Caltrans cleans up Concord Park & Ride

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Neighbors say it's been a long time coming, a major cleanup of a Park and Ride in Concord that's been plagued by a homeless encampment, garbage, and illegal dumping.

Ricardo Muller told us he doesn't feel safe leaving his car in the lot while he commutes to his job, but has no other choice.

The Park and Ride on Willow Pass Road at Market is on property owned by Caltrans, so it was bright orange Caltrans crews that moved in, in force to do the cleanup.

They used dump trucks to haul away shopping carts, furniture and bags, and bags of garbage and debris.

The effort came Monday morning only after local blog Claycord.com posted a story on the lot and commuters fears about using it.

"This should actually have been done a lot sooner," said Jalil Hamidi, the sales manager at the Mazda dealership next door.

Hamidi said he's given the homeless food, hot water and even allowed them to use his electricity, but in recent weeks, the situations has become unsustainable.

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"There's needles, bottles, blankets, food," said Hamidi. "It's not safe for anybody. My employees. There are nights when they leave at 11 o'clock at night, 12 o'clock at night. Customers need to feel safe driving here."
"I understand where they're coming from, but they don't understand where we're coming from," said Antwuan Collins told us he has lived at the parking lot just below the 680 freeway for five months.

"Wherever we can. There's not too many places we can go," said Collins. "It's got to be a public place. Just gotta find a place that's out of sight, out of mind."

Here is the City of Concord's response to ABC7 News' story about Caltrans clean-up efforts:

In response to the news story regarding the Highway 242 / Willow Pass Road Park & Ride, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) - which owns and operates this location - has begun cleaning up this property and removing debris.

The Concord Police Department has been in regular communication with Caltrans about this issue.

The City on Concord contracts with the County's Coordinated Outreach, Referral and Engagement (CORE) team for homeless outreach and referral services, which is familiar with this location and others where homeless individuals congregate. The goal of the program is to assist individuals to access supportive services. The City also works closely with County staff and a number of community partners to fund programs that assist individuals experiencing homelessness, while minimizing the negative community impacts associated with the homeless crisis. While the need is greater than available resources, the City of Concord is committed to addressing this issue and continues to fund direct services in support of our residents in need.


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