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Group Pushes Bakersfield To Reduce Bicycle And Pedestrian Fatalities

According to a new report from the City of Bakersfield, 64 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed in accidents in the city in the last three and a half years. The new bicycle and pedestrian safety report says only around a quarter of those accidents were the fault of drivers. However, some say the number of deaths in the area is much larger, as the city's report doesn't count accidents that occurred in county islands.

Credit City of Bakersfield
A map from the City of Bakersfield details the locations of cyclist and pedestrian deaths on city streets since 2014.

The report also highlights new efforts to make the city more friendly for those on foot and on bikes, including new sidewalks, a planned trail along the Friant-Kern Canal and new bike lanes, parking, and a bike sharing program for downtown Bakersfield. But some say the key to making Bakersfield area streets safer isn't just infrastructure, it's education. We spoke with Zachary Griffin of the bicycle and pedestrian safety group Vision Zero Kern about other things local leaders can do to reduce deaths, from education to enforcement. 

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of KVPR / Valley Public Radio. He has led the station through major programming changes, the launch of KVPR Classical and the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership the station was named California Non-Profit of the Year by Senator Melissa Hurtado (2019), and won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting (2022).
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