Parking, parking, parking; less spots to park in and a whole lot more parking fees. I’m going on the assumption that I’m not the only student perplexed by the notion of less places to park in Isla Vista and the possibility that I will have to start paying to park in front of my residence in the near future. Living and going to school in Santa Barbara County is already expensive enough. Like most students, I don’t have money to waste on parking permits that allow me to park in the neighborhood I live, work, play and earn my degree in.
So, who is the all-knowing Oz that has decided that they know how best to solve the parking dilemma that is I.V.? Well, according to the PAC committee, they are. (PAC is in charge of the I.V. Master Plan. If you need more information about the Master Plan project, go to .) I should probably back up and fill in the major details. The I.V. Master Plan project is going to change our beachside community, for better or worse, unless you step up and take an active role in what is and isn’t going to be changed around here. The Master Plan is a project to redo the make-up of I.V. The committee has proposed the following ideas to alleviate the parking “problems” in our little community:
Parking permits are to be issued to I.V. residents and rationed out on a per household basis. For example, there could be eight people living in a house and seven have cars. The house provides three spots for residents. According to the Master Plan, each household would be allowed the option of purchasing one street-side permit. That leaves three housemates without anywhere to legally park in their community. To further complicate things, the committee has been tossing around the idea of installing parking meters on Del Playa Drive to discourage the use of cars as a means for transportation. I hate to be the one to inform the Master Plan people, but I don’t think Isla Vista is up for the country club image. If you aren’t outraged by these possible solutions to the parking issue, then pretend to be so that the mob of your disgruntled community members don’t think that you are in cahoots with the Master Plan to inconvenience and further rip off the students and families.
Other brilliant Master Plan ideas include: ripping up the business district and commercializing it with chain stores; parking meters in the business area; tearing up streets; addition of a parking structure; installation of roundabouts on several streets; implementation of islands on major streets in town.
Right now, you need to ask yourself: Do I want to pay to park in front of where I live? I don’t want to pay to park in I.V., but as important as my opinion is, I want to know what you think! Now is the time to get involved in your school and community; they need you, we need you – hell, you need you to get up, out, and start speaking your mind! It’s like voting: if you don’t do it, you can’t complain when things go to shit, and you won’t be able to blame A.S. either!
The PAC committee is comprised of members of the community: local merchants, some residents and Scott McDowell – the voice of the UCSB and he need your help! If you can’t attend the meetings, email your comments and ideas on the issues to IslaVistaParking@hotmail.com, and your concerns about how to improve parking and other aspects of our community will be presented to PAC. Or come visit me in the Legislative Council office, located in the Associated Student’s Main Office, and tell me what you think about the issues at hand. I am there Monday from 10-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m., and Wednesday from 2-3 p.m.
A.S. needs you to step up and fight for your rights as an Isla Vistan! The fact that so few people attend the PAC meetings tells the committee that we either do not care about what they decide or that we entirely trust them to make decisions for us.
Eva von Thury is an A.S. off-campus representative.