By Jackie Ward

FREMONT (KPIX) — Officials in Fremont began cracking down on people living in trailers and RVs along a frontage road next to Interstate 880 Thursday.

Starting Thursday morning, people living in vehicles along Kato Road will be told to leave. Permanent no parking signs were put into the ground and boulders were then placed along the side of the road to discourage people from moving back.

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Initially, officials focused on a 1,700 foot stretch of the frontage road, towing away a single abandoned RV. Authorities said they had spoken to the owner of that vehicle Wednesday. He told them he didn’t know what to do with it and had found a better living situation

Police said they would review the program before additional actions are taken.

Over the last several months, dozens of people have set up their trailers and RVs along the road near the Tesla and Seagate factories. City officials said they have received complaints from businesses and workers of the growing debris and trash on the side of the road.

“This is not an appropriate place for people to be living and for recreational vehicles to be parking,” said Fremont Police Public Affairs Manager Geneva Bosques.

Fremont is calling this phase one of the Kato Street Project.

“We don’t want to take anyone’s residence from them. We understand that there’s a housing crisis taking place in the state of California and in our own city,” said Bosques.

Meanwhile, the people who live here say they don’t have another place to go.

“They’re kicking us when we’re down instead of lifting us up,” said Jerry Drawhorn, who lives in a vehicle.

“Shame on them,” said Lynn Shipman, who also lives in the area. “They know we exist, but they just don’t want to look at us.”

All the other RVs that were previously parked on the stretch of road had moved on their own without incident after receiving an initial warning.

“I don’t know where they went. They may have just moved down the road and that’s fine,” said Bosques. “We’re OK with that right now, because we’re not doing any enforcement down there.”

According to the East Bay Times, the number of homeless in Fremont has gone up by about 27 percent in the last two years to roughly 600 people.

The Fremont City Manager’s office will evaluate Thursday’s work on Kato Road and determine if they have to move forward with phase two. That may take place a couple of weeks from now.

Aside from the homeless, truckers park in the area while waiting to load and unload at the Tesla factory. The city said it’s working with Tesla on finding a solution for the truckers.

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