The City of Bakersfield contracted with a consultant to perform a study of public parking practices and management within the downtown Bakersfield area. Monday night, they presented their findings at a community meeting.
Downtown business owners and employees provided their input on how downtown parking could be improved.
The study finding that the structure on 18th St. and Eye St. goes underutilized, despite the two hours of free parking offered. Consultants found that even when downtown is at its busiest, the structure was less than 50% utilized at times.
Downtown business owners said they don't think there are enough signs informing people about the structure.
"We have tried to put it on our Instagram page and our Facebook page," said Miguel Rocha from Blackboard Barber Shop. "A lot of people still don't know about it. And when I tell them they are really happy to hear it but it's a little too late sometimes."
Businesses also said BPD needs to step up their enforcement when cars are parked illegally or exceed parking time limits.
Consultants recommended that parking restrictions be removed from downtown areas that aren't as busy. This way, BPD could focus on enforcing parking in the busier areas of downtown.
The city manager's office will present the recommendations to the city council at a meeting on April 11.