Bikes, Booths, and Bakersfield:
Kimley-Horn Hosts Community Transportation Outreach Festival
In October of 2023, the Bakersfield Active Transportation Summit and Festival drew in over 500 people for a celebration of multimodal mobility and upcoming safety and accessibility improvements to the local streetscape. Kimley-Horn collaborated with the City of Bakersfield and Blue Zones Project—a well-being initiative promoting personal and environmental change—to host the free public event and support the representation of pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, wheelchair users, and more in the city’s transportation planning.
Keeping the Bakersfield Community on the Move
Kimley-Horn transportation engineer Tatiana Lundstrom, P.E., organized and ran the entire event by coordinating with vendors and reaching out to local advocacy groups and organizations, such as Bike Bakersfield and Bakersfield Skateboard Company. Sharing in the event’s mission of honing a more multimodal community, these organizations supported activities and community engagement at the festival. Additionally, the Bakersfield library and police department, among others, came out to manage booths and share local resources with attendees.
Throughout the event, participants biked, walked, and rolled through obstacle courses, watched skateboarding demonstrations, and shared their opinions on the city’s upcoming street improvements. Due to wide organizational participation, attendees enjoyed 13 different booths and activities for all ages—each with different aspects of transportation as the primary focus. Other activities included a bike rodeo and “Rock the Bike”— a participatory event featuring a stationary bike with wheels that power a blender to make smoothies. At the end of the festival, lucky winners took home transportation-themed raffle prizes such as skateboards and light up scooters, donated by local organizations.
Rolling Forward with Community-Centric Designs
Kimley-Horn senior transportation engineer Stewart Robertson, P.E., and senior transportation planner Darryl dePencier, AICP, GISP, RSP2B, presented alongside other City of Bakersfield and Blue Zones Project representatives at the summit portion of the event. The group discussed the city’s proposed Active Transportation Plan, and Stewart, the event’s keynote speaker, led a seminar providing suggestions for the future of Bakersfield transportation.
Attendees were then asked to participate in an activity facilitated by Kimley-Horn in which they used a road section design platform to reimagine a local street by adding and customizing bike paths, sidewalks, and vehicle lanes. Through this activity, participants were given the opportunity to provide more suggestions for the city’s streetscape improvements.
We enjoyed the opportunity to help organize and host Bakersfield’s Active Transportation Summit and Festival. Careful planning, coordination, and budgeting resulted in a successful, community-centric event that can be easily replicated by the city in future years to help Bakersfield continue advancing toward greater safety and accessibility!