Local residents and out-of-town revelers looking to leave cars in Goleta over the Halloween weekend be warned — many Goleta businesses will be monitoring their lots and towing vehicles parked there for prolonged periods of time during the holiday.
Camino Real Marketplace and Kmart will have security personnel patrolling their respective parking lots throughout the Halloween weekend. Additionally, local towing companies are gearing up to help the UC Police Dept. and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) enforce special parking restrictions that will be in place during the holiday. Kmart Assistant Manager Leyda Barcenas said Kmart is hiring special security to monitor the shopping center parking lot, and if a car parked in the Kmart lot does not belong to someone shopping in one of the complex’s stores, the vehicle will immediately be towed.
Last year, visitors crowded the Kmart parking lot, Barcenas said. She said the parking policy, which is new this year, is designed to ensure that Kmart customers will have unfettered access the store during Halloween weekend.
“We have to keep our customers happy and provide them with the best service as possible,” Barcenas said.
Kristin Martinez of Camino Real Marketplace Management said the entire shopping center will be off-limits to long-term parking during Halloween. Martinez said the Camino Real Marketplace has always had a problem with out-of-town visitors who park in the center for the weekend, and approximately 100 cars were towed during Halloween weekend last year. Signs have already been posted in the shopping center warning people not to park there during Halloween unless they are shopping at one of the marketplace’s stores, Martinez said, but the posted warnings are often ignored.
“Despite the signs that warn people not to park, people still do it,” Martinez said.
Starting Friday night, any cars left in the lot after the Camino Real Marketplace closes down at around 1 a.m. will be towed, Martinez said. She said the parking policy will be in place until Tuesday morning and any car towed from the lot can be retrieved by calling the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dispatch at (805) 692-5743.
Goleta will not be the only place with limited parking during Halloween weekend. According to a flier distributed by the IVFP, roadblocks will be placed on Trigo Rd., Sabado Tarde Rd., and Del Playa Dr. from Friday night until Monday morning. The roadblocks will be in place from 7 p.m. until 3 or 4 a.m. and are designed to minimize traffic in I.V. and help emergency vehicles traverse the streets. Additionally, vehicles will not be allowed to park on the 6500, 6600 and 6700 blocks of DP from noon on Friday until 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
Ron Akau, office supervisor of BJ’s Turnpike Towing Incorporated, said his towing company is working with the UCPD to clear DP and on-campus parking lots during Halloween. Akau said car owners must pay $150 if their vehicle is towed and an extra $30 for each day the car is stored. UCPD is also working with other local towing companies, including Thomas Towing – which towed approximately 150 cars last Halloween weekend — to remove illegally parked vehicles from I.V. during this holiday weekend.