By Tanked

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The American River Parkway is a 26-mile stretch of nature in the heart of the city. Some Sacramento residents are upset about a controversial plan to pave a portion of the parkway that’s just dirt and gravel.

“You feel like you can get away from the city,” said Steve Anderson.

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Anderson likes walking his dog Birdy on the gravel-and-dirt path along the American River Parkway. He’s opposed to a plan to pave it.

“I’d like it to be natural. if you pave it, it will be more like the city,” he said.

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This story begins where the pavement ends on the south side of the river, just west of the H Street Bridge and Sac State.

The bike trail currently abruptly stops. City councilman Jeff Harris would like to change that.

“We’ve been talking about this for almost three decades, to get a continuous trail,” he said.

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The proposal calls for extending the paved portion two and a half miles westward to Sutter’s Landing Park, allowing easier access to people in midtown.

“Active use of the trail lowers crime, lowers transients, increased property values,” said Harris.

But some who live near the trail have concerns.

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“They want to create a six million dollar bike trail for two miles when a paved bike trail already exists right across the river,” said one person opposed to the plan.

Dozens of lawn signs are now up in the river park neighborhood saying “save, don’t pave.”

“People come from all over Sacramento to use this last wild space on the south side of the river,” said.

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It’s two divergent ideas on what to do with the American River’s road less traveled.