Disabled commuters need solution from GET about parking zones

{A href=""}BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Some disabled residents dependent on public transportation, addressed the Bakersfield City Council on Wednesday night with concerns about the inaccessibility of some Golden Empire Transit District bus stops.

Not all bus stops are labeled no-parking zones, and even some that do have no-parking signs are still being parked in.

The problem is, these parked cars are preventing buses from getting curbside. Without curbside access, it provides problems for disabled patrons who either need to use the ramp because of mobility issues or have visual impairment and use other methods such as counting their steps.

Brandy Midkiff with the Independent Living Center of Kern County said she has been fighting this battle for two years and wants to see more progress. GET and the city are working together to paint no-parking zones red in busy areas to try and prevent people from parking there.

Gina Hayden of GET said she doesn't believe painting the curbs red is a blanket solution, however, because some of the bus stops are in residential areas. She said telling the homeowners that they can't park in front of their house could create other problems.

Midkiff said that sacrificing safety for a couple of parking spaces isn't a fair decision and that the city should come up with a real solution.

Councilman Russell Johnson said he's waiting for a report to come back from the Legislative and Litigation Committee regarding which bus stops need more attention. Once he has had a chance to review the report and identify those areas, they can work on ways to resolve the issue for everyone.

Some ideas being tossed around are moving bus stops a short distance and even talking to homeowners in those residential areas to see if the no-parking zones would be a problem for them.

Johnson also said he is committed to finding a resolution.