Approximately 65,000 vehicles and 660 students per day (even in darkness and dense fog), along with 5,700 red-light runners ticketed per year at Stockdale Highway and Coffee Road. What can possibly go wrong here?
This is the situation at Stockdale Highway and Coffee Road where two five-story dormitories are proposed to be built at what is referred to as the busiest intersection in Bakersfield.
A Monterey developer, who did little to no due diligence in the first place, would have you believe supposed outside "National Traffic Standards" rather than your own local common sense. Where are the actual "on-site" studies from the busiest intersection in Bakersfield?
Unlike the developer or the engineering firm, I have resided at the intersection for 38 years and have watched the snarling and congestion grow into a gigantic daily mess, which I guess has also been based on previous "National Traffic Standards" studies?
How many innocent of the 660 students commuting multiple times per day to and from classes or activities will shed blood, or worse, be killed by this zoning change at this intersection over the next 50 or more years, as a result of either being innocently just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or being distracted or just bush-tired and inattentive, possibly dodging in and out of traffic to get to class on time? How much carnage is acceptable to the Board of Zoning Adjustment to pass this zoning change? Each time a student decides to go to a class or an activity, he or she will then have to cross upwards of 17 or 18 lanes of traffic. That's 34 or 36 lanes for each roundtrip. Is that an accident waiting to happen or what?
If this zoning change is passed, I suggest that those who are asking and approving the change also agree to form a committee and be required to be a lifetime serving member of a military style Chaplin's Visitation Detail to be able to personally visit all of the victims' families and look them in the eye and inform them of the tragic loss of their loved one as a result of approving of this zoning change. A call, too, should also be made to the families of those that are injured at this intersection. Let's face the facts, with 67,000 vehicles using this intersection per day and 660 students constantly present over the next 50-plus years, tragedy is constantly looming and is just a moment away at this intersection.
This is a great example of votes and decisions that have consequences far beyond the present.
Joseph R. Kandle is a consulting petroleum engineer and 38-year resident of Stockdale Estates. He can be reached at email@example.com.