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Sacramento River Trail Pits Recreation Against Property Owners’ Safety Concerns

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Miles of bike trails along the Sacramento River are interrupted as homeowners are keeping cyclists and joggers away, fearing safety concerns.

The trail stops several times in the Pocket neighborhood, meaning cyclists and walkers will have to turn around or find a new path.

“I’d love to see it continue on,” said walkers Therese Llanes. “I always have to stop and then go back around, or go back. Sometimes I make two laps.”

The city met to gauge interest in extending the trail and spending $14 million to do it—something cyclists like Nate Ferry are hoping for.

“I would, because a lot more people now are starting to get bikes,” he said.

Residents with property along the proposed path like Rodney Yung and his wife would like to keep the view they’ve privately enjoyed since 1978.

“We looked for a place that is quiet and with a lot of privacy in the back,” he said.

But Ferry says it’s time to share the view.

“Well you live in the community, so you are going to have to be involved in the community,” he said.

Yung says most neighbors don’t oppose trails, just the ones that that give thieves easier access to the back of their homes.

“My concern is safety,” he said. “Because of the traffic it will bring additional problems.”

Llanes understands the security concerns, but believe the river access should not be limited to property owners.

“I still think that it’s public space, and everybody should able to use it,” she said.

The city has offered homeowners as much as $77,000 for access, but Yung isn’t up for negotiating.

“I’m not at a time where money is the most important thing,” he said.

He says the peace, along with the view of the river is priceless.

“I was just telling my wife this morning that if it should happen, we’d probably look for another place to move,” he said.

Only a handful of homeowners have publicly agreed to sell to the city, leaving about 100 homes still opposed to the plan.

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