The Isla Vista Community Services District held a town hall on Nov. 1 in the Isla Vista Community Center to discuss its parking survey since its release on Oct. 19 and receive community feedback on addressing parking issues in Isla Vista.
The survey is part of the Isla Vista Community Services District’s (IVCSD) parking study, conducted with the help of consulting firm Dixon Resources Unlimited. The study will constitute a year’s worth of data collection on parking spaces and users in I.V. and culminate in a final report detailing solutions to alleviate parking challenges.
The data collection is scheduled to conclude in summer 2024, with the adoption of the final report projected to be completed in time for fall 2024. The study will cost $246,000 in total, with IVCSD, UC Santa Barbara and the County of Santa Barbara contributing $82,000 each.
Dixon Resources Unlimited Founder and President Julie Dixon presented data collected thus far.
This study’s results are different from prior I.V. parking studies due to the usage of license plate recognition technology, Dixon said, which allows for the identification of which cars are parked where and for how long. However, the technology does not permit data collection on the identity of drivers or any information beyond the license plate number, according to Dixon.
“That’s really the game changer as we talked about recommendations moving forward because we’re going to be able to identify what we call the Parker Profile: where people are parking, how long they park for and if people are storing their cars for the long term,” Dixon said during the town hall.
The on-street parking occupancy average from April to June 2023 was 104% — counting instances of parking on driveways, double parking and blocking ramps. The July to August average was 69%, the September average was 94% and the October average was 91%.
The final report will be informed by the collected data along with the results of the parking survey. At the time of the presentation, the survey received 631 responses.
“This is an important survey because it helps us understand the needs and wants of the community,” Dixon said. “How many cars are in your household? How many parking spaces do you have? What can we offer to encourage you not to have a car? Those are the kind of things that we really hope are the outcomes of that survey.”
Following the presentation of data, Dixon opened the floor to audience feedback. Some participants suggested a shuttle for inter-I.V. and campus travel, and others agreed that a voucher for Amtrak would motivate students who use cars to travel home to use public transportation instead.
Dixon encouraged participants to share the survey with other I.V. community members.
“The more feedback that we receive and especially the more comments and ideas that we receive, the more dynamic our solution can be,” she said.
A version of this article appeared on p. 5 of the Nov. 9, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.