As a “longtime resident” of Isla Vista, I sometimes have to wonder who makes the decisions around here and why said decisions are made. While it is true that certain things are beyond our control, some things and situations clearly are not.
One of these is the selection of the time when construction work on El Colegio Road should be done. It would be ideal to do said work at a time when there’s hardly anyone around to get in the way of the actual work being done.
Trust me when I say that we’re all aware that the work is intended to improve the quality of Isla Vista’s streets and not that there’s anything wrong with the work done, as the end result looks great. It’s a question of WHEN the work was scheduled.
Of the 13 years I’ve resided in this little beachside town it always seems that whoever is in charge of scheduling public works projects always seems to wait until all the students return to begin such work. Hell, you got two to three whole months without anybody here to get in the way during the summer months. But NO! What’s the point here? It’s not the first time this has happened. It seems to happen every year.
It’s obvious that whoever does the scheduling fails to realize that when the students return it is the equivalent of an occupation force of approximately 20,000 troops, a number that won’t even be seen by Afghanistan’s Taliban regime should a major military action occur in the near future. Basically stated, that’s a lot of people.
And to make matters worse, most of the occupying force has cars, motorcycles or any mode of mechanized transportation imaginable. Yet whoever the scheduling guru at the helm is chooses the week when everybody returns from summer vacation as the magical time to begin work on El Colegio Road. Again, why?
If this decision is made to prove some kind of point, well, success is truly yours, as the point proven is that your scheduling abilities need some improvement. They are unsatisfactory. In other words, YOUR TIMING SUCKS!
Imagine if you will, at the peak of afternoon traffic hours, a line of cars on Los Carneros Road extending from El Colegio Road all the way to Hollister Avenue with delays that went well beyond what seemed to be an infinity. Absolutely useless.
If the rationale applied is that we’re all a bunch of spoiled, rich college kids who just want to get home to do some partying after a lazy day on the beach, well, wrong again.
A lot of us actually work for a living, just like the construction crews working on El Colegio Road do. And it would be nice if we could get home in a reasonable amount of time with minimal frustrating and unnecessary delays. As a public works employee dealing with roads, isn’t the ultimate goal to make traffic flow smoother and faster?
Maybe this seems like a petty little issue, but the scheduling motives do have to be questioned and there need to be some answers. It’s not like the work can’t be done throughout the two or three months of summer when traffic is minimal due to a lower population. This would actually make sense.
As someone who’s worked construction before, I know it would be of greater benefit and less dangerous to the work crews if there weren’t that many cars present in the work zone. This would also save on overtime since work doesn’t have to come to a halt due to traffic buildup. Let’s see, less danger to the work crews and tax dollars saved. Hmm? Again, it makes sense, but NO! And maybe the problem is that it actually makes sense.
I’m not nitpicking here, but you have to admit that the same thing has occurred too many times in the past years to be purely coincidence. And even if it’s just for a short period of time that the work is done, it is still a mediocre move on the part of the works scheduling department.
All I want to do is get home in time to take advantage of what’s left of my day. That’s not asking too much. I spend eight hours cooped up in a lab and 30 minutes on the road each way to and from work. That’s nine hours of my day involving work. Just like many of you, I want to get home and start my real day. But apparently whoever does the scheduling for roadwork in I.V. has different plans for us based on lack of logic or misconceptions of Isla Vista’s residents.
It doesn’t take much to realize that in a college town such as I.V. most people leave during the summer. Even my cat knows this. This is the ideal time to do major needed road repairs, not when everybody returns all at once. Still, the same scheduling mistake is made over and over, year after year.
Maybe, out of spite, I’ll go out of my way to find out where this person lives and strategically place a bunch of detour signs along their way home from work to give them a taste of what’s been heaped upon us.
Henry Saria is a longtime Isla Vista resident and a frequent contributor to the Daily Nexus.