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New website designed to help pinpoint unsafe areas for bicyclists goes live

KBAK/KBFX photo.

A new website looking to better pinpoint unsafe areas for pedestrians and bicyclists has just launched in Bakersfield.

The website looks to hear from the community and aggregate user-based information on where pedestrians and bicyclists feel the most at-risk when they’re using certain roads or paths in Bakersfield.

SafeTREC, a department devoted to transportation research at UC Berkeley, created the website in hopes of helping city officials define which areas are troublesome and assist in making roadways safer.

Users interact with a map and answer specific questions on why they think a certain area or road is dangerous for them.

Jack Becker of Bike Bakersfield spoke to Eyewitness News about the new website. He’s currently working with SafeTREC in Berkeley and says the website is meant to get a better depiction on road conditions beyond what’s reported to law enforcement.

“It’s really important to collect more data on where people get into collisions,” Becker says. “Although collisions are reported to law enforcement, not all collisions are reported that way. So it would be great if people had a way that they feel safe in reporting other ways that collisions happen.”

Becker says the website is not meant to point fingers on who’s to blame in crashes. The interactive map is meant to paint a story on what bicyclists and pedestrians deem as a threat to their safety, not just fatal collisions.

The Kern County Board of Supervisors called on the city to address the problem surrounding the high number of deadly pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Just this year, the Kern County Public Health Department created an interactive map marking where accidents had happened over a ten year period.

Becker says the city is doing a good job in making our streets more pedestrian and bike friendly, but there’s room to improving the situation here in Bakersfield.

“I think the city is getting on the right track with knowing that infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists is needed in our community,” Becker says. “So there are improvements happening, but I would like to see more of it, of course.”

SafeTREC says Bakersfield is one of seven cities that have been listed as pedestrian and bicycle safety focus cities by the Federal Highway Administration. According to the website, The Federal Highway Administration says those are cities with high pedestrian fatalities and/or fatality rates.

The website is now live. You can access it by going to the website here.

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