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What FresCan Do
Fresno is not alone with its issues. Even a progressive city superpower, like Portland, Oregon, has problems. No city is perfect.
Put Fresno up against Portland, right now, and the hipster capital is tough to beat. But, Fresno has the potential to one day match or exceed nearly everything positive Portland has going for it. Admittedly, there are two things Fresno can't ever beat Portland at: wooded hills within the city limits and boats, floating by downtown skyscrapers.
Hey, what's Fresno gonna do? We're in a desert like valley, nothing we can do about that. Portland's air is near pristine too, but it's not that they do anything really special, it just happens to rain a hell of a lot there, so they don't have to worry about air quality.
If Porlanders do anything "special" to improve their air, that Fresnans CAN equal, it's riding bikes to work - and/or bars. The bike lanes are plentiful with great signage and drivers watch out for cyclists — even drunk ones.
I recently visited Portland and given the Rose City's reputation as a bicycle friendly town, I was expecting to see bikers all over the place. I didn't. And I was looking. There was more than Fresno though and, to be fair, I was only there four days, on a holiday weekend and it was raining practically the whole time. I didn't see a sunny, complete work day, there. But, a person could have to wait months for sunny work days in Portland.
This opens up a big window for Fresno to take the west coast's Bicycle Town title. It would be easy. Fresno's setup is near perfect for city cycling: A flat, grid style city with wide streets and solid weather.
Once Fresno gets the city grid covered in bike lanes and trails, with Fresnans actually using them, it's time to move on to the next attainable project: West Coast Hipster Capitol.