Third District Supervisor Gail Marshall and the Edison Co. announced Monday that they will work together to shed light on some of Isla Vista’s darkest corners as part of an Isla Vista safety enhancement plan.
The plan – which Marshall presented at an I.V. town hall meeting last fall – would install streetlight bulbs with a 9500 lumens rating, about the brightness of a 100-watt light bulb. The streetlights in I.V. currently have a brightness rating of 5800 lumens, which is about the equivalent of a 70-watt light bulb.
The 5800 lumens of brightness are standard for Santa Barbara County but the 3rd District office said Isla Vista needs more lighting as a proactive safety measure.
“This is a straightforward approach to public safety in Isla Vista. Street lighting is important and this is a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the safety of the community,” Marshall said.
Over the past two years, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has set aside an estimated $2,865,000 for a project intended to enhance safety and convenience in I.V. by repairing damaged roads, sidewalks and beach access structures, and by replacing street lights with brighter bulbs.
The Edison Co. plans to begin replacing bulbs in the next few weeks and has already installed new bulbs on Del Playa Drive and Sabado Tarde Road, with the exception of the 6800 blocks.
In the town hall meeting last fall, Marshall asked community members to inform the 3rd District office about poorly lit areas in I.V. Edison has agreed to add new street lights in these areas as part of the collaboration and Marshall said she hopes her office will continue to receive suggestions. Edison also has plans to repair streetlights that have burned out and to retrofit the fixtures with the higher lumen lamps.
“It is expected that a noticeable difference in the brightness of the community’s streets will occur,” Marshall said.
Ernie Villegas, Edison’s regional manager, said he hoped the company’s contribution would address some of I.V.’s safety issues.
“The Edison Company is very willing to help the county and help make the Isla Vista community safer,” he said.
Mark Chaconas, Marshall’s assistant, said $100,000 was allocated last week to fund sidewalks on DP.
“All the things we are working on — sidewalks, lighting, roads, — are part of public safety package. We just want to make it safer,” he said. “This is part of our natural course of action.”