Monday, July 28, 2014

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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Changes to Fresno High campus look good (photo update)

I wasn't familiar with Fresno High until P de Q opened a couple of years ago across the street. They're a bakery that makes delicious Brazilian cheese bread, or Pao de Queijo. Aside from enjoying delicious bread, visiting the bakery introduced me to Fresno High, which has a beautiful main building. I also noticed major construction underway.

The project involved blowing up two bunker buildings, that ruin the architecture, and build new ones off to the side in a complementary architectural style. The bunkers used to block the view of the historic building.

You can see the buildings overhead here

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I did a construction update in January of 2013 when the new buildings were going up, but the old ones were still there. Well last month I stopped by, and construction has ended.

Here's what it looks like now

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Let's take a closer look.

The new buildings are modern, but take cues from the original style

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This is seen from the end at Weldon. The sidewalk got work too, adding that planting area. Unfortunately they left a ridiculous pole blocking the sidewalk.

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The ramp is also badly designed

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Parking was maintained

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Minor detailing

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So this is odd. The library media center has a front door built right up to the street. Fantastic right?

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Problem is, the school is gated, meaning everyone has to walk in through one, and only one entrance.

Good architecture, bad street life.

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Moving on we see some additional greenery into the street, and an improved handicap parking area

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But this I dont get at all. Why isn't that portion of the crosswalk built as sidewalk? It just looks wrong, and cheap. They also didn't bother to paint the crosswalk in a more visible style. You'll also note that the sign is very far from the roadway, and blocking the sidewalk, rather than in the planter.

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At night this crosswalk is very dangerous. The lighting is entirely useless.

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Worse, the city once again decided that at an intersection with three crosswalks, to only paint one. This is a major school, what are they thinking? 

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Anyway, looking back at the building.

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And back towards the crosswalk. I don't understand this hatched space at all. Also, note the truncated domes. They indicate to the blind that they're entering a crosswalk - and yet here, they're not. WHy not just extend the sidewalk all the way and add trees?

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Here's the centerpiece, which used to be hidden

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Finally, a grand entrance again

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And peeking through the gate

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Arriving at the next crosswalk. Same problems as before

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So odd

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The next new building, this one you can enter from the street. I think you have to if you're a visitor.

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Where's the crosswalk?

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Looking back

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Dead space. Where are the bike racks?

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Walking back, you can see the retail block across the street

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Overall, the new buildings are great. A huge improvement, that really elevates the campus. It's a shame that the district gates their schools, unlike Clovis, but I can understand some of the reasoning.

The streetscape on the other hand? Once again, not so great. As with the Broadway project, the city reveals that they have no one on staff that understands how to plan for people. When we're talking about a major High School, that's particularly problematic.