulldozers to bring it down. Nether-less, the facade was plain, and the roof was not salvageable.

Fortunately, this building wasn’t just knocked down to build a parking lot. Instead, a new four story building with affordable housing is planned. I talk a little about the project in this post. Click to read more!

Comment on newest GV Urban proposal

GV Urban is the subsidiary of Granville Homes which has brought us the only residential development downtown has seen in decades. You know them from the Iron Bird Lofts, Fulton Village, Van Ness Cottages and a few others.

This past week they announced their newest project, which involves the Met block.

The site is home to the former museum, an abandoned commercial building (which GV owns and plans on restoring), a public park, and empty space in what used to be two buildings – the city knocked those down for free.

The block now

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The block previously

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GV plans to keep the Met and the other existing building, and erect residential structures around them. The public park would be taken away and replaced by a private green accessible only to residents. Click to read more!