By The Bakersfield Californian
Three decades ago, with Dale Mills and Dale Hawley as part of the Transportation Committee in the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, a Kern County Transportation Master Plan was created for private and public review.
The public authorities' indifference to a different transportation plan that included a "beltway," a personal rapid transit system to connect to a "centers concept," and a solution for the Westchester community was placed on the shelf to collect dust.
The design for the couplet was an underground connection between highways 178 and 58. This afforded an opportunity to create a "green" linear park connecting Beach Park to Central Park. This allowed unhindered pedestrian access between Highway 204 and the railway line to keep a historic and valuable community together.
Unfortunately, when a design is sourced and offered by the community sector, it is summarily ignored. Government transportation planners know best.
The continuation of "good will" via public meetings between private and public interests is deceptive. Governance has proved itself all too capable of making bad long-term transportation decisions. The evidence is found not only in approved documents, but daily in trying to get from home to work.