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Author Topic: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)  (Read 57744 times)

sparker

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Reconstruction of that mountain pass could also involve bringing it to interstate standards - 6 lane widening, full left and right shoulders, along with removal of any lingering at grade intersections. Arenít the grades steeper than what is traditional as well?

The prevailing EB grade through the steepest section between Woodford and the CA 202 junction west of Tehachapi is a little steeper than most freeway grades at about 6.5%; hence my suggestion that there would be the most appropriate location for a climbing lane.  BTW, Cuesta on US 101 is a bit steeper at just under 7% NB.  Although they never reach an elevation much over 7K even at the mountaintops, the Tehachapis are deceptively nasty -- just ask the SP surveyors who laid out the tracks back in 1876 -- and the RR tops out at 2.5% grade EB directly across the canyon from the steepest part of 58.  And to get up (and down) the hill the tracks are almost continuously on 10-degree curvature; between the start of the real climb in Caliente and the last mile into Tehachapi, there's hardly a straight stretch over 1000 yards -- as one who as a kid rode the late lamented San Joaquin Daylight at least once a year, I can certainly attest to the difficulty of the line; even downhill the train rarely topped 30 mph -- but once down the hill at Caliente, the engineers certainly hauled ass all the way into Bakersfield (which was the crew change point)!
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mgk920

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I'm just a bit mind-blown over the fact that a new-ROW urban freeway that involved the acquisition and clearing of an existing post-WWII neighborhood is under construction in *California*.

Let that thought sink in for a bit.

 :wow:

Mike
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kkt

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I'm still mind blown by Bakersfield's failure in the 1950s to reserve right of way for such an obvious need.
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TheStranger

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I'm still mind blown by Bakersfield's failure in the 1950s to reserve right of way for such an obvious need.


Not sure if it was as obvious of a need in the 1950s as it would be decades later:

1. no West Side Freeway I-5 alignment until 1958
1A. main priority at the time was the 99 bypass to the west of downtown Bakersfield

2. The through route east-west, 466, went up US 99 (204, 99) and then along today's Route 46 rather than directly west of Bakersfield itself.
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Chris Sampang

sparker

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I'm just a bit mind-blown over the fact that a new-ROW urban freeway that involved the acquisition and clearing of an existing post-WWII neighborhood is under construction in *California*.

Let that thought sink in for a bit.

 :wow:

Mike

The fact that the planning for the route was promulgated locally rather than by a DOH committee in Sacramento (even with the ensuing public review process, that was the way things were done before the 1973 amalgamation of Caltrans) likely means extensive public vetting -- and probably exceptionally generous payments for 60-to-70-year-old housing stock were part of the package.  It's also likely that there was no singular identifiable grouping, ethnic or otherwise, that dominated the particular neighborhood through which the corridor extended, so any grievances that cropped up during the ROW acquisition period could be dealt with on an individual or aggregate basis rather than having to contend with a vocal collective opposition.  And it's Bakersfield -- where property values, while increasing over the years along with the entire state, lagged behind not only the state's major metro areas but also those areas of the Valley more conducive to becoming commuter exurbs of said metro areas (e.g. the 99 corridor from Merced to Sacramento).  Given inducements such as the opportunity to relocate to a "better" area of town for little or no money out of pocket, it's likely a sizeable portion of the several hundred uprooted residents viewed the freeway process as, on balance, a benefit. 

That being said, it is California; I for one wouldn't be a bit surprised to see some sort of negative "post-mortem" regarding this particular process crop up in academic and/or activist circles at some point in the near future.   
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compdude787

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Reconstruction of that mountain pass could also involve bringing it to interstate standards - 6 lane widening, full left and right shoulders, along with removal of any lingering at grade intersections. Arenít the grades steeper than what is traditional as well?

AADT in the Tehachepi area is around 20,000 to 25,000.  I'm not sure that justifies 6 lanes.  Maybe a climbing lane if the grade is steep.

There are definitely sections that could use a climbing lane, especially when you get clustertrucks when one's passing the other on the grade up to CA 203.

I'm in full agreement that CA 58 absolutely needs to have a truck climbing lane eastbound over the Tehachapi Pass. It's one of those things that should have been done years ago!

I've only driven Tehachapi Pass once, last October, but when I did, there were tons of trucks going up it in the right lane, and of course, trucks using the left lane to pass slower trucks, causing a backup behind them.

I almost got hit by a truck at one point, too. The truck was in the right lane and I was about to pass him in the left lane when all of a sudden, he changed lanes and cut me off! I had to slam on the brakes, and frankly, I laid on the horn for several seconds. That incident really made me wish that CA 58 had a truck climbing lane.

sparker

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^^^^^^^^^^^^
While the composite CA 58 AADT might top out at around 25K, trucks make up a significant percentage of that total.  What the stats don't show is that if winter storms come early along the I-80 (or even I-70 east of Denver) corridor(s) -- as they did last year -- a sizeable amount of that traffic originating in the Bay Area or from Valley agriculture that would normally proceed east over Donner and through SLC shifts south to the latitudes of the I-40 corridor, and more often than not utilizes CA 58 as the initial leg to access eastward I-40.  So on occasion -- and with the climate situation being what it is today those occasions stand a good chance of becoming more frequent -- the truck volume, particularly EB, will spike.  Yeah, it's a good thing that 58 is now fully 4-laned east of Bakersfield, but rather than resting on its laurels Caltrans should recognize by now that the importance of this corridor is only going to increase with time, and that the issues,such as the truck climbing lanes that would be highly beneficial on the steepest gradients, would be best kept on or near the "front burner", along with safety measures such as addressing the CA 223/Caliente intersection zone.  And once any traffic from I-5 is added to the mix when the Westside connector is completed, some sort of critical mass might be reached!   D6 -- and D8 to a lesser extent -- better be prepared for all this!
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sprjus4

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While it can be argued merely a climbing lane would work, I could see merit in simply 6 laning that section entirely (for both downhill and uphill) to definitely future-proof it and eliminate those truck conflicts entirely (climbing lane ending going up a hill, etc.)
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skluth

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #258 on: June 05, 2021, 07:30:45 PM »

Now that travel is becoming easier, I thought it might be fun to start planning some trips this summer. I was curious about driving to SF. I prefer going through the desert over the standard CA/I-210 around LA Basin from Palm Springs. When I moved the routing through Landers, Google sent me through the west side of Bakersfield on the Westside Parkway via CA 99/ California Av/ Oak St/ Truxton Av. If I had any questions regarding future traffic E-W through Bakersfield to I-5 after the Westside Parkway is connected to CA 99, it was just answered. I don't know if the Westside Parkway has any truck restrictions right now, but it's going to be quickly torn up once it opens fully without any restrictions.
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sparker

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #259 on: June 07, 2021, 04:03:27 AM »

Now that travel is becoming easier, I thought it might be fun to start planning some trips this summer. I was curious about driving to SF. I prefer going through the desert over the standard CA/I-210 around LA Basin from Palm Springs. When I moved the routing through Landers, Google sent me through the west side of Bakersfield on the Westside Parkway via CA 99/ California Av/ Oak St/ Truxton Av. If I had any questions regarding future traffic E-W through Bakersfield to I-5 after the Westside Parkway is connected to CA 99, it was just answered. I don't know if the Westside Parkway has any truck restrictions right now, but it's going to be quickly torn up once it opens fully without any restrictions.

If Google, Sirius, and other in-car mapping services start routing CA 58 traffic via the Westside Parkway (whether fully opened or not), pavement wear will be only one of several local issues that will inevitably crop up.   IIRC a roundabout at Stockdale and CA 43 is planned; continuous truck traffic might just overwhelm that design.  Even if it's not currently a state or local STIP item, it's a good chance that local pressure (if not incident levels) will drive the push to complete the freeway all the way west to I-5; there's nothing like a string of publicized incidents to convert public sentiment to actual development.   
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Occidental Tourist

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #260 on: June 07, 2021, 10:25:37 PM »

The roundabout has been there for awhile.  I took it last December on the way back from a business meeting.
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sparker

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #261 on: June 08, 2021, 12:37:59 AM »

The roundabout has been there for awhile.  I took it last December on the way back from a business meeting.

D6 sure likes placing roundabouts on CA 43; if my count is correct, that one makes three -- Stockdale, Corcoran, and northeast of Hanford (any info about additional circles is welcome!).  Nevertheless, IMO in rural areas the concept is a solution in search of a problem (unless an underlying goal is to simply slow down traffic in an aggregate sense, which seems a bit gratuitous). 
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Occidental Tourist

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #262 on: June 08, 2021, 10:39:53 PM »

Yep. It seemed completely unnecessary at that intersection.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #263 on: June 08, 2021, 11:06:57 PM »

The roundabout has been there for awhile.  I took it last December on the way back from a business meeting.

D6 sure likes placing roundabouts on CA 43; if my count is correct, that one makes three -- Stockdale, Corcoran, and northeast of Hanford (any info about additional circles is welcome!).  Nevertheless, IMO in rural areas the concept is a solution in search of a problem (unless an underlying goal is to simply slow down traffic in an aggregate sense, which seems a bit gratuitous).

The one in Hanford at Lacey at the very least was an improvement over the signalized intersection.   
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cahwyguy

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #264 on: June 08, 2021, 11:13:58 PM »

D6 sure likes placing roundabouts on CA 43; if my count is correct, that one makes three -- Stockdale, Corcoran, and northeast of Hanford (any info about additional circles is welcome!).  Nevertheless, IMO in rural areas the concept is a solution in search of a problem (unless an underlying goal is to simply slow down traffic in an aggregate sense, which seems a bit gratuitous). 

Roundabouts are something I catch for my pages, so any would be included on that route's pages. The ostensible reason for the roundabouts is not slowing traffic, but eliminating collisions (roundabouts typically have slow-speed collisions; intersections get serious T-boning).
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sparker

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Re: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)
« Reply #265 on: June 09, 2021, 05:19:27 AM »

D6 sure likes placing roundabouts on CA 43; if my count is correct, that one makes three -- Stockdale, Corcoran, and northeast of Hanford (any info about additional circles is welcome!).  Nevertheless, IMO in rural areas the concept is a solution in search of a problem (unless an underlying goal is to simply slow down traffic in an aggregate sense, which seems a bit gratuitous). 

Roundabouts are something I catch for my pages, so any would be included on that route's pages. The ostensible reason for the roundabouts is not slowing traffic, but eliminating collisions (roundabouts typically have slow-speed collisions; intersections get serious T-boning).


I do understand the safety aspect of a roundabout vis-a-vis a standard 4-way intersection (and even some isolated signalized ones) -- but placing one along a rural highway with a high level of truck traffic, particularly if that same traffic doesn't have any other obstacles, such as populated areas with lower speed limits, to effect a general slowdown that in essence readies the traffic for the lower speeds required to negotiate a roundabout might be a questionable concept.  Now two of the three along CA 43, Corcoran and Lacey Blvd./Hanford, are in relatively populated areas or, in the case of the latter, close to the signalized CA 198 interchange, so slowing to roundabout-appropriate speeds is likely occurring in any case.  I haven't been on CA 43 south of present CA 58 for a long time (since the late '80's), so I haven't traversed the area of the Stockdale circle and am therefore unfamiliar with its present environment.  Nevertheless, while there's probably quite a bit of agricultural traffic using that stretch of highway, 43 isn't serving as a major interregional commercial connector that far south, so a sizeable amount of truck traffic accustomed to rolling along at 55+ probably doesn't constitute a major issue.  But when it comes to rural roundabouts I'm always coming back to the CA 12/113 junction west of Rio Vista as an example of a misplaced roundabout, a point driven home by the fatal incident shortly after that facility opened to traffic.  Maybe the design of these isn't specifically meant to slow down traffic in general, but that design does intrinsically require considerably slower speeds, something that can be problematic when placed along an interregional connector (like CA 12 in that area) where overall traffic speeds exceed the 55mph mark on a regular basis, including that of large trucks.  I'm just not a fan of counterintuitive design! 

I'll probably make it a point to head north on CA 43 through all of the roundabouts on the return leg of my next trip south just to get an idea of what is actually happening in the field; but I doubt it'll hold any major surprises. 
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