Q: I'd like to know what is going to be done about the extra traffic on the Allen Road expansion for home owners. The extra traffic, noise and poorer air quality. There is more traffic on Allen than there is on the Westside Parkway.

At the very least we need higher sound walls. Very poor planning and very little concern for home owners.

-- Chris Campoy

A: Ted Wright, program manager of the Thomas Roads Improvement Program, responded:

Allen Road has been classified as an arterial street in the Circulation Element of the Metropolitan Bakersfield General Plan for more than 20 years. Arterial streets provide direct routes with connections to other major roadways, and carry higher volumes of traffic than any other classification of street (other than freeways).

Per the General Plan, six-lane arterial streets have a daily traffic capacity of 60,000 vehicles. Recent traffic counts revealed that the average daily traffic on Allen Road, between Brimhall Road and Stockdale Highway, is 23,000 vehicles. Traffic counts on the Westside Parkway show 37,000 vehicles per day.

Other arterial streets in the vicinity include Rosedale Highway, Stockdale Highway, Brimhall Road, Calloway Drive, Renfro Road and Heath Road.

Traffic volumes, air quality and noise impacts and proposed mitigation (such as sound walls) for the Westside Parkway were analyzed in the Environmental Impact Report for the project, which was subject to many public hearings and approved in 2006. Sound wall locations were again verified with an updated noise report performed in 2010.

The completion of the Westside Parkway is causing changes to traffic patterns in western Bakersfield. The freeway currently ends at Allen Road, and traffic patterns will change again (likely decreasing traffic somewhat on Allen Road) in late 2014 with the completion of the Westside Parkway out to Stockdale Highway/Heath Road. However, Allen Road is a major arterial street, and as the community continues to grow and develop, resulting increases in traffic volumes on it and all major roads in the community should be anticipated.

Q: I have a question about the obituaries in The Californian.

I know that the obituary is written by the family of the departed, who pays to have it printed. But who submits the "death notices"? I have noticed that sometimes the death is printed a day or two after the fact. Sometimes it is several days or up to a week. Sometimes it is never printed.

I thought if any person dies within the county, it is automatically published. Does the coroner submit this, or the mortuary, and why the discrepancy?

-- Judy Michael

A: All of the information for our short death notices -- not to be confused with the longer paid obituaries families write and send us -- come from local mortuaries. We are not automatically notified of every death in the county.

There in fact can be discrepancies in how quickly we learn of deaths from mortuaries. It just depends on when mortuaries -- and the families they work with -- choose to submit information to us.

Ask TBC appears on Mondays. Submit questions to asktbc@bakersfield.com or to The Bakersfield Californian, c/o Christine Bedell, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302.