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Wheeler Springs
Town of Wheeler Springs
Downtown Wheeler Springs
Downtown Wheeler Springs
Motto(s): Southern California's Friendliest Town
Wheeler Springs is located in the US
Wheeler Springs
Wheeler Springs
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 35°22′24″N 119°01′07″W / 35.37333°N 119.01861°W / 35.37333; -119.01861Coordinates: 35°22′24″N 119°01′07″W / 35.37333°N 119.01861°W / 35.37333; -119.01861
Country United States
State California
County Kern
Founded 1869
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor Penny Davney
 • City Manager James Sheppard
 • Finance Director Shaun Smith
 • City Clerk Pamela B. McCarthy
 • Total 97.609 sq mi (252.81 km2)
 • Land 96.164 sq mi (249.06 km2)
 • Water 1.555 sq mi (4.03 km2)
Elevation[2] 408 ft (123 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,817
 • Rank 8th in Kern County
119th in California
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 93220
Area code(s) Area code 661
FIPS code 06-03526
GNIS feature ID 1652668

Wheeler Springs is a city near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley in Kern County, California. It is roughly equidistant between Fresno and Los Angeles, within 40 minutes of Bakersfield.

The city's population was 2,718 at the 2010 census. The city's economy relies on agriculture, petroleum extraction and refining, tourism, and manufacturing.


Wheeler Springs has been briefly known as Wheeler's Springs, Kern Springs ,[2] and Alkalai City.[3]

Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating thousand of years.[4] The Yokuts lived in lodges[5] along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, the Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts were spared intensive contact until the 1820s when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley.[6] The springs above the town were claimed by "Doctor" Adam Wheeler, an unlicensed physician who spread word of their "healing properties" to nearby towns and cities that sprang up, especially Bakersfield. The Springs were high enough in the mountains that they avoided the flooding that plagued the Kern Valley, but this also prevented development of the resources of the area.


At its founding ceremony in 1869, the town was named Wheeler Springs. Although Wheeler himself had fled the country to Mexico, town fathers believed that the Wheeler area would become a vacation spot and resort for the newly wealthy in California. However, because of its isolation, it was slow to grow. In 1880 it only had a population of 500, being far surpassed by Bakersfield.

Migration from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Southern California brought new residents throughout the end of the 19th century, who were mostly employed by the oil and natural gas industries. Pipeline was laid throughout the rocky mountains of the area at great expense. By 1980, Bakersfield's population had reached its height, at 4,003. As small towns entered a steep decline after this period, the population fell until the declaration of Wheeler Springs as a Friendly Town in 2006. Since that time the population has stabilized and begun climbing again, as political organizations have supported the growth of business there.


Wheeler Springs lies near the Bear Valley mountains at the the southern "horseshoe" end of the San Joaquin Valley, with the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada just to the east. To the south, the Tehachapi Mountains feature the historic Tejon Ranch. To the west is the Temblor Range, behind which is the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the San Andreas Fault. The Temblor Range is approximately 35 miles (56 km) from Bakersfield across the valley floor.[7]


Wheeler Springs has a High desert climate (Koppen BWh),[8] with long, hot, dry summers, and brief, cool, wet winters.

Wheeler Springs enjoys long-lasting, mild autumns and early springs, giving the region a unique climate suitable for growing a wide variety of crops (ranging from citrus to carrots to almonds and pistachios). Rainfall averages only 6.5 inches (165 mm) annually, mostly falling during winter and spring. Typically, no rain falls from May through September.

Summers see extended stretches of hot weather, with 108 days per year above 90 °F (32 °C);[9] in addition, there are 36 days above 100 °F (38 °C) from late May to mid-September,[9] and a 110 °F (43 °C) day can be seen every few years. Winters feature mild daytime temperatures, but frost can be occasionally seen, often coming with dense Tule fog and low visibility, causing many schools to have fog delays as long as three hours. The official time frame for Tule fog to form is from November 1 to March 31.[10]

Snow is rare on the valley floor; however, it does snow in Wheeler Springs about once every 10 years.[11] The record maximum temperature was 118 °F (48 °C) on July 28, 1908, and the record minimum temperature was 11 °F (−12 °C) on January 3, 1908.[12]


Bakersfield’s historic and primary industries have related to Kern County’s two main industries, oil and agriculture. Kern County is the most oil productive county in America, with approximately 10% of the nation’s domestic production.[13] Kern County is a part of the highly productive San Joaquin Valley, and ranks in the top five most productive agricultural counties in the nation.[13] Major crops for Kern County include: grapes, citrus, almonds, carrots, alfalfa, cotton, and roses.[14] The city serves as the home for both corporate and regional headquarters of companies engaged in these industries.

Bakersfield also has a growing manufacturing and distribution sector. Several companies have moved to Bakersfield because of its inexpensive land and access to the rest of America, as well as international ports in both Los Angeles and Oakland.[15] Other companies have opened regional offices and non-oil/agricultural businesses because of Bakersfield’s and Kern County’s business friendly policies, such as having no local utility or inventory taxes.[13] Products manufactured in the city include: ice cream (world’s largest ice cream plant), central vacuums, highway paint, and stock racing cars.[16]

Bakersfield is the largest city with the lowest sales tax in California at the state minimum of 7.25%.

Top employers[edit]

According to the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce,[17] the top employers in the county based in Bakersfield are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 County of Kern 11,500
2 The Giumarra Companies 4,200
3 Grimmway Farms 3,500
4 Bolthouse Farms 2,000
5 Bakersfield Memorial Hospital 1,400
6 City of Bakersfield 1,300
7 Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield 1,200
7 ARB 1,200
9 Kern Medical Center 1,304
10 State Farm Insurance 1,045
11 Sun World 1,025
12 Chevron 1,000
13 San Joaquin Community Hospital 880
14 AndrewsAg 800
15 Sun Pacific 800
16 Paramount Farms 800
17 California State University, Bakersfield 600
18 Clinica Sierra Vista 600
19 Frito-Lay 520
20 Kaiser Permanente 500

Public safety[edit]

Law enforcement is provided by the Bakersfield Police Department. Fire protection is provided by the Bakersfield Fire Department.

Bakersfield Police Department[edit]

The Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) is the agency responsible for law enforcement within the City of Bakersfield, California in the United States. It has over 400 officers and staff, covering an area of 131 square miles (340 km2) serving an urban population of more than 800,000. The current chief of the department (as of 2010) is Greg Williamson. The department protects the city, split between two areas: West area and East area, with stations in each area aside from the main department headquarters. The department administration is made up of the chief of department, two assistant chiefs, four captains and eleven lieutenants.[18]

The department headquarters are located at 1601 Truxtun Avenue. The West area station is located at 1301 Buena Vista Road. The department shooting range is located on Truxtun Avenue, with the K-9 training school next door to the range. The department training academy is located on Norris Road in conjunction with the Kern County Sheriff's Department.

Bakersfield Fire Department[edit]

The Bakersfield Fire Department's communications division, known as ECC (Emergency Communications Center), is located in the Whiting Communications Center in Northeast Bakersfield. ECC is a joint dispatch center for the Kern County, Bakersfield City and California City Fire Departments. Built in 1988, ECC is responsible for dispatching resources over an area of approximately 8,100 square miles (21,000 km2) that includes 65 fire stations. ECC's approximate call volume is 82,000 calls a year and processes Emergency and Non-Emergency Fire and Medical 911 calls for the entire County of Kern.[19]


The number of violent crimes recorded by the Bakersfield Police Department in its 2008 Crime Reports was 5,961.[20] 27 of those were murders and homicides.[21] Data collected by Bakersfield Police Department, an anti-gang program under the City of Bakersfield, shows that the city of Bakersfield has experienced an increase in gang membership and gang activity since the early 2000s.


The Bakersfield Police Department has a holding area, but In-Custody (Inmates) are transported to the Kern County Central Receiving Facility in Bakersfield. Sentenced criminals are held at the Lerdo Detention Facility, just outside the City's limits.[22] The Kern County Sheriff's Office, Detentions Bureau has an average daily inmate population of approximately 2,500 inmates.[23]

Central Receiving Facility: The primary facility for receiving inmates arrested in the Bakersfield area.[24]

Lerdo Minimum Security Facility: Part of the Lerdo Complex, this facility holds inmates of lower security levels.[25]

Lerdo Pre-Trial Facility: Part of the Lerdo Complex, this facility holds inmates of higher security levels.[26]

Lerdo Max/Med Security Facility: Part of the Lerdo Complex, this facility holds overflow inmates from the Pre-Trial Facility. [27]

Government and politics[edit]

City Hall is the seat of government for the city. Both the mayor's office and city council chambers are located inside.

The government of Bakersfield consists of a mayor, council, and city manager. The city council consists of seven members each of whom are elected from individual wards. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The city manager is chosen by the city council. Bakersfield uses the Council–Manager form of government.

Bakersfield differs from many California cities in that it is overwhelmingly conservative. In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, John McCain received 55.6% of the city's votes to Barack Obama's 42.9%.[28] The same year, Bakersfield cast 75.2% of its votes in favor of Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.[29] The city owes its socially conservative atmosphere in large part to a historically high number of migrants from Oklahoma and neighboring states during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Bakersfield is represented in the California State Senate by Dean Florez (D)and Roy Ashburn (R) and in the California State Assembly by Danny Gilmore (R) and Jean Fuller (R). The citizens of Bakersfield are represented in the U. S. Congress by Jim Costa (D) (CA-20) and Kevin McCarthy (R) (CA-22).

An August 2005 article by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer listed Bakersfield as the 8th-most conservative city in the US out of the 237 ranked cities, listing it as the most conservative city in California.[30]


CSUB's Walter Stiern Library

Two of the earliest schools founded in Kern County were Mrs. Thomas Baker's school, opened in 1863 at the Baker home (near present-day 19th and N Streets); and a Catholic parochial school opened by Reverend Father Daniel Dade in 1865 in Havilah (then the county seat). In 1880, Norris School was established. The land for this school was donated by William Norris, a local farmer. Thirteen to twenty students were taught in its one classroom during the 1880s. Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) is the state's largest elementary school district. The first high school in Bakersfield, Kern County Union High School, opened in 1893. It was renamed Bakersfield High School after World War II.

Bakersfield College

The site at California Avenue and F Street is the location of the first campus of Bakersfield College, which was established in 1913 and relocated in 1956 to its current location overlooking the Panorama Bluffs in northeast Bakersfield. Bakersfield College has an enrollment of 16,000 students. To serve a growing baby-boomer population after World War II, the Kern High School District has steadily expanded to nineteen campuses and more than 35,000 students, making it the largest high school district in the state. In 1965, a university in the California State University system was founded in Bakersfield. California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) has approximately 7,800 students. It was an NCAA Division II sports powerhouse in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) with some sports, including wrestling (PAC-10), competing in Division I. CSUB has become a Division I athletic school and is trying to begin the process of joining the Big West Conference. In 1982, Santa Barbara Business College was founded.

High schools[edit]

The Baker Street Branch Library, part of the Kern County Library system, is among the Bakersfield structures listed on the NRHP.

Bakersfield is part of the Kern High School District (KHSD), California's largest high school district,[31] comprising 28 schools and educating about 35,000 students. There are 15 high schools within the KHSD in Bakersfield:

Private high schools include Garces Memorial High School, Bakersfield Christian High School, and Bakersfield Adventist Academy.

Accredited colleges and universities[edit]

California State University, Bakersfield[edit]

California State University, Bakersfield (often abbreviated CSUB or shortened to CSU Bakersfield or Cal State Bakersfield) is a public university located in Bakersfield, California and was founded in 1965. CSUB opened in 1970 on a 375 acres (1.52 km2) campus, becoming the 19th school in the California State University system. The university offers 31 bachelor's, 22 master's degree programs, and one doctoral program, the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). As of Fall 2002, some 7,700 undergraduate and graduate students attended CSUB, at either the main campus in Bakersfield or the satellite campus, Antelope Valley Center in Lancaster, California.

Bakersfield College[edit]

Bakersfield College (BC) is a public community college located in Bakersfield, California. Its main campus is located on a 153-acre (0.62 km2) plot in northeast Bakersfield, and it also operates two satellite campuses: the Weill Institute in downtown Bakersfield, and at the Delano Center in Delano, California, approximately 35 miles (56 km) north of Bakersfield. BC serves more than 18,000 students each semester and is part of the Kern Community College District (KCCD). Currently there are a total of 184 Associate's degree and certificate programs for students to choose from. BC is a part of the California Community Colleges system.

Other accredited colleges and universities[edit]

National University maintains a campus in Bakersfield, while the University of LaVerne, Fresno Pacific University, and Point Loma Nazarene University all have branch campuses located in Bakersfield. Santa Barbara Business College also has a campus in Bakersfield.

Arts and culture[edit]

Many of Bakersfield's oldest and most historic restaurants are Basque,[32] including Woolgrowers, Noriega's, Pyrenees, Benji's, and Narducci's.

The Kern County Museum, located on Chester Avenue just north of downtown Bakersfield holds a collection of regional artifacts. Permanent exhibits include: "Black Gold: The Oil Experience", a hands-on modern approach at showing how oil is extracted; and "The Lori Brock Children's Discovery Museum", a hands-on children's museum and a display on the influential "Bakersfield Sound" style of country music. Bakersfield is also home to the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, which has a collection of Miocene era marine fossils collected from the region as well as other displays.


Bakersfield hosts horse shows all year round, including local, 4H, and breed shows.

Every spring, Bakersfield hosts one of California's Scottish Games and Clan Gatherings.[33] In the late summer, the local St. George's Greek Orthodox Church hosts an annual Greek Festival.

Every year during the summer, Bakersfield hosts the Lowrider National in the Kern County Fairgrounds.

Memorial Day weekend features the Kern County Basque Festival, sponsored by the Kern County Basque Club.[34] This three-day festival features food, music, dance, and handball games.

In March, Auto Club Famoso Raceway holds the annual March Meet nostalgia drag racing event. The event dates back to the U.S. Fuel and Gas Finals held in March 1959.

Twice a year, the CSUB Indigenous Native American Club hosts a Native Gathering on the California State University Bakersfield campus at Runner Park.[35]

Native American Preservation Council of Kern County hosts an annual inter-tribal Pow Wow every June (past 15 years). It's location moved from Bakersfield College to Kern County Fairgrounds for the upcoming, 2012, Pow Wow.

In mid to late September, Bakersfield holds the annual Kern County Fair, which showcases the area's agricultural produce and animal husbandry, along with a rodeo, concerts, and a traditional carnival.

Previously every year and now every five years,[36] Bakersfield hosts a political conference known as the Bakersfield Business Conference. Since 1985, this conference has grown in attendance and as of 2007 the attendance numbered over 9,000. The Conference has had several notable political speakers to include Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Neil Armstrong, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Paul Harvey.[37]

In mid October, Bakersfield LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Question) holds its an annual Bakersfield Pride. It is a family welcoming event every year. Starting in 2004, it has grown from being located at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, to now being held at Stramler Park.


Bakersfield has five movie multi-screen theaters: Edwards Bakersfield Stadium 14, Reading Cinemas Valley Plaza 16, Maya Cinemas Bakersfield 16, as well as two second-run theaters: Starplex Cinemas Movies 6 and Regency Theatres East Hills 10. The historic downtown Fox Theater (Bakersfield, California) has been renovated, and is now a venue for concerts, musicians, comedians, and movie showings.


Although Bakersfield is known mostly for its country music roots, other styles of music are also quite prevalent in the area's nightlife. Bakersfield has its share of notable "native-born" musicians (country or not), including Country Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard, renowned jazz pianist David Benoit, Cory Hohlbauch of the Northern California born hardcore band RISE!, Hall of Fame Guitarist Bill Aken (One of the first members of 'The Wrecking Crew'), country music artist Buck Owens, nu metal band Korn, rock band Adema, deathrock band Burning Image and American Latin jazz musician Louie Cruz Beltran, among others.


In the 1950s and 1960s, local musicians such as Bill Woods, Tommy Collins, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Wynn Stewart developed a streamlined country music style called the Bakersfield sound, which emphasized pedal steel guitar, the Fender Telecaster electric guitar and intense vocals. Bakersfield country was considered a spinoff of the honky-tonk style of country music that emerged from Texas, appropriate since many musicians there hailed from either Texas or surrounding states. Today, Bakersfield is third only to Nashville, Tennessee and Texas in country music fame, and Bakersfield continues to produce famous country music artists.[citation needed] The late Buck Owens' Crystal Palace is a respected concert venue, regularly featuring new recording artists as well as established country music stars. Buddy Alan (Buck's eldest son) performs with The Buckaroos (Doyle Curtsinger, Jim Shaw, Terry Christoffersen and David Wulfekuehler) regularly. Country music artist Gary Allan bases his music on the Bakersfield sound.


In 1972, Bob Weir released the song "Mexicali Blues" on his first solo album, Ace. However, the album is basically a de facto Grateful Dead album. Not only does the sound of the song pay tribute to the Bakersfield sound, the name of the city is referenced in the lyics.

In 1978, The Rolling Stones released the song "Far Away Eyes" on the album Some Girls. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards collaborated extensively on writing the song and it was recorded in late 1977. The Rolling Stones, longtime country music fans, incorporated many aspects of "Bakersfield sound" country music into this song. Bakersfield is mentioned in the first line of the song.

In the early 1990s, a group of friends from the lower and middle-class parts of Northeast and East Bakersfield formed the band KoRn. The members of the band attended Highland High School (Jonathan Davis and Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu ), East High School (James "Munky" Shaffer and former lead guitarist Brian "Head" Welch) and South High School (David Silveria).

Orange County punk band Social Distortion have a song on their 2011 album Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes entitled "Bakersfield."

San Jose, California pop punk band Four O'clock Heroes have a song on their 2012 album "Take Control" named "Bakersfield."


In 1974, Southern Gospel artist The Lighthouse Boys was formed.

Pete Prevost joined Sparrow Records rock band Sanctus Real in 2006.


Rabobank Arena

Bakersfield is currently home to three minor league teams. They are: Blaze (Baseball, CL), Condors (Hockey, ECHL), and Jam (Basketball, D-League). In addition, Bakersfield has two colleges with strong athletics programs. Bakersfield College Renegades is a community college with 19 varsity sports, the most notable being football.[38] It competes in the Western State Conference, which is a part of the California Community College Athletic Association. California State University, Bakersfield Roadrunners is a university with 15 varsity sports, the most notable being basketball.[39] It is a part of NCAA division I and is currently attempting to join the Big West Conference.

Bakersfield is also located near a variety of racing sports. Current racing sports include: drag strip (at Famoso Raceway), dirt (at Bakersfield Speedway), and paved (at Buttonwillow Raceway). The national jet boat association holds drag boat races at Lake Ming. Bakersfield was also home to Mesa Marin Raceway, a NASCAR associated oval track, but was demolished in 2004. A replacement, the Kern River Speedway, was under construction and was expected to open by 2008, but has been delayed because of a lack of funding.[40]

Bakersfield has many venues for a variety of different sports. One of the most notable and versatile is the Rabobank Arena (formerly the Centennial Garden) which hosts concerts, shows, and sporting events. In addition, Bakersfield has facilities that can host tournament games. The Kern County Soccer Field has 24 full-size light soccer fields.[41] Also, currently under construction is the Bakersfield Sports Village. When completed, it will have 16 baseball fields, 6 football fields, and 16 soccer fields.[42]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Bakersfield also hosts various amateur sporting events, including shooting, cycling, boat drag, rugby, water skiing, soccer, youth baseball, tennis, horseshoes, and volleyball competitions. Other recreational opportunities include whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, fossil collecting and skiing in the southern Sierras.

Bakersfield is also home to a large population of off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts. As of May 2001, over 18,000 OHVs were registered in Kern County.[43] On May 26, 2005, the City of Bakersfield and the State of California Parks department obtained an assignable option, using a grant from the OHV Trust funds, to purchase a prospective 11,000 acres (45 km2) site for an OHV park.[44] Ruth Coleman, Director of California State Parks, remarked, "This project responds to the needs of the Bakersfield community for increased recreation opportunities and will provide a cornerstone for the Central Valley Strategy." Several programs, including National 4-H and California Off-Road PALS, exist to train youth in proper OHV recreation.[45]


The Bakersfield Californian Building is also listed on the NRHP.

Due to its key position in the southern San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield is served by several media outlets. The primary newspaper is The Bakersfield Californian, which is a direct descendant of the first paper published in the region, The Daily Courier in 1866.

The city has a number of television stations and network affiliates, including KERO-TV (ABC), KBAK-TV (CBS), KGET-TV (NBC), KBFX-CA (Fox), KABE-LP (Univision), KKEY-LP (Telemundo, KGET-DT2 (The CW) and is served by Fresno's PBS affiliate, KVPT. Bakersfield is also home to Spanish-language broadcaster Univision's only English-language station, KUVI-DT. The city also has a News Site Bakersfield News



California State Route 178 at M Street in Downtown Bakersfield.
Garces Circle

Bakersfield is currently serviced by three freeways. State Route 99 bisects Bakersfield from north to south, while State Route 58 exists as a freeway east of SR 99, servicing the southeast part of the city and extending over the Tehachapi mountains to Tehachapi, Mojave, and Barstow. State Route 178 consists of a short segment of freeway that runs from a point near downtown to the northeastern part of the city, although there is currently no direct freeway connection between SR 99 and SR 178. Interstate 5, the fast north-south superhighway, bypasses the city several miles to the west.

Bakersfield is also served by a short, unsigned, four-lane freeway called Alfred Harrell Highway. It was constructed between 1956 and 1958 and extends from China Grade Loop to Hart Park (a large recreation park in northeast Bakersfield). Unlike most freeways, Alfred Harrell Highway lacks the traditional signage used on divided freeways. There is also a 2-lane expressway to the east of the park. This section was originally reserved to be converted to a four-lane freeway similar to the constructed western portion.[46] If it were ever constructed, it would have two interchanges at Morning Drive and Lake Ming Road and would terminate at the SR 178 adopted alignment (not constructed).

Both SR 58 and SR 178 have planned future extensions. SR 58 western extension is known as the Centennial Corridor, and will extend the freeway west to I-5.[47] Included in the Centennial Corridor is the Westside Parkway (sometime referred to by its formal name Kern River Freeway).[48] This is a new freeway which will run through western Bakersfield, on a route parallel to the Kern River and Stockdale Highway. SR 178 western extension is known as the Crosstown Freeway/SR 178 Connection, although it was formally known as the Centennial Corridor before that name was moved to SR 58. It will connect SR 178 to the Westside Parkway.[49]

In addition to these freeway extensions, there is also a proposed network of beltways. Currently there are two beltways being considered in Bakersfield. The West Beltway would run north-south from Seventh Standard Rd. to Taft Highway. It will run parallel to Heath Road to the north and parallel to South Allen Road to the south.[50] A future extension would connect the West Beltway to SR 99 and I-5, providing a bypass to Bakersfield. The South Beltway would run east-west from SR 58 to I-5. From SR 58, it would run south, parallel to Comanche Drive until Taft Highway. From there, the freeway would turn west, and run parallel to Taft Hwy. until terminating at I-5. A future extension would extend the freeway north to SR 178 and terminate at Alfred Harrell Highway. Bakersfield also envisioned CalTrans building a North Beltway as the western extension of SR 58, but has been withdrawn in favor of the Centennial Corridor.

Bakersfield is one of the largest cities in the U.S. that is not directly linked to an Interstate highway.[51] SR 99 and SR 58 have been considered for conversion to interstates. SR 99 would be a new interstate signed either as Interstate 7 or Interstate 9, while SR 58 would be an extension of I-40 which currently terminates in Barstow. In 2005 SR 99 was added to the FHWA list of high priority corridors as “California farm to market route” and designated a NHS Future Interstate.[52][53]

Garces Memorial Circle[edit]

Garces Memorial Traffic Circle, informally known as Garces Circle or just The Circle, is the only traffic circle in Bakersfield, California. The traffic circle is located at the intersection of Chester Avenue, Golden State Avenue (State Route 204) and 30th St in Bakersfield. The Circle was originally built as a part US 99 in approximately 1932. A large 1939 sculpture of Father Francisco Garces by John Palo-Kangas rests inside the circle.


  • Bakersfield is served by the Golden Empire transit District.[54]
  • A total of 18 routes are operated, the majority of which serve the urbanized portion of the county which includes the city of Bakersfield.


Amtrak Station

The Bakersfield Station, opened in 2000, provides Amtrak California passenger service to the city. Previously, Bakersfield had been served by two depots; the first was located in Old Town Kern and the second was built in downtown. Bakersfield is a planned station for the proposed California High Speed Rail system.[55]

Meadows Field


Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield was recently rebuilt and dedicated as the William M. Thomas Terminal.[citation needed] In 2009, a grant was awarded to the Airport to fix Taxiway Alpha which is to be completed by a local company around the end of October 2009.[citation needed]

Also located at the Airport: Hall Medivac Helicopter, International Flight Training Academy (a subsidiary of Japan's ANA Airlines), SRT Helicopter Flight School, and numerous other aviation mechanics and technicians.


Bakersfield has approximately 88 taxicabs licensed by the City, half of which appear to be independent owner operators that can be hailed or flagged on the street. Independent owner operators and taxicabs from multiple companies can also be requested by calling 661-374-2227 (661-374-CABS). As of 2011 the rate for taxicab service in Bakersfield is $3.00 + $2.75 per mile.

Sister cities[edit]

Bakersfield has six sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: JDCorley/sandbox
  3. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 997. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  4. ^ Yokuts History and Cultural Relations
  5. ^ Yokuts Dwellings
  6. ^ "History on gold & oil". sources. Retrieved 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ "The San Andreas Fault". USGS General Interest Publications. Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ Peel, M. C., Finlayson, B. L., and McMahon, T. A.: Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1633-1644, 200 7.
  9. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference NCDC was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ "About tule fog". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  11. ^ "Bakersfield Climate". San Joaquin Geological Society. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  12. ^ Chris Stachelski (2008). "The Climate of Bakersfield, California" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2010-02-08.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  13. ^ a b c About Bakersfield. City of Bakersfield Economic & Community Development. Accessed: 05-26-2010.
  14. ^ 2008 Kern County Agricultural Crop Report. County of Kern: Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards. 2008. Page 1.
  15. ^ Building the economy: Kern works to attract distribution centers. The Bakersfield Californian. November 7, 2008. Accessed: 05-26-2010.
  16. ^ Some companies that call Bakersfield home. City of Bakersfield Economic & Community Development. Accessed: 05-26-2010.
  17. ^ Major Employers In Kern County
  18. ^ Official website
  19. ^ "Emergency Communications Center". Bakersfield Fire Department. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Crime Statistics for Bakersfield". Bakersfield Police Department. Retrieved 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  21. ^ Homicides up for 2008
  22. ^ "Jails In Bakersfield / Kern County". source. Retrieved 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  23. ^ "Inmate population". Kern County Sheriff's - Detentions. Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  24. ^ "Kern Sheriff - Central Receiving Facility". Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  25. ^ "Kern Sheriff - Minimum Security". Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  26. ^ "Kern Sheriff - Pre-Trial Facility". Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  27. ^ "Kern Sheriff - Max-Med Security". Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  28. ^ California 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Results by Political Districts
  29. ^ California 2008 Ballot Measures by Political Districts
  30. ^ Modie, Neil (11 August 2005). "Where have Seattle's lefties gone?". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  31. ^ William D. Fillmore (August 4, 2004). "Shake up plans for high schools in Kern County". Bakersfield Californian. pp. B7. 
  32. ^ "Bakersfield Basque Symposium". John M. Ysursa. 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  33. ^ "Kern County Scottish Society". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
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  35. ^ "horse.robinson — Red Bear Circle Native Gathering". 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  36. ^ "Bakersfield Business Conference to Return in 2010". 
  37. ^ "Borton Petrini Conron, LLP — Bakersfield Business Conference 2008". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  38. ^ Athletics. Bakersfield College. Accessed: 05-25-2010.
  39. ^ Home Page. California State University, Bakersfield. Accessed: 05-25-2010.
  40. ^ Kern River Raceway developer seeks buyer as it files for bankruptcy. The Bakersfield Californian. May 11, 2009. Accessed: 05-25-2010.
  41. ^ Home Page. Kern County Soccer Park. Accessed: 05-25-2010.
  42. ^ Bakersfield Sports Village. City of Bakersfield. Accessed: 05-25-2010.
  43. ^ "KOHVA — Kern Off-Highway Vehicle Association". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  44. ^ "Site Located for State Vehicular Recreation Area" (pdf) (Press release). The City of Bakersfield and the State of California. 2005-05-26. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  45. ^ "Friends of Kern Open Space". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  46. ^ "Alfred Harrell Highway-Bakersfield". Los Angeles Rocks 'n Roads. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  47. ^ "Centennial Corridor Project Description". TRIP (Thomas Roads Improvement Program). Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  48. ^ "Westside Parkway". TRIP (Thomas Roads Improvement Program). Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  49. ^ Progress Report 2008/2009. TRIP (Thomas Roads Improvement Program). Page 7.
  50. ^ "West Beltway". TRIP (Thomas Roads Improvement Program). Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  51. ^ "Interstate 5 @". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  52. ^ "Interstate 9". AARoads Interstate Guide. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  53. ^ "State Route 58". California Highways. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  54. ^ "Welcome to Golden Empire transit District – the GET bus!". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  55. ^ "High Speed Train - Bakersfield Project". DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  56. ^ Partisan District of Minsk, Belarus. Bakersfield Sister City Project. Copywright 2009-2010. Accessed: 09-09-2011.

External links[edit]

[[Category:Bakersfield, California| ]] [[Category:Cities in Kern County, California]] [[Category:San Joaquin Valley]] [[Category:Populated places established in 1869]] [[Category:Populated places in Kern County, California]] [[Category:Incorporated cities and towns in California]] [[Category:County seats in California]] [[Category:Basque American history]]