Governor Newsom announces 10-point plan to beautify Bakersfield

May 23, 2024

New multifaceted plan builds on recent successes from investing state resources

Governor Newsom releases Caltrans’ 10-Point Plan to beautify Bakersfield, support and improve the city and surrounding region 

City Hall North 3

As California continues to enhance public safety and quality of life in communities across the state, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced new actions to improve the beautification efforts in Bakersfield.

The comprehensive, multipoint strategy, spearheaded by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and known as the 10-Point Plan to Beautify Bakersfield, outlines specific steps to collaborate with local partners to increase litter collection in key areas, clear roadway encampments, update aging equipment, and maintain the cleanliness of the overall roadway system.

“The Greater Bakersfield Chamber is thrilled about this initiative,” said Chamber President & CEO Janelle Capra. “This announcement from Governor Newsom to beautify Bakersfield not only helps our small business owners thrive but also supports the local economy and the working families that depend on these services.”

The 10-point beautification plan includes:

  1. Addressing customer requests about litter, fence repairs, graffiti, and encampments
  2. Repairing irrigation, clearing litter, and removing overgrown areas within landscaped freeways
  3. Keeping key roadways and ramps clear of litter, weeds, brush overgrowth, graffiti and doing pavement and electrical repairs 
  4. Dedicating a coordinator to oversee the beautification 
  5. Partnering with the City of Bakersfield and others to focus beautification efforts in and around downtown areas and roadways
  6. Using social media to get the community involved
  7. Keeping traffic moving with QuickMap push alerts to let drivers know about lane closures 
  8. Updating changeable message signs to highlight worker safety and beautification efforts 
  9. Ensuring construction areas stay clear of debris and liter 
  10. Using new sweepers 

“Building on key public safety and community-focused initiatives in the area, the state is continuing to provide the much-needed support and resources to ensure the beauty of the Central Valley,” said Newsom. “This multipoint plan will help the city and county clean up its neighborhoods and allow the area’s public spaces to flourish for the benefit of all.”

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh added, “The city of Bakersfield and its surrounding areas welcome continued enhancements and support from everyone. We appreciate the state’s partnership to not only keep beautifying Bakersfield but also the efforts over the years to bring in needed resources to uplift our entire community.”

These efforts build on the significant positive impact in Kern County from Clean California, Governor Newsom’s $1.2 billion, multiyear cleanup effort led by Caltrans. Clean California aims to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and work with communities statewide to reclaim, transform, and beautify public spaces.

Since its launch in July 2021, Clean California has seen Caltrans and the city of Bakersfield remove thousands of pounds of trash from local neighborhoods, engage communities and transform public spaces. Caltrans and Kern County partners have collected nearly 25,000 cubic yards of litter, equivalent to approximately 14 miles of trash – roughly 2 miles longer than the length of State Route 99 through the city of Bakersfield – piled 3 feet high and 3 feet wide.

Clean California has also funded 16 projects totaling $36.2 million throughout Kern County, including four in Bakersfield totaling $10.2 million. These projects beautify and improve highway roadsides, local streets and roads, tribal lands, parks, pathways and transit centers. Through beautification measures and public art, along with the removal of litter and debris, Clean California enhances the community and improves spaces for walking and recreation.

Statewide, Caltrans and its local partners have picked up more than 2.4 million cubic yards of litter since July 2021 – enough to fill about 700 Olympic-size swimming pools. This represents a substantial increase compared to the department’s previous trash collection efforts and can largely be attributed to Clean California along with other Caltrans litter removal efforts.

"In support of businesses and business owners of Kern County, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber is proud of the efforts made in partnership with state and local officials to continue supporting economic development in the area,” said Capra. "This announcement from Governor Newsom to beautify Bakersfield not only helps our small business owners thrive but also supports the overall local economy and its working families that depend on these services.”

Overall, enhanced public safety efforts are a key component of the Newsom Administration’s strategy to improve public safety in key parts of California, including Oakland and San Francisco. Since 2019, California has invested expanded resources to fight crime, help local governments hire more police, and improve public safety. Recently, the Governor announced a new partnership between the Bakersfield Police Department and CHP to address rising crime in the area, resulting in significant progress, including the arrest of 302 individuals for illegal activity and the recovery of 182 stolen vehicles.

In 2023, as part of California’s Real Public Safety Plan, the Governor announced the largest-ever investment to combat organized retail crime in state history, with the Bakersfield Police Department being awarded $6.2 million to specifically prevent and respond to organized retail theft, motor vehicle or motor vehicle accessory theft, and cargo theft.

Through the CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, since January 2024, the state has conducted 185 investigations, leading to 474 arrests and recovering more than 160,000 stolen goods valued at $4.2 million. This represents a 310% annual increase in proactive operations targeting organized retail crime, with special operations across the state to fight crime and improve public safety.

A detailed overview of the state’s investments in Bakersfield and Kern County is available here. The 10-Point Action Plan can be viewed here.

Joel Paramo, joel@heysalty.com, call/text: 818-350-9847 

The Greater Bakersfield Chamber is the region’s leading business membership, networking and advocacy organization, representing the interests of more than 1,100 members and more than 70,000 local jobs. Focused on creating a thriving local economy and improving the quality of life for every resident of Greater Bakersfield, the organization promotes economic vitality, facilitates networking and business development opportunities, and advocates for public policies that support quality jobs and inclusive growth. The Chamber guides Bakersfield toward a better and brighter future. Founded in 1920, the Chamber is driven by the belief that our community thrives when businesses prosper. To learn more, visit bakochamber.com. 

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