“It doesn’t make sense,” he said. Through traffic has been diverted from San Fernando Road onto Railroad Avenue at Lyons Avenue. Drivers can only access San Fernando – soon to be renamed Main Street – by adjacent side streets. The changes are part of a redevelopment plan that calls for a more walk-friendly shopping and arts district. City officials saw the parking plan in another city and liked how it worked and are trying it in the old downtown. Several stop signs – almost one at every intersection in the downtown area – slow the pace of traffic on the former thoroughfare, where many local residents have walked and lingered for years. The driver of a 24-foot pickup truck jumped the rear wheels on the sidewalk as he parked to prevent the front end from blocking the lane. “I was just being considerate,” said Jim Benton, employed by a pool-cleaning business. “When I backed in a lady almost hit me – she wasn’t allowing me to back in. I don’t think it’s the greatest design.” Despite a flashing turn signal showing his intent to park, Larry Bird, 59, had a near miss with a car following close behind him – yet he gushed about the plan. “I love it!” he said. “My truck is bigger than the average truck to parallel park. There was rarely a space I could get into.” Bird serves on the Newhall Redevelopment Committee, a quasi-official panel that makes recommendations to the Santa Clarita Planning Commission. Victor Feany is another big fan. After working at Newhall Hardware since the 1970s he bought it in 1998. “I think once the rest of the people using this get used to it there aren’t going to be any problems,” he said, noting that two of the nine cars parked near his store had headed in. “The biggest problem I see right now is so many cars park wrong. When they park wrong it’s dangerous for everybody.” One of those who headed in was Bill Gomez, 34, a salesman from Monrovia who whipped across the street in a swooping arc when he realized he hadn’t followed directions. He failed to heed the new pictorial street sign because it angled away from the parking slots. “I had to look three ways,” he said. “These are set up backward, they should go with the flow of traffic. It doesn’t make any sense, whoever’s crazy idea that was.” The signs might be confusing to the many Spanish-speaking residents who live in the area because they are written in English. Changeable message signs alert drivers, but they, too, are only in English. For some the space barrier trumped the language barrier. “This street is too small for stuff like this,” said Virginia Condon, 67, who wedged her van into a slot across from her destination, Jazmin’s Bakery. Feany said one of the biggest detriments to growth in the area has been the lack of parking. Parking structures are planned, but for now the two-hour time limit for street parking will have to do. “I can feel the mood of the street, it’s a lot quieter,” said Feany, noting the layout provides more parking spaces for patrons. Reflecting the growing pains, Bud Sabatino, 48, disagreed wholeheartedly. “They’re a bunch of boneheads,” he said of those who devised the parking plan. “Not only are they making my commute to my house longer, I think this whole revitalization is a joke. “They’re going to kill the flavor of the neighborhood,” he said. “The diverse flavor of ethnicities, regular people who come down here – they’re going to price me out.” [email protected] (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEWHALL – The new paint job on San Fernando Road in downtown Newhall is as perplexing for some as a Jackson Pollock splatter-dash canvas. The former four-lane road was narrowed to two lanes Thursday and back-in diagonal parking slots replace parallel parking. A double solid line – which means no crossing – bisects the street. “I almost got hit pulling in – you have to pull out almost into opposing traffic – cars are following you,” said Michael Perl, 51, as he and his son waited for breakfast at the Way Station. “Cars were coming right at us.” Perl couldn’t find a spot for his pickup truck in the coffee shop’s parking lot so the Saugus resident gave the new plan a shot.