Editor, Daily Nexus,
Most of us have dodged cars and trucks driving on campus walkways on numerous occasions. For more than a year, I have attempted to alert UCSB administrators to the dangers of excessive and unwarranted vehicular traffic on campus walkways. Changes in policy and enforcement, if any, appear to have had no discernible effect. Frequent offenders include courier services, whose drivers feel entitled to drive on walkways to deliver small packages to each temporary and permanent building located along walkways, Physical Facilities vehicles that use walkways as shortcuts for getting from one part of campus to another, and the Daily Nexus distributor who drives on walkways to stack the paper in numerous racks around the campus.
Campus walkways should enjoy the same status as city sidewalks. One does not see cars and trucks on State Street sidewalks in downtown Santa Barbara, yet our walkways are sometimes more crowded than most city sidewalks. Bikers and skateboarders also create dangers on walkways, but that is a different story.
It is only reasonable to expect that driving on campus walkways be limited to emergencies and deliveries of heavy or bulky items that cannot be transported by other means, with the latter done in non-peak hours to the extent possible and with specific exception granted for each trip. General deliveries, routine service calls and restocking of vending machines do not qualify for exceptions. It is quite silly to issue parking citations to people who have parked in legal parking stalls but happen to have the wrong kind of permit or have exceeded their timed permit by a few minutes while serious moving violations go unpunished. I have never witnessed any of these vehicles stopped to have their reasons for driving on walkways questioned, yet I witness parking citations being issued almost daily.
While we await action by the campus administration to restrict driving on walkways, we can help the situation by confronting the violators. I have prepared a Web page, www.ece.ucsb.edu/Faculty/Parhami/petpeeve2001.htm, outlining my efforts on publicizing this problem and containing actual photos of some of the offenses in late October 2002.
If you can, please write down the date and time, campus location, type of vehicle, any information identifying the owner (e.g., name of company) and its license plate number and send the information in an e-mail message to Mr. Tom Roberts, director of Parking and Transportation Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copy your message to me and add a note stating whether you want it made public via the Web page above.