BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County is receiving a total of $4.1 million in grants from Caltrans to fund pedestrian safety projects.
The county is receiving $1.3 million to upgrade striping of centerlines and edge lines, left and right turns and lane drops. The funds will also go towards improving the safety of the curve on Wheeler Ridge Road with chevron signs and adding new raised pavement markers on all roads, roughly 80 miles of roadway. The funds will also add 226 miles of striping and new guardrail upgrades.
Caltrans is awarding the county $375,000 to improve the safety of several multi-lane roads county-wide by upgrading about 27 miles of bike lane striping over 22 miles of roadway.
The city of Bakersfield is receiving $586,000 to install signal poles and controller equipment at Beale Avenue and Monterey Street, as well as Beale Avenue and Niles Street. The city will also receive $246,100 to install pedestrian flashing beacons at the crosswalk on Old Farm Road in front of Veterans Elementary School and at the crosswalk on Mountain Vista Drive in front of Earl Warren Jr. High School.
“We are pleased to see nearly $14 million in funding be awarded to our local partners here in the Central Valley,” said Caltrans District 6 Director Diana Gomez. “This is another step in our joint commitment to multi-modal methods of transportation and improves the overall safety for all users of California’s transportation system.”
The city of McFarland is receiving $250,000 to install warning signs and upgrade markings to high-visibility, install curb ramps where they are missing and add enhanced safety features at several uncontrolled crosswalks.
17’s Jim Scott did a special report on pedestrian safety on Kern County in Depth last month. A study done by Smart Growth America says Bakersfield is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. for people who walk in our streets.
There have been 13 pedestrian deaths in Kern County so far this year. In 2020, there were 5 pedestrian deaths by this time of year.