While more cars may have been towed from Isla Vista and UCSB than last year, local law enforcement officers are saying that this year’s operations ran with fewer hitches than they have before.
This Halloween, local towing companies towed an estimated 44 cars illegally parked on campus and more than 92 cars from I.V. and Goleta. While the five local towing companies – including BJ’s Turnpike Towing, Nieves Towing Service and Thomas Towing – hired to remove the cars said they were busier than the previous year, Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) Lt. Sol Linver said he thinks the weekend went much smoother than last Halloween.
“Everything was much better than last year,” Linver said. “Everything ran a lot more smoothly.”
UC Police Dept. spokesman Officer Mark Signa said 44 cars were towed from campus in order to keep the parking lots open for people with valid Halloween permits. Last year 35 vehicles were towed from university parking lots while an additional 300 vehicles received $35 citations from Transportation and Parking Services, Signa said.
The presence of multiple tow trucks made it much easier for officers to remove illegally parked cars, Signa said.
“Last year a lot of cars weren’t towed simply because we didn’t have the ability or means to get everyone,” Signa said. “The policy definitely helped to keep the parking lots clear.”
Linver said he thinks local residents were better informed about the parking restrictions this year, thanks to fliers that were placed on car windshields and posted throughout Isla Vista during the week before Halloween. He said most residents cooperated with the parking limitations.
“On Friday [officers] drove down the streets with bullhorns warning everybody,” Linver said. “So a lot of people jumped and were quick to move their cars.”
Linver said residents and visitors also grew more cautious about illegal parking off-campus as the weekend progressed. On Saturday, patrolling officers reminded residents and visitors of the parking policies throughout the day. By Sunday and Monday, the police had relatively few illegally parked cars to tow.
Robert Nieves, whose company Nieves Towing Service removed cars that were illegally parked in Goleta shopping centers, said he thinks more cars were towed than in previous years. He said his company towed approximately 30 cars this weekend, mainly from the Home Depot parking lot in the Camino Real Marketplace.
David, an employee of BJ’s Turnpike Towing who declined to provide his last name, estimated that his company towed more than 60 vehicles over the weekend. To get their cars back from BJ’s, he said, car owners will have to pay a $150 towing fee and an additional $30 for each day their car is stored.