In June, the City of Bakersfield added parking spots to a stretch of 18th street downtown. The spots are the first in the area to be back-in only, meaning if drivers pull in front first, they could receive a ticket.
Through the first couple weeks of the method, parking enforcement stayed outside for a grace period, teaching drivers how to park properly. After that period ended until mid-September, the Bakersfield Police Department gave out 72 citations at $35 each to drivers who parked backward.
Stasie Bitton, co-owner of Cafe Smitten, which is directly in front of these spots, says her customers have been affected by the parking change because they don't see the signs.
She and her husband have been trying to prevent the tickets by telling drivers to move their car in the right direction. In addition, they're working to add their own signs. She said their issue with the current signs is the blue isn't very eye-catching and there are big gaps between signs, making them easy to miss.
"We want more signage to be more prominent. Maybe a different color, maybe red that catches their attention with different wording that they know a citation will be issued if they park incorrectly," said Bitton.