Reedley Police Chief, Joe Garza, says this week officers will put downtown under a microscope by patrolling the streets and educating those breaking the law.
“Our hope is to educate our community first,” says Garza. “So, what we are doing is we have some folks coming out and educating by giving out warnings.”
Chief Garza says downtown business owners have complained about people making illegal U-turns and causing traffic to snarl. Another complaint they have gotten is bicyclists riding on the sidewalk instead of the street which he says is a big safety hazard.
“Truly if someone comes walking out of a business you can have a collision out on that road,” says Garza. “It can cause some significant injuries.”
Store owners say streets in downtown Reedley are very narrow.
Shelli Darrah is the owner of the Nest in downtown Reedley. Darrah says she has noticed parking is a problem because sometimes her customers have a hard time trying to find a parking spot.
“They drive around and around until a spot opens up,” says Darrah. “There is parking in the back but I don’t think a lot of people know that.”
According to the Chamber of Commerce downtown Reedley is very popular and brings in a lot of foot traffic.
Erik Valencia is the Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce. He says if drivers are making illegal U-turns it could turn fatal.
“Obviously the streets aren’t that wide and so it does back up,” says Valencia. “It’s also dangerous if you cannot see if a car is oncoming.”