Time to Improve Isla Vista

I don’t agree with those who say let’s just get over this I.V. tragedy and move on.

It is not time to move on. It may be time to stop wallowing in gratuitous and repetitive news stories, but it is actually time to dig deep into what I.V. is and what it should be.

Granted, there may have been no way to prevent this particular tragedy except gun control (dear god we need that desperately), but we need to get to the bottom of how I.V. can become a place with an identity other than raging parties and drunks.

With so few indigenous residents to speak for its growth and development, the county has only increased density, abandoned traffic solutions, and in most other ways ignored good planning. The board of Isla Vista Parks has still not fully installed fences to prevent the tragedy of drunks falling off the edge of the cliff. The Pardall intersections are beyond belief. Tall buildings are now being built in an area already packed with people and cars. There is no focus for development, no real questioning of how I.V. should grow nor what it’s future could be like.

The tragedy is the loss of lives, but the leadin to that loss, and to the other heart-breaking situations out there, is the tragedy of Isla Vista itself, as a community and a place to live.

With all the alumni in the area, with the university, and with the services that could be brought to bear, we need to begin an in-depth conversation about that sad, sad place and how to make it better. I am, myself, an alumnus, and I feel terrible. What I don’t want to feel is powerless. We have a lot of work to do.

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