Central Valley Bikeways Project – Fresno

CalBike’s Central Valley Bikeways Project will analyze the area surrounding the future high speed rail (HSR) station in Fresno. We will come up with a plan to improve connections to the station for people who bike and walk in Fresno. The plan will also propose changes to make it easier to bike and walk throughout the Central Valley.

Fresno Transportation Plans

Fresno adopted the City of Fresno Active Transportation Plan in 2017 and the Fresno County Regional Active Transportation Plan and Fresno Station District Master Plan in 2018. They also completed the Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Area Class IV Bikeway Feasibility Study in 2017 and were awarded $66.5 million through the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grant in 2018, which led to the formation of the Displacement Avoidance Plan in 2019. Finally, the 2020 Fresno County Regional Trails Plan, which will recommend new shared-use paths, is in the development stage. 

Plan Objectives

The Bikeway Feasibility Study identifies corridors suitable for Class IV bikeways with the goal of expanding upon existing bicycle infrastructure and supporting a network that is safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.

The Regional ATP identifies potential pedestrian and bicycle projects in the county and assists jurisdictions in securing funding for these projects. The City ATP proposes an expansion of the existing active transportation network through new bikeways, sidewalks, and crossings. It also recommends enhancements to the network through bicycle signal detection, destination signage, end of trip facilities, and maintenance. Finally, it lays out priority projects for the short-term (less than 10 years) as well as more extensive plans for the long-term (timeline not defined). Priority projects are estimated to cost $114.7 million, and long-term projects are estimated to cost $1.3 billion. 

The Station Area Plan focuses on the area within a ¼ mile radius of the planned HSR station. It aims to capitalize on investment from the HSR system to revitalize Downtown Fresno through infill redevelopment and reconnection of street networks. In creating an implementable vision for this development, the plan focuses on creating jobs, housing, and a safe and pedestrian-friendly Downtown. 

Public Outreach

Outreach was conducted for the Regional and City ATPs as well as the Bikeway Feasibility Study.

To draft and finalize the current ATP, the City of Fresno conducted three stakeholder advisory committee (SAC) meetings, two public workshops, and several community meetings as well as digital outreach efforts through social media and an online interactive map.

Similar to CalBike, the City of Fresno used the Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) methodology to classify the comfort of riders on different roadways. LTS 1 bikeways are the least stressful and would be comfortable for most children and older adults, LTS 2 are still considered lower stress and would be tolerable for most adults, LTS 3 would be comfortable for confident riders, and LTS 4 would only be comfortable for fearless riders. As the highest proportion of respondents identified as “interested but concerned” riders, the ATP focuses on building a “lower stress” bicycle network. It also determines priority areas based on spatial analysis of income levels, collision data, current usage, and car ownership. 

In identifying which corridors were suitable for separated bikeways, Fresno Council of Governments (COG) conducted an online survey, held a public workshop, and created a steering committee that met several times and went on a site visit.

Main Takeaways

The City ATP focuses on providing equitable access to lower stress bicycle and pedestrian networks. Many of the proposed bicycle lanes are LTS 2, which is defined as “the highest level of stress that the mainstream adult population will tolerate while still feeling safe.” While some of the bike lanes will constitute a low-stress bike route, the majority of road stress level changes will be done with the building of separated bike paths through the Fresno County Regional Trails Plan. Additional separated bike paths may also be developed through the Rails to Trails program, which converts former rail lines to multi-use trails. The Bikeway Feasibility Study also identifies separate corridors ideal for separated bikeways.

Both the ATP and Bikeway Feasibility Study provide design guidelines, setting a precedent for quality bicycle infrastructure. The ATP also includes a maintenance plan to ensure that bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure remains safe and comfortable. 

The Station Area Plan also has the potential to increase the active transportation network. It creates a hierarchy of prioritized circulation, with pedestrian access at the top, bicycle and public transportation in the middle, and automobile access at the bottom. It also identifies specific streets to reconnect to the grid system as well as intersections to reconfigure.

Project Managers

If you have questions about the Central Valley Bikeways Project in Fresno, please contact one of CalBike’s project managers.

Forest Barnes, forest@calbike.org, 415.484.3143

Jared Sanchez, jared@calbike.org, 714.262.0921

Fresno Resources

Fresno HSR Station District Area Plan

City of Fresno Active Transportation Plan

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