Fresno Sucks At Parks

UPDATE! Before you get into the meat of this post, know that the Mayor has since pulled his initiative and we now fully support the Fresno Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Initiative.

Here is the original post:

Alright, let me sort this out.

There is an item called Fresno Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Initiative that is gathering Fresno voter signatures so that it can be put on the November ballot. It is being helped along by Fresno for Parks.

If voters pass it, it would be a local funding source for our parks through a 3/8-cent sales tax in the City of Fresno. It would raise 38 million a year for Fresno park stuff.

This is cool because Fresno is shit when it comes to greenspace. In fact, we rank 94th out of 100 cities and at one time have been ranked THE WORST CITY IN THE DAMN COUNTRY FOR PARKS!

This city needs help

So great. A little bit of sales tax provides a better city to live in. Trees rule. We pay a little bit more for a night out at Pismo’s and one day we’ll have some more parks to go to and the existing parks will be cleaner and safer.

Easy peasy. See you on the coming bike trails along the canal banks.

Wait. Enter, Mayor Lee Brand.

Mr. Brand has announced a SEPARATE major tax initiative. One that would fund more police and fireman, PLUS park facilities and programs.

Please read Fresno Bee writer, Brianna Calix’s, article about it and the details.

The mayor’s initiative needs five of the seven Fresno council members to vote yes to get the measure on the ballot. It appears nobody on the council is supporting it.

You’d expect the conservatives and tea-bagger loons to vote no to anything taxes. But it is surprising the conservatives are voting “no” to helping police and fire. And the city of Fresno definitely needs help there.

Fresno’s Fire Department is working with the same amount of staff as it did in 1985. In case you have not looked around, there is a grip more people here than in 1985 and that is scary when you think about it.

What is going on here?

Even democratic members of the council are saying they will vote no for this. You would think it is because they are supporting the Fresno Clean and Safe Neighborhoods thing, but it’s not. At least they have not said that. It seems they just don’t want new taxes. They think they can find funding somewhere else.

Where the hell is “somewhere else”? You really think there is some department in the city of Fresno that is over budgeted and that will give you some money for parks? Jesus. Even Fresno’s “liberals” are Republicans.

So I don’t know what to do here. In a perfect world, I would vote for a parks initiative AND an initiative to fund more fireman and police programs that help neighborhoods.

The reality is if both measures are on the ballot in November, they will likely cancel each other out.

The Fresno For Parks people are willing to work with the Mayor so that we don’t have competing measures in November. Let’s hope he does or the Parks measure passes on its own.

Either way, we have to pass one of these. Fresno has waited to damn long for park support and letting another year pass with nothing will dig a deeper hole for Fresno to climb out of.

Did I mention we are among THE WORST CITIES IN THE DAMN COUNTRY FOR PARKS!?!!

I Rode My Bike To A Thing In Fresno and Nobody Flipped Me Off

I decided to ride my bike to a Fresno beer thing last week (Happy Anniversary, Pine & Palm Brewing). One, because obviously, it’s better to ride a bike with a couple pops in ya than drive. Second, because I always preach riding your bike in Fresno but don’t do it enough. So I did.

My destination? Pine & Palm Brewing. 2nd Anniversary Party.

My route? Fruit, North to Herndon. Herndon to Palm (via trail pictured above). Palm to Bedford. Bedford to brewery.

I begin on Fruit. The same section that some council asshat stopped a fully funded and approved road-diet on because he sat at a corner for an hour and allegedly didn’t observe any bikers. (Yeah, I’m still bitter)

Are We Getting Better Or Was It A One-Time Thing?

As I was stopped at the light at Fruit & Bullard, I chose to rest on the white line dividing the two lanes because there was a car coming up behind me that wanted to turn right so I wanted to give them space to do that. As the light turned green, I went back into the lane knowing there we no cars behind me so I could safely use the lane. But the car that was turning right decided not to and is now directly behind me.

Normally, Fresno drivers get pissed-off that they are having to wait for a bike, even though said bike as a right to be using the lane. I got over quickly for fear of a bottle being tossed at my head. When the car passed, there was no bottle. No finger. No “Get the fuck off the road!” The car uneventfully went by.

Fresnans just might be getting more mellow with sharing the road.

Let The Drinking Begin!

At Pine & Palm Brewing, having some beers, celebrating two years of the brewery in their new taproom, getting slightly annoyed at the soccer fans that have taken over the Taproom.

I now get word that there is a group of Perfect Pour people over at the newest Fresno drinking spot, just around the corner. I leave the soccer fans to their fun and head over.

A Bar In An Industrial Park!?

Yep. There is a new craft beer and wine bar in Fresno and it’s in an industrial park in Pinedale – well, I refer to it as Pinedale anyway. It’s called Tap & Cellar. Check it:

Great beer list. They have kegs of beer that you can’t find anywhere else in town. Good addition to the scene.

Time To Ride Back.

Before I get too deep into day-drinking, it’s time to bike home. I took a slightly different route back and discovered a small, but effective, path that comes close to the Herndon path:

This little trail runs along Harrison Ave, behind (to the West) of the Palm Bluffs area.

Finishing the ride at home, I was pleased with Fresnans because nobody seemed to get pissed at me – at least they didn’t make it known. There is hope. Maybe Fresno can be a bike-friendly place after all.

Where Does Fresno Need A Pedestrian/Bike Bridge?

This week I saw Bike Portland talking about a bike bridge that is up for city approval (that’s so Portland). It got me to thinking…

Where could Fresno use a bike/pedestrian bridge?

  • Blackstone & Nees. You saw the AMAZING rendition at the top of the post (big thanks to the Fresnan Art Department), so I don’t have to explain the location on this one. Easily crossing over from Barnes & Noble to REI sounds cool, yeah?
  • Cedar & Barstow. Thinking somewhere on Cedar, between Barstow and Bulldog Lane. Ya got all the Fresno State students living West of Cedar, then you got everyone going to the football and baseball games. Seems like a no-brainer.
  • Mama Mia’s & My House. It would make it so much easier to pick up my gnocchi if there was a bridge from my driveway that went directly to Mama’s.
  • Blackstone & Shields. People are jaywalking here all the time. This fixes it. Probably. Plus there is a new Chipotle or something, you need to get to.
  • Fulton & Inyo. I hear there is going to be so much fucking traffic going down this new look Fulton Street that you, nor your Fulton Mall business, is going to be able to handle it. Money will be falling out of the sky, people will be parking like crazy and having the time of their damn lives. Fresno Grizzlies’ “Parker” will finally get laid. The few people that will be brave enough to walk amongst the major thoroughfare of newly imagined Fulton Street, will need a bridge over the insane traffic that Fulton Street Mall will definitely totally have. And Clovis Girl will be able to walk in safety.
  • Friant & Fresno Street. You have the new shopping center on the East side of Friant and Downtown North on the West Side. Feels logical.

We are a big enough city, guys. Making it safer to bike and walk around is a major factor in making us a cool city. I’m having some fun here, but really, let’s bridge.

Where else would you like to see a bridge in Fresno?

If You Can Spot What Is Wrong In This Fresno Traffic Pic, You Are Not The Problem

There are some things we need to work on before Fresno can be considered a “smart driver” city.  Some would say a lot of things.

I would say there are two key ones to start with.

  1. Leave space. Yes, create a space for people leaving a driveway or street that deserve a chance to be on your street or to be able to turn into a parking lot. Don’t block shit. Where are you going that is so fucking important that you can’t afford to let one car in?! Admittedly, I will still do this on occasion. Hey, I don’t really mean to, but it happens. Then, of course, when the other driver is staring me down wondering why I had to block his way, I sit and pretend he is not there as I beg for the light to change.
  2. Leave the right lane open. You are at the intersection of a two lane street without a dedicated right turn lane. You move to the right lane to go straight. You are now blocking the person behind you from turning right. If you spotted this as the problem in the above photo, you already know this and are cool. I know it’s not always practical to leave that lane open, but it should be thought of more.
We Know Some Stuff

One thing I do like that we do right? Not honking at the person at the front who is waiting two seconds after the light turns green before he/she goes. This is a big tip to maybe help you not get into an accident. Wait two seconds before heading out into the intersection.

If you have a tip to help Fresnans drive smarter (and I’m pretty damn sure you do), please comment.

Finally. A Guide To Help Us Be Like The Palm Avenue Bikers


I have a bike (pictured). It can get dusty. But I have one. It’s just a fixie. Which means I was cool 6 years ago. And now? Well, I have a bike only good for beer & Redbox runs. And I can only stop Flintstones style.

I need a new bike. A road bike. I may even want to be like one of those people with the bike outfits, riding down Palm Ave. But it looks like a whole thing, ya know? Like work or something.

Well thanks to IFHT, there is an entertaining step by step guide to show me and you how we can be like a Palm Ave Biker:

I definitely need a Recovery Beer just watching that.

If you’re ready to start adding road bikes and putting “yourself” on display riding Palm Avenue, make sure to hit up local places like Steven’s, Sunnyside, Fresno Schwinn, Rubber SoulHerb BauerCyle Path, and get riding.

Beer, Bikes and Clovis? Dammit.

It really saddens us to promote something that is partially going on in Clovis. But this involves craft beer and biking so we have to swallow our pride and post:

Bike&beers

New Belgium Brewing and I Bike Fresno are helping BC's Pizza & Beer, Michelangelo's Pizzeria and Spokeasy Public House with this cool three-day event. Clovis still sucks.