It is often said that change is a good thing. It is also stated that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” just to complete any and all arguments on the subject of change or keeping the status quo.
Consider the state of the union regarding our quaint little seaside town of Isla Vista. Sure, it is overcrowded, looks like a war zone after the Friday and Saturday night festivities. But in all, there are much worse places to be. It was my choice to stay in I.V. and I have no regrets on the matter. Home is where you make it; I chose I.V..
We have our share of stupidity as well, but the human race as a whole suffers from that affliction. It is within our nature, but more in some than others.
These humble observations come after 13 years of happily living in this place, amongst you, the UCSB/SBCC population. Of the handful of negative experiences here, there is a wealth of positive experiences and good times, with more ahead. Call me an eternal optimist, maybe I am.
At times this place has a feel of calm, peace and quiet, but most times it truly is an insane asylum and we residents are the inmates. While it isn’t Bedlam, I.V. has moments of freak show insanity.
But there comes a time when you have to wonder if those running this asylum are the afflicted ones instead of the inmates based on ideas and proposals that get approval in the name of “community improvement.”
Take the case of the proposed islands in the middle of the street on the 6600 blocks from Del Playa to Sueno. The intention here is to slow traffic down, thus reducing the potential for speeding. As it has been stated throughout the week, these proposed islands will only make matters worse in terms of potential accidents and reduced parking. In all, there is a fine line between insane and stupid, and this idea made the line even finer.
First they come in and mark the streets with the layout for the proposed islands. Next, they make a bunch of curbs red, thus reducing the available parking in an already scarce situation. Then they decide that maybe the islands are a bad idea, but leave the curbs red, keeping a bad situation worse than before.
In military terms this is what’s referred to as a “clusterfuck” – a situation gone logistically wrong beyond belief. Hence what we have as a result of the thought process of those in charge. I am forced to wonder how much money all of that maneuvering cost the taxpayers.
And with all the talk of the proposed I.V. revision, one has to wonder what else the planners will scheme up in the name of community improvement, or at least disguised as such.
So far nothing is set in stone and this is a good thing, since it keeps the county planners in check and can lead to better ideas down the path. But it goes without saying that those in charge will try to pass some slick shit off as the process goes forward. Why? Go figure.
While it is true that we have the I.V. PAC to oversee the changes proposed for I.V., it must not be forgotten that the county has final say so on all matters regarding the changes for I.V., compliments of being unincorporated. And this is what scares me.
True, some past decisions have benefited our community; there have also been some that can make anybody with common sense cringe in amazement and fear. The traffic island debacle was the most recent of the bad ideas and decisions.
And this is the point where I ask anyone who has legitimate concern for the future of our unique enclave to voice an opinion to those in charge. After all, the squeakiest wheel gets the grease, they say.
So for now the islands are a figment of a thought that got laid to rest before the real damage occurred. And believe me when I say damage was averted. Now if we can only get the much-needed parking back.
Henry Sarria is an I.V. resident.