Monday, January 15, 2018

A Final Look at Construction on Fresno's New Fake BRT Line "Q"

Fresno's new fake "BRT" (bus rapid transit) line, branded as "Q" is set to open Fall of 2017. Well, that's what the website says.
Key Dates
Construction Kickoff: June 2016
Construction: 2016-2017
Testing: 2017
Launch: Fall 2017

In reality, the bus line was delayed yet again to February or March of this year (originally, it was expected way back in 2012).

And this time they really mean it, so they're hosting public meetings to educate people on what the bus line is. The first one is this week:

Shaw & Blackstone Corridor
January 17, 2018 | 5:30 pm–7:00 pm
Tornino’s
5080 N Blackstone Ave
Fresno, CA 93710 

Quick aside: This is a complete failure of public outreach and engagement. Asking people to come to YOU, on a certain date, at a certain time is public outreach in name only. FAX knows where the customers are (on the bus and at the stations). FAX should come to the people. Nobody is going to take time and money out of their day to go to a random location to hear some official talk about a kiosk. Worse: The three meetings are in the same time period (5:30pm-7pm) so anyone who works during those hours is out of luck.

Depressing. I recently read about a city which launched a new bus service and advertised it by mailing info to every house within 1/4 mile of the route. That's outreach.

Also, at some point they should maybe tell the public how this will affect the two existing bus lines that currently run on Blackstone and Kings Canyon. I've yet to see any information about that.

Anyway, let's take a look at the construction shortly before the new line opens. This post looks at a regular stop in Blackstone, the Manchester Transfer Center, and the Van Ness stop by the Courthouse Transfer Station.

Previous updates:
September 2017
January 2017

We start at a random bus stop on Blackstone and Clinton. This location previously had a regular bus stop, shelter, and bench.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Google satellite imagery for Fresno! (Fall 2017)

Posting updates about Google Maps satellite imagery in the Fresno region used to be a frequent topic on this blog. Thanks to the lack of clouds for half the year, Fresno was lucky in that new images were posted about twice a year, compared to some more populated area that only got an update every other year - or even less frequently. Basically, to provide the images, a satellite has to take hundreds of pictures, and then they are all blended together automatically to reveal a seamless image without clouds in the way. Since Fresno has so many clear days, it's much easier to get the shots.

Or at least that was the case, because in all of 2016, Fresno saw no updates.

Here's a look at the update history. The link is my post talking about it (although now those links are useless thanks to the Photobucket debacle).

3/18/2015
11/13/2014
4/5/2014
3/15/2013
8/27/2012
8/26/2012
4/25/2011
9/24/2009
6/5/2009
3/29/2007
3/16/2007
11/28/2006
8/4/2006
12/30/2005
10/02/2015
8/19/2004
(and a few older ones)

As you can see, pretty consistent!

Well, in 2017 we got two updates, with the most recent one showing up in December. Those images were taken on 8/7/2017 (it takes them a couple of months to process and update - that's normal). There was also an update taken on 3/31/2017, which I noticed around July, but never got around to posting about.

But here's a twist: Usually the images go up on the Google Earth platform first, and then a month or so later show up on general Google Maps (and dates that are less than perfect never migrate to Maps). However, this year, the images that show up in Google Maps are blended with a range of dates! What's even more confusing is that in Google Maps, you're not told what date the image is from.

This popped up thanks to construction progress.

IE: Let's look at High Speed Rail construction over the San Joaquin River.