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Popular Sacramento bike trail has turned into expressway for cars, neighbors say

Drivers seen using popular Sacramento bike trail to avoid traffic, neighbors say
Drivers seen using popular Sacramento bike trail to avoid traffic, neighbors say 02:12

SACRAMENTO -- It's a driver's dream. Imagine having a lane all to yourself with no bumper-to-bumper traffic or stoplights to slow you down.

People say that's exactly what's happening in a Sacramento neighborhood with cars illegally taking over a bike trail.

The Sacramento Northern Trail is a popular place for people to ride bicycles or take a walk, but neighbors say lately it's turned into an expressway for cars. 

"They're driving pretty fast," said Nancy Azevedo. 

Azevedo lives across the street from the trail and says she sees vehicles speeding by nearly every day.

"We don't want to see our community, our kids coming through here and being afraid to walk on the bike trail, that's crazy that's ridiculous," Azevedo said.

There are signs at the trail entrances clearly stating motorized vehicles are not allowed, but Azevedo says the problem is getting worse.

"It's a dangerous situation," Azevedo said.

"There's way too many speeders on the bike trail," said Mary Tapple.

Tappel said she and her husband were riding bikes last month when they were nearly hit by a car.

"This guy came out of nowhere in this huge vehicle speeding head-on," Tapple said.

The bike trail is more than eight miles long, running from the American River to Elverta. And for drivers, it's an easy way to avoid traffic jams and stopping for red lights.

"It's like their little freeway, let's go this way and cut through everything else and that will be OK, but it's not OK," Azevedo said.

These neighbors take pride in the trail. They've planted flowers and helped clear the weeds in the grassy median. Now they want the city of Sacramento to do more enforcement and install bollards at the entrances to keep cars out.

"They used to have those out there, but somehow they went away," Azevedo said.

"The city will evaluate the areas impacted to determine what preventative measures can be taken," the city said in a statement to CBS13.

Neighbors say the vehicles are putting people's lives at risk.

"Somebody's going to get hurt and we don't want to see that," Azevedo said.

The city of Sacramento also said it's doing a crime prevention analysis of the area and they've agreed to come out to the bike trail and meet with concerned neighbors. 

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