Bakersfield parking enforcement focusing on downtown business complaints

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On Monday, 23ABC reported that some business in the downtown Bakersfield area were upset because parking limits were not being enforced.

According to businesses,  people were not being ticketed for the 90 minute parking limits on certain downtown streets. 

Today we found out that the police service technician is actually kept quite busy enforcing parking laws.

In September, the technician wrote 466 parking citations in that area and has written hundreds every month this year.

The BPD says they continue to work with businesses, residents and city traffic engineers to resolve long-term problems, such as unnecessary or inappropriate signage.

For some businesses downtown the parking limit is a catch 22. They want to ensure that their customers have available parking in front of their shop.

However, many of those same businesses employees park on the street and need longer than the 90 minute limit.

Elizabeth Choi, owner of Vanity Beauty Bar on 18th Street said the that the street parking in front of her shop is always full. The parking limit in front of Choi's shop is only 30 minutes.

"When customers come in to have their hair done, it takes longer than 30 minutes and we are kind of worried about them cracking down on time limit enforcement," said Choi.

The majority of a police service technicians job is complaint driven.

Officials said that when it comes to parking enforcement they have limited resources.

Beth Walters, the person responsible for ticketing violators in the downtown area, works from Truxtun Avenue by Mercy Hospital to the West and Rabobank Arena to the East. As well as, all the downtown streets in between.

"I would like to be more proactive in terms of covering the whole downtown area, but at this point we're just doing the best we can and are focusing on being complaint driven," said Walters.

With the limited resources, people who park in those areas and overstay their limit may not always get a citation.

"If somebody parks over the time limit they will be subject to getting a citation," said Walters.

So far this week, Walters has issued just less than 200 citations for overtime parking.

On Thursday, as she wrote more citations, she informed some of the violators about the city's parking structure at 18th and Eye Streets where people can park free for 3 hours.

A parking violation citation for overstaying the time limit will cost violators $20.

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