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Support needed for Fruit Avenue bike lanes

UPDATE No. 2: And now we have a story from George Hostetter. You can and should read it, but suffice it to say: None of council member Brandau’s arguments hold water with me. This post from the people at Sunnyside Bicycles quickly explains why. Do you want to know why no one bikes on Fruit Avenue, council member? BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BIKE LANES.

(That’s twice today I’ve used all caps).

It’s naive to think everyone is going to (or should) care about bicycles and bike lanes as much as I do. It’s equally naive (and a bit elitist and annoying) to think cars are the only means of viable transportation.

UPDATE: (12:15 p.m. May 23) It looks like the city council ignored the Bicycle Master Plan and voted down the Fruit Avenue road diet. It should be noted that it was a 3-4 vote. Council members Xiong, Quintero, and Baines voted for the bike lanes. Brandau, Brand, Caprioglio, and Olivier voted against them.

Are these guys goldfish? The Bicycle Master Plan was approved two years ago. Is that too far back for them to remember? I feel guilty for waiting until hours before the vote to raise a fuss, but we shouldn’t have to have this discussion EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. a road diet comes up to vote. I suggest Brandau, Brand, Caprioglio and Olivier read the Bicycle Master Plan. AND THEN STICK TO IT. Of course they won’t, because they don’t have to apparently. Ugh.

ORIGINAL POST: (9:45 a.m. May 23) News on the fight to get bike lanes on Fruit Avenue has been all over my social media feeds this week, but I’ve been late on getting a post up.

I’ll do it now, with a reminder that the issue goes before the council today.

Some back story (taken from the Fresno County Bike Coalition):

On Thursday May 23rd, city staff will be asking City Council to approve a cooperative agreement with the County of Fresno to convert Fruit Avenue from four lanes to three lanes between Shaw and Herndon (Council District 2). This will add bicycle lanes on both sides of the street! Staff first asked Council’s approval on May the 2nd, but Council continued the item for two weeks to gather more information.

It boils down to this. The lanes are part of the Bicycle Master Plan, which was approved in 2010, but now that the time has come for implementation of the plan, district’s council member is getting cold feet, fearing that neighborhood drivers will be angry about having to share their roads with bicycles. This isn’t the first time we’ve had this discussion.

This vote is important because it sets the tone moving forward. Either the city defers to the master plan (which was created for a reason), or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, bicycle advocates will be forced to scratch and fight for every new mile bike lane installed and the Bicycle Master Plan will have all been for naught.

Responses to "Support needed for Fruit Avenue bike lanes"

ed says:

what do the developers want. because that is what will happen.

seriously though, this current council may be the most short sighted ever. i’d say they can’t see past their own districts, but i don’t even think they care about those.

Kiel says:

This angers me because I commute to work on my bike everyday. I use Fruit up until Ashlan. At that point the road becomes too uneven and the bike lane ends so I take neighborhood streets. I’d love to finish my ride up Fruit but it is too dangerous. This decision keeps those dangerous conditions in place for years to come.

This is also another bad sign for any chance that the County and City will work together on any big issues. They can’t even agree on repaving a street and putting in a bike lane.

Bob says:

As if we needed more evidence that this city, and the people who run it, are a joke.

rob says:

it’d get in the way of the train parking….. so who’s running against Brandau, Brand, Caprioglio, and Olivier??

JJJJ says:

This isn’t even a city project!

Years of work on the bike master plan. Community work on this specific county project….and one city council member can torpedo everything because he looks outside and didnt see someone ride a bike?

Why hire engineers and planners, and do community work if this one idiot can veto anything because of some short cited gut feeling?

JJJJ says:

Joshua, please use your position at the Bee to highlight how years of work and taxpayer money went down the drain because of one uneducated decision. If facts (and lives!) mean nothing in this town, what does?

Bob says:

That’s an easy answer: under the table money from developers.

Cheryl says:

I cannot believe no bike lanes on Fruit Avenue. With the bike lanes it would be much safer for bike riders and pedestrians to ride or walk. Do they not realize the need to move people away from cars?? Maybe if there were bike lanes the children in the neighboring schools would we able to ride or walk to school and their parents would not have to drive them the two blocks to school…Does anyone know in which “pocket: Brandau sits. Futhermore which other City councelmem live in this area that voted no on the project. Sounds fishy to me.

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