Monday, November 30, 2015

Last chance to comment on plan to remove the Fresno Fulton Mall - act now!

On December 3rd, at 1:30pm, the Fresno City Council will be presented with the last step of the process to eliminate the Fulton Mall and turn it into a street. They will vote on whether to award the contract or not to begin the destruction of the pedestrian mall.

At this point, the project is 11 months late and, more importantly, $3 million dollars over budget.

At $23.05 million, American Paving had the lowest of three bids for the project. The other two bidders were Lewis C. Nelson at $23.3 million and Granite Construction at $27.68 million. Right off , the city is eliminating a bid alternative that will save around $600,000. That takes American Paving’s bid to $22.4 million. The cash on hand for the project – around $20 million – means City Hall now needs to either cut around $2.4 million from the proposal or find some additional revenue. It looks like the city isn’t counting on the latter.

“We have to do it with the resources we have available,” Swearengin said.
Fresno Bee
While the mayor is pushing through, the final decision to sign the cheque is up to the City Council - a council which is wary about projects that are late and over budget.

That means, if you are interested in saving the Fulton Mall, you have one last opportunity to contact your council member and tell them why you don't think they should approve the plan.

You can find who your representative is here:
http://www.fresno.gov/Government/CityCouncil/default.htm

Their emails are formatted as firstname.lastname@fresno.gov 

Remember, you can see my analysis of the construction diagrams here
http://stopandmove.blogspot.com/2015/08/a-look-at-fulton-mall-deconstruction.html


I've written a letter addressing the following points:
  1. The project is already over-cost and delayed, can we trust the other promises the city has made?
  2. The mayor is promising to bring a list of changes to cut the budget - shouldn't the vote be delayed so the people of Fresno can review those changes? Details matter. We should know what's being chopped and have a time to comment.
  3. The plan should be modified into a phased approach, so the cost and time of the conversion of one block (the northern-most) can be analyzed to see if it will hold true for the entire project. For these types of projects they always fund buried power-lines and sewer lines that weren't mapped - adding millions in costs and months of delays.

I hope you can do the same, and feel free to recommend your own talking points in the comments below.
Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article44834379.html#storylink=cpy

10 comments:

  1. Sorry but, goodbye Fulton Mall and hello Fulton Street!

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  2. CAHSR isn't up and running yet, so there's no way for me to make it to the meeting. However, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see that the move to reduce the budget will mean that pedestrian-focused elements (i.e. bulbouts) will get the axe because they are adding some cost. Ideally, it should only be reopened to transit vehicles, but I guess that ship has also already sailed. Good luck.

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    Replies
    1. Send the councilpeople an email! You may not be a resident, but as someone who can spend money in Fresno, your input counts.

      Also, thats a very good point. Bulbouts can be very expensive because of how they affect drainage. They already said they wont cut any art, and you cant cut asphalt and all the basics....so that leaves the "extras" such as bulbouts

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  3. Yes they will make shortcuts as Fresno always does things half ass...but I still would support it. I heard Ashley stating that they will cut costs by getting rid of some traffic signals and using lower quality lights which...the lights...is what I have a prob with. have to have high quality bright lights to make the peds feel safe and invited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew youd be concerned about the lights! One issue I have is that there doesnt appear to be any document about the lighting type - the fixtures, the color, intensity, etc. Thats a very important design detail.

      Another concern of mine is that they will change all the curb ramps to be one single diagonal rather than two aligned with the crosswalk. The cheaper design is dangerous for the blind.

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  4. It is reasonable to remove on street parking from the plan?

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  5. Proponents argue that the street parking is what will bring people downtown and save the businesses, so it's doubtful they would want to remove even one.

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  6. Yea I agree they wont removed street side parking bcuz that's basically the WHOLE premise for opening up the street to traffic. However as I walked through Fulton mall its hard for me to imagine there being enough space for a 2 lane street PLUS the gigantic sidewalk on one side and the large sidewalk on the other..

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    Replies
    1. Take a look at the construction diagrams I posted a couple of months ago. Theres not room for a gigantic sidewalk - it will be only 4 feet wide in parts

      Delete