Some Detroiters want more of these signs and other deterrents for reckless drivers who speed through residential neighborhoods. (BridgeDetroit photo)

Some Detroiters are fed up with fast-flying cars on their streets.

Multiple residents from neighborhoods across the city called into Thursday’s Board of Police Commissioners meeting to complain of street racing, drivers disobeying “one-way” traffic signs, and the loud noise from drivers speeding through their neighborhoods. . 

Johnetta Holt, who stays in the Pingree Park neighborhood near East Warren, spoke during public comment and said she has put in a request to have speed bumps added to her east side community. 

“As the weather gets a little bit better, it’s progressively getting worse with these people driving recklessly,” Holt said. 

Kaytea Moreno Elst, who also lives near Pingree Park, got emotional when talking about the issue of street racing in her neighborhood. 

“We are sick of the cars taking over our streets. If you don’t do something, we will, and we will shut down our streets in Pingree Park as a community to stop the speeding,” Moreno told the board. 

Moreno Elst recently built a homemade ice rink in a vacant lot in her neighborhood. Now that it’s been built, she worries that kids can’t safely play there because of drag racing. 

“Tell me what can I do to keep our kids, neighbors, innocent drivers and property safe from the drag racing, speeding, and doughnuts happening all around me,” she said.

Speed humps are one to slow drag racing and other forms of reckless driving in Detroit. (BridgeDetroit photo)

Street racing has become a problem in neighborhoods all over the Motor City. Drivers who participate in the meets said this is part of the city’s car culture

Click here to see drivers who participate in Detroit’s illegal car meets. (Warning: Explicit language)

Detroit resident Michele George called into the meeting to complain about drag racing on the city’s west side, on Livernois near Joy Road and Tireman. She wants City officials to be louder and take firm action on this issue. 

“It stops at the leadership with the mayor,” George said.  “I’m going to say, Mayor, you have to come out to press conferences about this or you’re not doing your job.” 

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said children are often the victims of drag racing fatalities. (Courtesy photo)

Mayor Mike Duggan wasn’t at the meeting, but Police Chief James Craig, Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy were. Worthy has been outspoken about drag racing before this meeting, noting the huge uptick in fatal drag racing cases in the last year.

“We saw over 150 of them to our normal (and) about 20 fatal criminal cases. People were driving on the open roads because people were at home. Either they were drunk or on drugs, or they just decided to weave in and out of traffic on Telegraph going 100 miles an hour,” Worthy said. 

Worthy, who was on a panel to discuss homicides and non-fatal shootings in the city during the meeting, wanted to take time to acknowledge the danger of street racing. 

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“Open roads, I guess, gave license to people to drive as fast as they can, often with unbelted young children in the car. They crash the car, either into the person they’re drag racing with or into somebody else, and of course the children are the ones that are deceased,” she said.

Chief Craig has proposed creating legal zones for car meets. 

Have you noticed drag racing, speeding, cars doing doughnuts, or disobeying traffic patterns in your neighborhood? Do you feel the city should do more to stop reckless driving? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @BridgeDet313. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter FOR FREE for more content that is for Detroiters, by Detroiters.

Bryce Huffman is a reporter for BridgeDetroit. He was formerly a reporter for Michigan Radio, and host of the podcast, Same Same Different.

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3 Comments

  1. We need a break, tensions and emotions are already high because of everything pandemic. Last summer it was 10 days straight from 5 pm- 5 am, thats too much.

  2. Detroiters could accomplish two things at once by building “gardens” strategically placed in intersections of neighborhood streets.
    The gardens would be planted with flowers.
    The circles force cars to slow down and drive around the circle into the next block.
    A major US city, Chicago solved their problem of motorists speeding down residential streets using this as well as speed bumps.
    Another MAJOR problem here are those who consistently red lights or wait a few seconds sitting at one and then drive impatiently through it
    Traffic cameras and cops should be employed more often to catch and ticket those in the worse areas.

    The Detroit Faith community just has to appeal to these young people who race down residential streets, barbeque in the front yard, blast music from their cars and park on the grass in front of the porch, to become part of the solution rather than remain part of the problem of living in Detroit, Mi

  3. “Another MAJOR problem here are those who consistently blow thorough or run the red traffic lights or wait a few seconds sitting at one and then drive impatiently through it”.

    I live near a major street with a traffic light. Folks run the red light about 50% of the time, sometimes from both directions, often more than 20 seconds after the opposite light has turned green.
    It’s obvious drivers have no fear of being caught or stopped by the police and ticketed.
    It’s the accumulation of little things that add up and greatly subtract from the livability of Detroit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory#:~:text=The%20broken%20windows%20theory%20is,and%20disorder%2C%20including%20serious%20crimes.

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