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By The Bakersfield Californian
Q: On Ming Avenue and Old River Road, why is it being demolished? It was just built few years ago. What is being developed at the site?
-- Raj Patel
A: Here's a twist: They're tearing down a credit union office to put up a parking lot.
The lot at 9800 Ming Ave. had been occupied by a Kern Schools Federal Credit Union branch.
President and CEO Steve Renock said KSFCU moved it to the Mustang Square center at the corner of White Lane and Buena Vista Road.
Chevron, the property's new owner, plans to pave the lot and use it for additional parking.
Company spokeswoman Carla Musser said the overflow parking is "much needed."
Q: There is a very rough railroad crossing on Gosford Road between District Boulevard and Pacheco Road that is basically a speed bump. In order to cross the tracks without risking serious damage to your vehicle undercarriage, you have to slow down to 25 miles per hour or even slower.
The speed limit on Gosford is 55 miles per hour. These factors make for a very unsafe traffic condition when travelling on Gosford Road, especially if southbound where the berm is more pronounced. A few years ago when the railroad performed work on the tracks at this crossing, it left this considerably high asphalt concrete berm that runs between the tracks. The berm seriously affects traffic flow due to the slowing of the 55-mph-traffic that has to negotiate the crossing safely.
I believe the tracks are property of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad. Is there anything that can be done to alleviate the problem caused by the raised asphalt concrete berm that wreaks havoc with traffic flow? And why has the city Roads Department allowed the railroad to create this impediment to traffic and the resulting safety issues? At a minimum, there should be warning signs that alert drivers of the rough crossing. It seems the fix for this problem would be to simply grind down the berm.
-- Richard E. Lloyd
A: Bakersfield Assistant Public Works Director Nick Fidler responded:
The city's Streets Division has indicated that the area is adjacent to the tracks, therefore this is the responsibility of the railroad company. San Joaquin Valley Railroad operates the UPRR Buttonwillow Branch, which crosses Gosford Road just north of Pacheco Road.
The city's Street's Division has left messages with SJVR to coordinate the repair of the roadway, however has been unsuccessful at this point. The city will continue its efforts to coordinate with SJVR to get the correction made.
Q: Why are there no barbecue pits in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park? They removed them all.
-- Preston George
A: The barbecue pits were in very bad condition and created a safety hazard to park users, said Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Director Dianne Hoover. They were removed and will be replaced in the spring of 2014.
Ask TBC appears on Mondays. Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to The Bakersfield Californian, c/o Christine Bedell, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302.