CONCORD (KPIX) - A popular Park and Ride lot in Concord has turned into a dumping ground. Many drivers said they avoid parking there because of the homeless people who live there, trash, and car break-ins.,
The Park and Ride lot is located near the corner of Market Street and Willow Pass Road, next to Highway 242.
Over the weekend, people said they couldn't drive into the parking lot because there was so much trash and debris.
"I had to park my car and move all the carts, full of trash, to the side to go inside," said Sergio Rivera, who lives nearby. "There was about seven (shopping) carts full of trash (blocking the entrance)."
Neighbors said the homeless set up tents in this popular Park & Ride lot recently. They noticed more trash and car break-ins.
"They broke into (my car) and took all my stuff. First time in my life that my car's been broken into like that. So, unsettling for me. You know, put me in a bad mood," said Alexander, who declined to provide his last name.
That happened to Alexander about two weeks ago. He continues to park at the lot since it's so hard to find parking nearby. Other drivers refuse to come back.
"Just make sure there's nothing valuable in the car, obviously. It is a risk parking here, so take the risk if you have to," said Alexander.
Caltrans owns the parking lot.
Spokesman Bart Ney said they removed a large truck load of trash Monday morning after neighbors filed a complaint. Workers spent hours cleaning up the parking lot.
Workers said a big homeless encampment nearby may be pushing some people to sleep here. A homeless man said many of them are good people and they have nowhere else to go.
"They should put themselves in our shoes, though. I mean not everybody is a criminal, not everybody is doing bad things," said Antwuan Collins Sr., who lives in the parking lot.
Caltrans and the City of Concord said they don't have any immediate plans to remove the homeless people from the lot. They're working with Contra Costa County staff to offer social services and housing.
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