The border between Isla Vista and UCSB, affectionately known as the I.V.-UCSB interface, may be getting a face-lift in the near future.
The I.V.-UCSB interface project design, part of I.V.’s Master Plan, was the main topic of discussion last night at the Project Area Committee (PAC) and the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) meeting.
“Master Plan will update I.V. to the county-wide general plan that all jurisdictions are required to develop. We identify specific projects for the county to engage in and identify housing, commercial, open space and recreational needs,” Project Manager Jamie Goldstein said.
The committee discussed key problems such as the tunnel and intersection at Ocean Road and Pardall Road, blending the I.V. and UCSB campus borders, the possibility of opening I.V.’s dead end roads to Ocean Road and curbing bike traffic along Pardall Rd.
Meeting attendees brought up several suggestions in response to the Pardall Road tunnel. Goldstein said three possibilities exist: reconfiguring, removing or leaving the tunnel as it is. Most of the committee was in favor of keeping the tunnel in the project design.
“Getting rid of the tunnel would be a waste,” PAC member Joy Hufschmid said. She said she would like to see the tunnel modified by lowering the road to create a more open atmosphere.
GPAC members discussed other options for blending the border of UCSB and I.V.
“We want to finish off the street ends to make walking and biking [from I.V. to campus] easier. We also suggested university-owned housing on the I.V. side of Ocean Road, possibly for staff,” said David Sargent of Opticos Design, one of the Master Plan consultants.
The potential connecting of Sabado Tarde Road with Ocean Road caused controversy at the meeting. Sargent and Stefan Pellegrini, his colleague, said they plan to open up Sabado Tarde to bus, bike and pedestrian traffic in their design. PAC Chair Holly Jo Sparks said she would like to see more side roads of I.V. opened up to all traffic.
“I think [opening up Ocean Road to all I.V. traffic] sounds good when you say it fast, but when you think it through it will cause a lot of problems. It affects the quality of life on the streets,” PAC Member Joel Silverman said.
Traffic on Pardall Road between peak class hours at UCSB causes problems for pedestrians, bikers and motorists.
“I’d like to see a four-way stop sign on Embarcadero Del Norte and Pardall Road to control traffic,” junior political science major John Eggart said.
Discussion will continue at the next GPAC meeting in January.