Bakersfield Planning Commission approves Bicycle Transportation Plan

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A plan to make roadways in Bakersfield safer for bicyclists is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Bakersfield Planning Commission approved the more than two million dollar Bicycle Transportation Plan on Thursday night. That paves the way for the City to vote on the proposed plan in November.

Jason Cater, Executive Director of Bike Bakersfield, told 23ABC the goal is to help riders feel more comfortable on the streets.

“Most of our bike lanes are on high speed arterials and people don't want to ride on them. They don't feel safe. It doesn't encourage people to get out and ride,” said Cater.

Cater also said the plan is basically for better infrastructure. That means a network of bike paths, lanes, boulevards and routes that are in safer areas.

“There have been a lot of deaths actually this year. We’ve had a bad year as far as pedestrians and bicyclists and automobiles so this plan will get them off the streets and in areas where we won’t have as many accidents.”

“We try to protect the people from getting hit by cars so I think it’s long overdue,” said supporter Lisa Karen Pollard.

Bike Bakersfield worked with the City to develop the plan. If the council approves the plan the City will apply for future State funding through the California Bicycle Transportation Account, as well as from other state and federal funding opportunities.

"We've advocated for this plan for years and so we're excited to kind of see it coming down to the final stages and ready for it to get passed and go to work on it,” said Cater.

“I think it's a positive step when we can look forward to building more class A bike lanes and helping bikes and cars share the road and make the city a better community,” said Chairman of the Planning Commission Elliot Kirschenmann.

To read more about the Bicycle Transportation plan click on: http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/cityservices/community_development/planning/bicycle_transportation_planning.html

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