Lancaster is an independent, self-governing, “charter city” in the very north of Los Angeles County. It is bordered by Palmdale, but is otherwise quite secluded; the San Fernando Valley
region is approximately an hour away, and the LA Basin still farther. Lancaster has a population of approximately 150,000 residents, making it the 30th largest city in California. Lancaster and its surrounding area, known as the Antelope Valley, are notable for their proximity to significant geographical landmarks like the Mojave Desert to the north and the San Gabriel and Santa Susana Mountains to the west and south.
Currently, Lancaster is extremely car-dependent, but in recent years, its local government has embarked on a plan to improve the city's accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians. Edwards Air Force Base lies to the northeast of Lancaster, which has fostered an ongoing relationship with the aerospace industry. Highway 14 is the primary artery for this area. Major local streets are labeled with letters and numbers Manhattan-style.