Students can save their cars from the ghosts, ghouls and drunken revelers haunting the streets of Isla Vista during Halloween weekend with a special parking permit.
The permit, which is free and available only to UCSB students living in Isla Vista, is valid for parking in a fenced-off dirt lot on Storke Field from Oct. 28 at noon through Nov. 1 at 8 a.m., said Bob Sundberg assistant director of Transportation and Parking Services (TPS). Students can register for the permit through the TPS website, www.thepermitstore.com, and pick it up in front of the UCen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Oct. 26, said Joyce Lopez, a senior parking representative.
This is the second year TPS is offering the permit, Sundberg said. Last year TPS issued 1,400 permits, but only 800 to 900 students used it to park on campus. He said TPS expects to distribute about the same amount of permits this year because the response from students was favorable last year.
Sundberg said many students do not want to park in I.V. during Halloween weekend because they fear their cars will be vandalized. Additionally, students will be prohibited from parking their cars on Del Playa Drive to accommodate the large crowds of people expected to travel up and down the street each night.
“We’re trying to accommodate those living in I.V. who don’t want their cars there,” Sundberg said. “They’re clearing the street on Del Playa again, and this is an opportunity for students to get their cars out of I.V. in a safer place to park.”
Lopez said students, faculty and staff with valid campus permits – lettered R, A, S, G, C, B or D – are allowed to park in their assigned lots and do not have to get a special Halloween permit. Sundberg said student night and weekend permits will not be valid on campus Halloween weekend. Also, parking permit machines will be turned off Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. through Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.
Sundberg said TPS will draw lines to designate parking spots in the dirt lot adjacent to El Colegio Road, where the Halloween permits will be valid. He said they will also place portable lights in the lot for safety reasons and will create a pedestrian access gate on El Colegio near Embarcadero del Mar so students can easily get into I.V.
The UCSB Police Dept. has hired the local company Thomas Towing to remove cars parked on Storke Field without valid permits, UCPD Officer Mark Signa said. He said TPS will notify the UCPD if it notices a car parked illegally and cars that are towed will be taken to a Goleta storage yard.
“Thomas Towing offered to have tow trucks stationed on campus,” Signa said. “They make their money on the fees they charge from towing cars.”
There will be three tow trucks stationed on campus Halloween weekend, with three more available, Signa said. He said 35 illegally parked cars were towed last year.
Halloween permits were valid in the Mesa Parking Structure and adjacent Lot 16 last year, but because Halloween is on a Monday this year, Sundberg said having the cars park on Storke Field would be more convenient.
“Students are able to leave their cars in Storke Field for longer,” Sundberg said. “All day Monday we need use [of Mesa and Lot 16] for faculty, students and staff coming to campus; we can’t accommodate all of them.”