Editor, Daily Nexus,
I just had the opportunity of reading the (extensive) list of suggestions by students and staff.
I graduated from UCSB and have worked here for the last five years. I served on the Parking and Transportation committee for several years as well. Each year I bring up an idea that gets shot down immediately.
I feel that the campus should build a monorail tram. I feel that this would solve most of the problems that we have on campus in addition to other benefits. The idea I have is one similar to the Disneyland monorail. Perhaps four stops on campus near the Library, North Campus, Engineering and near Student Health in addition to one stop in Isla Vista. The entire trip should take no longer than a few minutes if the monorail maintains a circular route. It would have to be aboveground, involve a lot of construction and money. Since parking structures also fall into these categories, this should not be too far off. Placing a central station off campus would be a key element. This would have to be an area large enough to fit all the people wanting to “park and ride.” By placing a location in I.V., many of the students would not have to drive onto campus. This would be especially helpful when the rainy season hits. No other campus has done this (to my knowledge). This would give UCSB a name of innovation along with its Nobel prize winners (and move it a step away from being a “Party School”). People would come to UCSB to see the ocean and campus from the tram before taking a tour at the Visitor’s Center.
Parking has long been a problem at UCSB and the suggestions for fixing it are the same from year to year: eliminate student parking, eliminate walkways, move the problem to I.V. or elsewhere, pay staff for their “inconvenience.” I have sat through numerous meetings where these ridiculous ideas have been considered and occasionally used, yet the monorail gets laughed at. I feel that it has great potential as a new solution to an old and large campus problem.