IMPERIAL BEACH (NEWS 8) – Imperial Beach residents on Thursday met with the city about a new bike path they said has peddled in nothing but trouble.
Since the bike path opened, homeowners have been ordered to clean up blighted backyards facing the path. Now residents are worried the bike path is attracting criminals to the neighborhood.
Janet Leiker said she has had a protected view of the Estuary since 1975. Like many of her neighbors, she said the problems like stolen bikes did not start happening until the new bike path opened.
Residents said they want lighting, taller fences and deputy patrols.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department told residents they are trying to patrol as much as possible when they can.
Resident frustrations kicked into high gear when city code enforcement sent out letters last month warning residents living along the trail to clean up their backyards in 30 days or receive a $100 fine.
“I was mad. I was very angry. They are bullying us. They come and put this trail and we have lost all our privacy and trying to tell us what to do,” said Leiker.
On Thursday, during a community meeting, City Manager Andy Hall admitted they did not go about it the right way.
“Let’s make sure that people understand, if people are out there and trying and it’s going to take more time [more than the 30 days], absolutely,” he said.
According to the city, the Sierra Service Project (a group of college students) will help clean up the area during the summer.
“We are trying to line up and try to help you in any way we can because we work for you,” said Hall.
Some residents said they walked into Thursday’s meeting feeling targeted but left nervous and hopeful.
Hall said blighted properties can be public health concerns and residents across Imperial Beach receive notices.
The City of Imperial Beach is holding an expo on Saturday May 19th at Veterans Park where the community can meet department leaders and partners.