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Casey Christie / The Californian

Clouds surround the historic Padre Hotel and other buildings downtown Wednesday and along with the clouds came a light rain.

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Casey Christie / The Californian

Traffic rolls smoothly around 9 a.m. Thursday in both directions of Highway 99 near Panama Lane with the new construction in the center nearly completed.

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Casey Christie / The Californian

Looking south on Highway 99 from the Panama Lane overcrossing the new construction can be seen for a long distance on Thursday.

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Casey Christie / The Californian

The new construction on Highway 99 looking south from the Panama Lane overcrossing is nearly complete.

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Casey Christie / The Californian

Motorists merge onto HIghway 99 from the Panama Lane on-ramp traveling north along the area where new construction is nearly complete to allow a better flow of traffic along the highway.

Q: With people questioning how safe it is around The Padre Hotel downtown following a March 22 stabbing inside, we at Ask TBC wondered how many calls for service the Bakersfield Police Department has been receiving there.

A: BPD Sgt. Joe Grubbs provided statistics covering Jan. 1, 2013, to March 25 of this year. During that time, the department recorded 255 calls for service.

Here are the top 10 types of calls, according to the BPD numbers:

Peace disturbance -- verbal: 60

Peace disturbance -- loitering-refused to leave: 33

Peace disturbance -- fight: 30

Check the welfare: 14

Flagged down: 12

Subject stop: 10

Ambulance request: 8

Suspicious person: 7

Battery (just occurred): 6

Vehicle code violation: 6

Public intoxication: 5

Interestingly, the number of calls for service the first three months of this year were up from the same time in 2013. January's rose from 15 to 23, February's from 14 to 24, and March's from 10 to 11. Those monthly numbers weren't broken down by type of call.

February of this year saw the most calls in any month of the last 15 months -- 24. The second most was 23 calls in January of this year and again in July of last year.

Not surprisingly, the most calls by far occurred late on Friday and Saturday nights, according to the BPD's statistics.

You can dig deeper into the numbers by checking out the BPD's report under "related PDFs."

Q: I notice that the Highway 99 construction section for both north and south of Panama Lane appears to be pretty much completed and that there has been almost no activity there for months.

Is there any possibility of that section being opened prior to the completion of the full project? Traffic through that section is very busy during the morning and afternoon commutes.

Second question: What is the current estimated completion time for the entire Highway 99 project?

-- Mark Gardner

A: Caltrans spokeswoman Tami Conrado fielded these:

These are considered two separate projects. The South Bakersfield Project, between the Wilson Road overcrossing and Highway 119, is anticipated to be complete by early to mid-May.

The remaining work involves completing the median barrier around the median drain inlets, which run the whole length of the project, including south of Panama Lane. Before any lanes are opened to traffic, the median barrier and drain inlet work will need to be completed, including the final striping.

The North Bakersfield Project, between Highway 204 and the Beardsley Canal undercrossing, is about 70 percent complete and is anticipated to be completed around this summer. Also part of this project is construction of an auxiliary lane in the northbound direction between 204 and the Olive Drive off-ramp. Traffic will be shifted to allow the construction of this auxiliary lane. The new lanes will be completely open to traffic when the auxiliary lane is completed.

Q: There is a home in our neighborhood that has trees and shrubbery growing over into the sidewalk and street. The sidewalk is impassable, so you have to walk out into the street to pass the area. The biggest problem is that the house is located on a corner, so when you walk out into the street to pass, you are at risk of not seeing or not being seen by cars coming around the corner.

Whom do we contact at the city to have this issue addressed?

-- Janet Bell

A: This is one for city code enforcement because the trees and shrubbery are from private property, officials said. The code enforcement complaint line is 326-3712.

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.