Santa Barbara County Public Works staff will be in Isla Vista this week placing tags on abandoned bicycles. Bikes parked along the streets in downtown Isla Vista will receive a notification to move the bicycle within 48 hours or it will be impounded by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff. Santa Barbara County Code Section 9-4 authorizes law enforcement to remove bicycles that appear to be abandoned through missing components, flat tires, or other signs of disuse or neglect.
Traffic Engineer Gary Smart said, “bicycle parking is intended for people visiting the businesses. Long-term parking tends to clog up the racks and you end up with bikes that have lost their wheels sitting there for months.” Despite signs stating bikes left in the racks over 48 hours are subject to impoundment, every year the county clears out over 50 abandoned bikes.
The bicycles that are impounded will be stored at the Sheriff’s Office for a period of 90 days at which time the bicycles may be given to non-profits or they may go to auction. Owners may claim their bicycles within the 90 day period by contacting the Sheriff’s Office and providing a detailed description of their bicycle.
Owners may retrieve their bicycle if they contact the Sheriff’s Office at (805) 681-4179 and pay the appropriate impoundment fee.