Editor, Daily Nexus:
Beach access is a commonly used public resource, and people tend to walk around, or over, fences that stand in their way. The recent fencing at the end of Ocean Road demonstrates this point well. According to a fence construction supervisor, the fencing was put up around the new construction site to keep people out for safety reasons. This past weekend, I discovered that fencing had also been put up both in front of the unsafe beach access at the end of Del Playa and near the Lagoon. This diverted people from established paths (and the fastest route to the beach) to an old paved road that has its own hazards. The construction of a new building does not justify attempting to redirect beach access. At the end of DP, people walk around the fence on both sides, choosing either a narrow, dangerous and quickly eroding path or a path onto private property. Near the Lagoon, the fence directs people substantially out of their way. People are already going over the fence at one end and through vegetation at the other. The fence will not keep people out, and it negatively impacts the UCSB coastline by increasing erosion, danger and the number of paths. The university should not have funded this to begin with, and should not pay to repair the fence as people damage it.