Monday, December 14, 2015

Clovis now has an Urban Greening Master Plan

Clovis recently released an an "Urban Greening Master Plan," a new plan which calls for adding more trees, more green infrastructure, and promoting more sustainable transportation.

Now by recently, I do mean July, which is a little embarrassing. Embarrassing, because this is the first I have heard of it. Not only did I miss the release of the final plan, but I also missed the release of the draft, and nine public workshops held in 2014.

Although to be fair to me, a search through Google News reveals zero articles on the subject. Also, the final report shows the first community meeting with a grand total of 28 attendees (13 with white hair), and according to the workshop summaries, the 4th, 5th and 6th workshops had attendances ranging from 1 to 5 people.

The report however, is decent.


You can view the Final Plan (PDF) here.

So what's this plan about?

It builds on the 2010 Parks Master Plan, the 2011 Bicycle Master Plan, a 2012 Urban Forest Master Plan, and various area specific plans, including a 2012 Shaw Corridor Study.

Specifically, it calls upon the many (MANY) benefits of having a healthy urban forest, and of course, doing so in the context of the drought. For Clovis, they focus on reducing ambient air temperatures (via shade), improving air quality, and tying into storm-water management and bike/ped transportation.

 The goals of the plan are to:
  • Educate business 
  • Draw people outside
  • Utilize green infrastructure
  • Promote alternative transportation 
  • Grow the local economy
  • Implement previous recommendations 
  • Maximize partnerships

The plan itself is not amazing, but it does hit on some key points which the city has ignored in the past. One I find particularly important is the need for shade to promote bicycling and walking. The report also talks about how some streets are too wide, and could be made safer by using the extra space for trees.

Example:

 photo greening1_zpsghjs5vpb.jpg

Note that while this is simply a concept, it is the first render I've seen coming out of Clovis that features green paint and a buffer for a bicycle lane, something not found at all in the area. 

The plan also talks about specific plant types, especially those that are drought tolerant and suitable for the region. 

Of course, the plan features talk about implementation. Fortunately, Clovis has a good record with implementation of the park and trail plan. What I specifically hope to see is the addition of green infrastructure that also calms traffic. That is, sidewalk extensions at corners with rain gardens. That's a concept foreign in Clovis, but one that is now on the radar thanks to this plan.

What is most likely to happen in the short term is a renewed effort on sustaining a healthy tree canopy in the commercial areas, especially Old Town. The report has the recommendations broken up by goal and time-frame, so they're worth checking out.



An again, speaking on outreach, the plan ends with summaries of the workshops. There were nine workshops, three for each "round". The middle three workshops had an attendance of "approximately 3 persons,"  "5 persons" and "1 member of the public who could only stay for fifteen minutes." Clovis, if you're going to hold public workshops, you need to learn how to actually engage the public, especially if you're going to pay 6 staffers to talk to a single person. Let me guess, there was a single ad placed in a weekday edition of the Fresno Bee?

7 comments:

  1. That's really an improvement. The greenry should act as a nice buffer between traffic and pedestrians. On a related side note, it seems as if Clovis may have started to lower the color temp of their led street lights. A nice warm 3000k full cutoff led light at night with this would look like a really pleasent place to be.

    I still disagree about the bulbouts, my bike is my main form of transport, and I think bulbouts are just hazardous. They force you out of your dedicated ROW into traffic. While I do agree cars need to be slowed down, I just don't think bulbouts are an effective solution. I do think that lane parallelograms and adjusted stripping create a far safer and more effictive means of slowing traffic.

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    1. What about bike lanes built within the curb extension?

      Like this
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/24858199@N00/23089883649/in/dateposted-public/

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Not too bad.They had a special experiment in Portland on Culley Blvd. in which they rebuilt the street with protected cycling route and bulbouts. They also used it as a streetlight expirment.
    I tend to bike at fairly high speeds 20mph+ so things like sharp concrete curbs can be kinda nasty. I hate, though, driveway ramps that go over the sidewalk like these.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/24858199@N00/23089883649/in/dateposted-public/

    Trying to approach those at oblique angles, like making a smooth right turn at speed, your rear wheel can get caught on the lip and you risk falling over.

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  4. Here, the markings.

    http://r1.forconstructionpros.com/files/base/image/FCP/2011/09/16x9/640x360/1202936532875_converging20chev_10377177.jpg

    If you scroll down you can see some of the effects on traffic.

    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/transporter/04feb/index.cfm

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    1. Interesting trial. Ive never seen that, but Ive seen these in a few places. Similar idea, makes people think theyre going faster than they are

      http://epg.modot.org/files/9/98/620.2.26.3_3B31.jpg

      Here is another trial
      http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/28903/zig-zag-road-stripes-can-get-drivers-to-pay-more-attention/

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  5. Those zig-zag stripes remind me of Great Britian who have a fascinating congestion charge for city travel.

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