Patrons say downtown businesses are illegally reserving spots for valet service

Patrons say downtown businesses are illegally reserving spots for valet service
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- After a recent visit to a restaurant on 19th Street several residents reported less then stellar experiences with parking. They said they were told they couldn't park in front of one restaurant because it was a valet area. They wanted to know if the practice is legal.

“The city doesn't designate valet zones,” said Ryan Starbuck of the Bakersfield city traffic division.

Although a public street can't be reserved for valet service, the city does try to work with businesses to accomplish their service goals.

“A business can request loading zones along the frontage of their building," Starbuck said.

The loading zone designation allows for anyone including a valet to exit a vehicle so it can then be moved to a permanent parking location.

The viewers also wanted to know if businesses are allowed to reserve parking spots on public streets for customers.

This is not allowed according to the city, it's a public roadway so it's open to the public.

As with every rule, there are exceptions: “For a private road like K Street between 17th and 18th Streets businesses can designate (parking) just for their business,” Starbuck said.

To become a private road, all of the businesses on the street had to sign on. Affected businesses also assume responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the road.