New stripes along several streets in Bakersfield are helping keep bicyclist safe


New stripes around Bakersfield are a welcome site for bicycle enthusiast who depend on their bicycles during the day, but often find themselves riding at night.

According to the Department of Transportation, more than six hundred bicyclists were killed and 4800 injured in car crashes around the country.

The deaths account for two percent of all traffic fatalities each year.

The city of Bakersfield is using money leaders secured through the congestion mitigation and air quality improvement program, or CMAQ to pave the way for bike safety.

"Bike lanes are really important.  Basically, they are there to define the space separation and show how cars and bicycles can use the road together," said Jason Cater, executive director of Bike Bakersfield.

A total of four lanes within the city received new stripes.  It’s helping show bicyclist exactly where to be when they're sharing the road with motorist.

"Use them. They are great connections for trips, especially for downtown to northeast Bakersfield. If you live in the area, it's a good way to get around the community. If you're going from Bakersfield College to downtown, or have a similar trip, look at these lanes they are good places to ride and are a lot safer," he said.

Crews have added mile-long stripes on 30th street from the Garces Circle to Union.  On Alta Vista Drive and Monterrey, on Hailey Street from Kentucky to Flower, and Fourth to Q.

"Bike culture in Bakersfield has definitely expanded here. There's a lot more cyclist on the road, and hopefully we can get them riding safely," said bicyclist, Aaron Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is car-less and rides a total of 20 miles a day on his bike.  He has already used the new bike lanes and says they're sure to keep people safe.

"When most people come to Bakersfield they are pretty shocked at the speeds, and all it is, it’s just the comfort. I've gotten use to the riding on Stockdale during rush hour, it's totally fine.  For a lot of new riders, taking neighborhood streets is probably going to be your best bet," he said.


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