Two longstanding roadway barricades blocking car access to Camino Pescadero from the end of Pardall Road and from the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive could vanish in an effort to expedite traffic flow through Isla Vista.

The barriers, which allow pedestrians and bicycles to pass, have blocked cars since their installation over 25 years ago. Removing them is the idea of the Isla Vista Project Area Committee, but so far it’s just a recommendation, said Jamie Goldstein, I.V. Master Plan project manager.

“[The removal] is something PAC has recommended in the past for more efficient traffic flow and circulation,” Goldstein said.

The idea arose at an October 10 PAC meeting, during which PAC members supported the removal of the landscaped barriers. Pending a recommendation from the Traffic Engineering Committee, a division of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Dept., a meeting will give local residents and business owners a chance to voice their opinions. The meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room at 105 East Anapamu Street in downtown Santa Barbara

Opposition to the recommendation has arisen. Jeff Marek, PAC member and a senior political science major, said he fears the danger such actions will pose to pedestrians and bicyclists.

“It would be a safety hazard,” Marek said. “Pardall is the main bike route for a lot of students. Between 10 [a.m.] and 3 [p.m.], there’s a lot of heavy traffic going through there – people on bikes and people walking, too.”

Marek said increased traffic through the area would not be in the best interest of I.V. residents.

“The idea of the Master Plan is to create a better I.V.,” he said. “But there’s no good evidence to show that this is what people want. Before the barriers, I.V. was a lot different. Now, it would be a problem without them.”

Marek also said he thought the removal of the barricade on Del Playa Drive would problems as well.

“If the barrier on DP was removed, there would be increased traffic going through there. People would cruise DP, especially at night. That would be a major safety problem.”

The issue has divided I.V. business owners. Dorothy Dent, owner of I.V. Bike Shop, said she hopes to prevent the removal of the barricades.

“There’s already increased traffic through I.V. going to I.V. Theater and Embarcadero Hall. [Removing the barriers] would make more traffic than necessary.”

Dent said she thought the only those with businesses on Pardall Road would benefit and cited pizza delivery vehicles as an already existent traffic problem in I.V. that would only be aggravated by the removal.

Indras Govender, the owner of Giovanni’s, a Pardall Road pizzeria that could enjoy increased traffic flow, however, said he objected to the plan.

“A lot of students use Pardall to get to the west end of I.V.,” Govender said. “It’s quiet and safe now, but with cars coming around the corner, it wouldn’t be.”

Govender also said the benefit of increased traffic would not outweigh the threat the cars would pose to his customers.

“We’re busy here as it is,” Govender said. “We have a steady clientele.”

Because increased traffic flow could both draw in more business and free up the parking situation at the end of Pardall, however, Six-Pak Shop proprietor Primo Um said he liked the idea.

“I’d be happy about it,” Um said. “More traffic might bring in more business… And I rarely see the I.V. Foot Patrol patrolling the parking on Pardall. If the road was open, it might help.”

Those residing near the potential intersection objected.

Jennifer Waner, a senior art studio major and the president of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, said losing the barricade would be troublesome to the residents of her sorority house.

“It wouldn’t be safe. The trucks that deliver to the Six-Pak Shop already block Pardall. It’s hard to get around them,” Warner said. “And then it would add to the noise, too.”

Hayley Jackson, a senior English major who lives in the La Loma apartment complex at the corner of Camino Pescadero and Abrego Road, agreed.

“It’s hard enough to dodge traffic in I.V. Pardall’s one of the only places where it’s safe. If they wanted to make it easier [for bicyclists], they’d widen the strips around the barricade where you can ride through.”

Such an alternative may be possible. Mark Chaconas, executive assistant to 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall, said Wednesday’s meeting would give people a chance to discuss such matters.

“The board of supervisors has the final decision on whether the barricades stay. If the Traffic Engineering Committee says they should stay, though, it wouldn’t even go before them,” he said.

Chaconas said studies of bicycle traffic through the proposed area have estimated about 8,000 trips go through there daily and urged people to attend Wednesday’s meeting to discuss their ideas.

“Some people feel very strongly about this, and they have a chance to talk about it at the meeting,” he said.

“This is a plan that could be stopped any time,” Goldstein said.