The 24th Street widening project has caused significant amounts of construction downtown, and subsequently, numerous streets have been temporarily or permanently blocked off. One street that hasn’t been allowed the luxury of a protective brick wall is the north side of Beech Street. Traffic on Beech has grown increasingly worse lately due to the countless streets that are now cul-de-sacs. Day and night, cars race dangerously down this street as if it’s a racetrack. These reckless drivers have no respect for residents in their yards, children playing in their driveways or dogs going for walks.
My grandparents live on Beech Street and are subjected daily to cars whizzing by far beyond the speed limit. The traffic is so severe that it’s no longer safe for my grandpa to rake the leaves in front of his house for fear of being plowed down by a zooming car. Nothing seems to slow these daredevil speeders down and it’s only a matter of time before innocent pedestrians or animals end up getting hit. People avoid crossing Beech for the same reason that people don’t cross freeways — you will be killed.
With no crosswalk and rarely any police patrol, Beech Street has become a location where speeders feel they can go as fast as they desire. Perhaps stop signs at Beech and Aspen streets and Beech and Lawn streets would help solve the problem. The Bakersfield Police Department needs to take action and catch these law breakers before it’s too late and lives are needlessly cut short.
Baylie Jett Mills, Bakersfield