City Council accepts grant for parking study in the downtown Bakersfield area

Posted at 2:32 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 00:37:35-04

UPDATE (8/16/17 9:37PM) : Bakersfield City Council accepts $50,000 grant for parking study in the downtown Bakersfield area.

Parking in downtown Bakersfield during peak hours can be tough. 

On a typical day near 19th and Eye St. it's easy to see the same car circling multiple times, hoping that a parking spot will open up. 

At Blackboard Barbershop, just down the street from that intersection, barber Chad Grady said parking is probably the top complaint they hear from customers. 

"Nine times out of 10 when someone sits down for an appointment and they're a little late they say it's because they had to circle the block to find parking," he said. 

Grady said it's hard for him as a barber because there isn't much he can do to help. He said he normally just reminds customers that there is free two-hour parking at Eye St. and 18th Street. 

All of the parking issues in downtown Bakersfield may soon be the focus of a new study. 

The City Council is set to vote Wednesday evening to accept or deny $50,000 from the Kern Council of Government to pay for the study. 

If the council agrees to accept the money, the study would review the existing parking policies and infrastructure in the downtown area. It would also identify opportunities that may exist to improve parking arrangements. 

"We believe that it's important for us to take a comprehensive look at the current status of our parking problem," said Ward 2 Council member Andrae Gonzales. 

Council member Gonzales said recently the City Council adopted a new goal to grow the downtown area from 5,000 residents to 10,000 residents by 2030.

"This study is really important because we need to look at how are we going to meet those parking demands given the housing goals we have for downtown and also all of the needs that people have in terms of promoting their business and serving their customers," he said. 

If the study moves forward, the city expects results and recommendations from the study by June of 2018.

For Grady back at the barbershop, the chance of a study and possible changes leaves him hopeful. 

"Something obviously needs to happen," he said. "I hope it works out because I feel like it's something that needs to be taken care of."

City Council will discuss the item at the meeting Wednesday evening. The meeting starts at 5:15 p.m. at 1501 Truxtun Avenue.