The Isla Vista Self Governance Initiative held a meeting Tuesday evening in the I.V. Clinic building to discuss solutions to Isla Vista’s problematic parking situation.
I.V. has long suffered from overcrowding and a lack of parking, with students and families struggling to find cheap and accessible parking spots. The meeting discussed long-term parking regulations, potential parking permits and affordability for low-income families.
Matt Schneider, Deputy Director of Long Range Planning Division, said a parking monitoring program could provide useful information about the parking in I.V.
“We held a meeting here in Isla Vista in October and we talked about what the current parking plan is in Isla Vista — a master plan update,” Schneider said. “Right now it revolves around a parking monitoring program, and they would require surveying parking conditions on an annual basis.”
Jen Brookshire, Parking Enforcing Officer, said she often encounters issues with sidewalk parking and long-term vehicle parking. Santa Barbara County municipal code states, “No person who owns or has possession, custody or control of any vehicle shall park such vehicle upon any street or alley for more than a consecutive period of seventy-two (72) hours.”
“We are trying to work on not having long-term parking [restrictions] so parking is more available for the students,” Brookshire said. “Sidewalk parking is a big one that I.V. foot patrol is looking at. You cannot be blocking the sidewalk. It’s a safety hazard for pedestrians.”
The Surfrider Foundation, a coastline preservation agency, presented a two-year parking proposal outlining parking permits, guest passes, cost and time restrictions:
1. Permits would be issued only to I.V. residents.
2. Guest passes would be available.
3. Permits would be required for all cars parked on Isla Vista streets between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
4. The cost of the permits would be as affordable as possible.
5. Potential sources of funding are Santa Barbara County, UCSB and available grants.
6. Monitoring would be conducted by student residents of Isla Vista.
Paola Dela Cruz, Associated Students External Vice President for Local Affairs and third-year history of public policy major, said the permits could still be too costly for low-income families.
“I’m thinking of my own family … how would they go about the situation? For one, they’d worry about the cost. Two, we don’t just have one car. We’re a family, we have multiple cars. How will that work?” Dela Cruz said. “I know some of the familias here who … have a van and the mom has a smaller car to just move around. I just feel like we’re creating steps that are not making it easier for them. It’s making it even more difficult for them to get parking when they already have problems in their life.”
Scott McGolpin, Director of Santa Barbara Public Works Department Transportation Division, said UCSB could restrict first-year residents from buying permits.
“The university has their rates so high to dissuade students from bringing their cars, but the fact of the matter is they bring them and park them in I.V.,” McGolphin said. “What other UC system schools have done is they don’t allow freshmen to bring the cars.”
A version of this story appeared on p. 5 of the Thursday, Jan. 14 issue of the Daily Nexus.