OK, the jig is up Mr. Bryan Brown. If the Isla Vista Project Area Committee and General Plan Advisory Committee’s (PAC/GPAC) goal was to facilitate discussion on its policies, they have succeeded. If their goal was to increase student awareness and involvement, they have succeeded. However, I ask that you take the 70 or so students that showed up at Francisco Torres Residence Hall as a small indication of the fire PAC/GPAC is kindling. This letter is in response to Brown’s column (“Permission to Participate,” Daily Nexus, April 22).
As a resident of Isla Vista and a car owner, I stand in strong opposition to the $195 fee proposed by PAC/GPAC. I have followed the Isla Vista Master Plan, and from my understanding the permit/parking plan is a subsection of this overall process. If this is the case, then most of the re-development of Isla Vista is staged for downtown I.V., mainly Pardall Road businesses. I agree with previous findings that I.V. businesses are affected by student’s parking within downtown Isla Vista, and possibly thwarting any incoming tourists or customers.
However, fronting a bill to basically all of the residents of Isla Vista, 60 percent or more of whom are UCSB students, is uncalled for. The reason why so many people are opposed to this bill, Mr. Brown, is that it took research from someone to basically uncover the proposed $195 fee. I have followed PAC/GPAC meetings and the Isla Vista Master Plan, and in none of those wonderful displays or discussions did it say, “Oh yeah we’re tacking on a $195 car permit fee.” It almost feels like this permit plan was developed for Westwood, UCLA’s campus town, where thousands – if not millions – of cars pass through everyday, and they don’t have to pay very high costs. However, this is Isla Vista, where probably barely a thousand cars travel through downtown I.V. everyday.
I am one of those too “uniformed to rally against something you feel will change things in a positive way” people you mentioned. But from all of my understandings of this plan, there is nothing positive in it for Isla Vista. It also doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this regulated parking plan is one of the worst-conceived plans possible for Isla Vista. If you want student input, one suggestion would be “street cleaning.” My friend noticed some of these programs in Los Angeles, where you take a street or block, and on a certain day and time within a week those cars are subject to parking tickets. This would open up some streets for business trucks and traffic to flow smoothly. I agree with proposed parking meters for downtown Isla Vista, mainly Pardall Road, but no one is rushing to my friend’s apartment on Sabado Tarde Road for textbooks or burritos. I cannot conceive how the PAC and related committees will have to “throw the entire master plan in the garbage” if this parking plan is omitted. Yes, parking structures are expensive, but not every weekend is Halloween either, Mr. Brown.
I feel, like many students, that the commission you’re representing took little time in doing any research on traffic, Isla Vista businesses or student opinion. Your same commission had – or still has – the wonderful idea of installing streetlights on Highway 217, but with your wonderful communication with the students, I haven’t heard anything else about this project. I could go on forever about this topic, but if you make Isla Vista Lot #40, expect every student to start parking at Albertsons and Costco. PAC/GPAC might as well start setting up an entrance fee to the Camino Real Marketplace, too.
I would like to pose a few last questions for PAC and yourself: Do you or any of your members, besides the students, live in Isla Vista? If not, would you support paying $200 to park in your own driveway? I urge your commission to reconsider the plan and hold an open debate or meeting that is publicly announced in the Daily Nexus to facilitate a discussion for those affected by this plan.
Adam Pinson is a junior political science major.