can one live comfortably in Bakersfield without a car? If so, which neighborhood(s)?

Asked by Anna Helm, Vancouver, WA Sun Jun 17, 2007

I am considering relocating, but have decided that my new community needs to be one in which I can live without driving to meet my every day needs. I need a grocery store, pharmacy, coffee shop, moviehouse, book store, restaurants, and, I hope, some interesting shopping.

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Dallas Texas’ answer
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Jun 3, 2010
Here in Dallas many residence are changing their lifestyle find if they need a car rent when necessary . Saves allot of money for you . Based on your life style.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
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Ron Sullivan, , Northwest Bakersfield McKinzieNielsen Realestate Call me at 661-201-2923
Sat Jul 14, 2007
I am a native to Bakersfield, 59 years now, I sell Real Estate, I would say that a person needs a car in this community. There is one area that may work for you but no movie house for miles, just a movie store. This would be around the corner of Hageman and Coffee road in the north west. If you would like to take a look at homes in the area just go to my web site at
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Positiveadvi…, Home Buyer, Bakersfield, CA
Sun Jan 5, 2014
Bakersfield is NOT a walkable community. The air quality is also very poor.
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Mary Christe…, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Jun 3, 2010
A Moviehouse is the only restrictive need in your criteria list. Two neighborhoods that have theatres is the southwest: The Marketplace shopping center has a 14-screen Edwards cinema, lots of restaurants, grocery, pharmacy and near hospitals and Cal State University. Neighborhoods within walking distance include Haggin Oaks, The Vineyards, Seven Oaks and Stockdale Estates. Just off the 99 freeway is Valley Plaza, with our largest indoor mall in the city, and their are residential neighborhoods around it also. Downtown has a brand new theatre also. Yes, you can live without a car in Bakersfield!
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Diane Valadon, , Bakersfield, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2008
I have lived in Bakersfield all of my life and am a realtor here also. Bakersfield is a larger town, BUT I personally know many people who do not drive and have to walk or take the bus around town. I would say that you could still get around without a car. There are so many strip malls and grocery stores on almost every corner. I think Bakersfield is a great place to live and we have a great community. This is something you would personally have to think about, but honestly I know many people who get around well in the city without a car; possibilities are bicycles, bike path, and the Get Bus.
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Victor, , Bakersfield, CA
Mon Jul 16, 2007
It would be difficult to live in Bakersfield without a car. As mentioned in a previous post, living in the downtown/ Oleander area would be your best bet. The Oleander neighborhood is probably the most mature (nice old/large trees along with classic old homes) in Bakersfield. Another option would be in the Haggin Oaks area. It is near the Marketplace which has shopping, restaurants, movie theater, bookstore, bank, etc...
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Not Given, , California
Mon Jun 18, 2007
I am originally from Bakersfield but no longer live there. Bakersfield has got to be one of the sprawl capitals of the country, therefore your best option for living car-free is to be semi-close to a strip mall that has most of the things you want. The good news is that there are lots of pretty complete strip malls that have a lot of the things you want.

Westchester or other close-to-downtown neighborhoods are another decent option; downtown seems to be making a (painfully) slow but stead comeback the past several years, and some of the older houses around Westchester are nice.

Other good news is that biking is a decent option most of the year so long as you don't mind the summer afternoon heat and are careful not to go out in the pea-soup fog in the winter. The SUV-sized roads are pretty wide, and although most motorists aren't terribly bike-aware, there are so few pedestrians on the sidewalks that you can often ride up there. There is also a good bike path along the Kern river which will get you close to Downtown from any neighborhood along the river corridor.

Public transport is also an option (the GET bus), although it is pretty limited in its scope. Still, it may get you to the Valley Plaza (the mall) or downtown from outer neighborhoods.

Hope this is helpful.
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Megan, , San Francisco, CA
Mon Jun 18, 2007
Hi Anna, I don't live in Bakersfield but have passed through a number of times. From what i've seen this is not really a place to live w/o a car.
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