On May 3, 2017, Mayor Lee Brand will be addressing the Governing Board of the San Joaquin River Conservancy. He is planning to offer a "gift" to the Conservancy - the completion of an environmental evaluation on one of the routes deemed infeasible by the River West Fresno EIR - the route known as 5b. 
Here's our question: Why is the City continuing to study a route that two other studies have already determined is infeasible?
In 2015, the City of Fresno contracted with Blair, Church and Flynn to study several different routes into the river bottom.  The study determined that the best route into the river bottom followed the alignment of the existing haul road at the end of Nees Avenue - a route that was used by sand and gravel trucks moving material out of Madera County for approximately 50 years. 
This year, the Conservancy's Draft EIR on Fresno River West was released for public comment.  The EIR evaluated the environmental constraints on all of the routes that the City had studied, and came to the same conclusion - the best route is on the existing haul road at the end of Nees Avenue.
That road is now owned by a couple of private citizens, and is subject to an easement held by the City of Fresno.  The easement includes the following language:

"The easement and right-of-way will be available for general public access under the following conditions:
c)       This easement will be available for public use only for so long as and such times as the Riverview Drive entrance is open for public access under not less than the same terms and conditions as outlined herein"

Let's get real, and let's take action.  Ask the Conservancy Board to reject the City's offer and move forward with the current EIR. We've studied this road enough, and another study isn't going to make the route any more viable.
Join us at the Conservancy's meeting next Wednesday morning at 10am to stand for public access on existing roads.  The Conservancy Board meets at 5469 E Olive Avenue, in the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District Boardroom.  There is currently road construction on Olive Avenue, and directions to the back entrance of the complex are available by clicking here.

Sharon Weaver
Executive Director