I Remember Those Wide Streets


I haven’t talked about my mom lately. Not since her 99th birthday in April. There will be more forthcoming. I talk to her almost every day. But yesterday she mentioned something that is directly tied to recent national news about Bakersfield.

Mom told me she had a visitor from out of town asking about me. The lady said she didn’t know where Bakersfield was located in California. Mom said she knew it was north of Los Angeles but the main thing she remembered was Buck Owens and those wide streets everywhere in town.

Yeah, Buck was still kicking and he gave my mom a big hug and he and the Buckaroos sang a Happy 90th Birthday to her (9 years ago.)

But the wide streets are a phenomenon to most visitors. Not just the main arteries, but most neighborhood streets. I believe that is one of the main reasons Bakersfield made a Top Ten List recently.

When Bakersfield makes a list it’s usually about the bad stuff…and there’s plenty of that. I’m tired of talking about those things. But this Top Ten list is a good one.

A website called “Nerdwallet” (go figure) listed the Top Ten Cities in the USA to Drive (like, your car)
Traffic Jam
I don’t know where the population cut-off was—I’m guessing about 300,000 population and over.

The criteria were rather strange. The ‘list-makers’ used insurance and gas costs, safety, commute time and traffic delays. I don’t understand how any of those have anything to do with each other. Each city is chosen based on total points scored in the combined categories.

So, Bakersfield was named the 7th best “driving” city in America…one ahead of our dreaded rival to the north (Fresno).

But when one looks into the individual scores, Bakersfield in the NUMBER ONE major city with the least traffic delays in America.  Mom was right….wide streets. Fresno was number two in delays and it, too, has huge streets throughout the city. Traffic can move.

Every time I return to my birth city in Indiana, a small place of less than 70,000, I have to check my road rage.
Angry Driver

I can get from east to west or north to south in Bakersfield in less than 25 minutes. It takes at least that long in my Indiana town that is 5x smaller.

Bless those Wide Streets.

The Top Ten list: Albuquerque – Tucson – El Paso – Phoenix – Colorado Springs – Wichita – Bakersfield – Fresno – San Antonio – Oklahoma City.

The difference in the annual delay times of driving is the main thing I’m interested in. Here are the differences from #1 to #10

#1 Bakersfield has 12 hours of driving delays annually

#10 San Antonio has 38 hours of delays annually

LOVE THOSE WIDE STREETS!

About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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