On the 6600 blocks of Sabado Tarde, Trigo and Pasado Roads there are plans to construct various islands, which are supposed to make our streets safer by slowing down traffic on these blocks. However, I believe that this is a ridiculous route toward safer streets, and it is quite possible that it will prove to be more of a hazard than a protective measure in Isla Vista.
Besides the multitude of parking spaces that will be eliminated as a result of this project (as if parking could get any worse in I.V.), the islands will be an obstructive annoyance. They may not even help slow traffic, especially those Isla Vistans who are lead foots to begin with. Rather, these islands will actually serve as an amusing challenge to those who tend to speed instead of encouraging them to slow down, which could cause cars to slam into the islands or overcorrect their mistakes and end up in the front yard of an I.V. resident. And this new obstruction will definitely cause a plausible hazard to pedestrians and bicyclists alike, as they will be forced to squeeze between the islands while traffic flows through the already thinly constructed streets.
As a result of my concern, I contacted Robert Eaton, the person in charge of the project, and asked him why we – as residents of I.V. – were not properly informed about this significant alteration of our streets. His response was a bit shocking when he responded by saying that he doesn’t believe that it is his responsibility to inform the residents of I.V., as they are nonpermanent residents. So in other words, he was saying that we, as residents, have no right to say what should and should not be constructed in I.V. just because we are not permanent owners of our property. And along with this inattention to the residents of I.V., I have reason to believe that there may be other motives behind this project besides safety, such as attempting to discourage I.V. residents from bringing their cars to school.
I can acknowledge the fact that there may be a need to slow traffic in I.V., but I strongly believe that these islands are not the correct way to go about it. There are many other ways to slow traffic, such as sizable speed bumps, more signs, and other more reasonable endeavors that will be safer and won’t eliminate as much valuable parking on our already overcongested streets. Please contact either Lisa Plowman , Robert Eaton or Gail Marshall if you share my concerns about the future of our streets and our safety.
Jonathan Morin is an I.V. resident.