Bakersfield’s newest freeway could soon be named after one of the city’s most enduring political figures.
State assemblymen Vince Fong and Rudy Salas have coauthored a resolution that would name the portion of the Westside Parkway between Coffee Road and Allen Road as the Harvey L. Hall Memorial Highway.
The designation would be one of the first public recognitions of Bakersfield’s longest serving mayor, who was first elected in 2001 before stepping down in 2017. Founder of Hall Ambulance, Hall died at 77 in 2018, leaving behind many who admired his civic pride and love for the city.
His frequent motto was “unity in the community.”
“Mayor Hall’s heart for service was evident through his leadership,” Assemblyman Fong said in a statement. “From City Hall to the back of the ambulance, Harvey Hall dedicated his life to bettering Bakersfield and the entire Kern County community. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hall Ambulance Service, the Harvey L. Hall Memorial Highway honors his legacy of compassion, mentorship, innovation, generosity, and service above self.”
Salas said in a statement he was honored to be a part of the effort to dedicate the highway.
“Serving alongside Mr. Hall on the Bakersfield City Council was a privilege that I will always cherish,” he continued. “I am glad that we are able to enshrine his legacy with this highway renaming so that his memory and legacy never fades away.”
Hall Ambulance now serves 88 percent of Kern County, according to a news release from Fong’s office. As mayor, Hall participated in 91 groundbreakings, performed 958 ribbon cuttings and issued 10,750 certificates of appreciation, the news release stated.
The resolution will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee in a few weeks.