Police Trying To Curb Illegal Street Racing On Lower Wacker
By Jim Bochnowski in News on May 20, 2015 8:00PM
Drag racers on Lower Wacker Drive could soon get detoured as local authorities continue to try and shut down the popular after-hours activity. Police are currently working with 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly to create solutions to stop the illegal practice, which could include placing speed bumps along the subterranean road. However, to date, Reilly has not expressed an exact plan on where the speed bumps would be placed, who would pay for them or what other solutions could be developed. But that hasn't stopped residents from continuing to hound their district with complaints.
According to Lakeshore East locals, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. every weekend, up to 100 cars gather near the city towing lot and begin to race en masse at extremely dangerous speeds that also become extremely noisy. Central District Police Commander Alfred J. Nagode reported that officers once wrote 125 traffic tickets in a single night, but he says those efforts are still insufficient in completely stopping the races. One local resident, Lauren McLaughlin, said, "We've called literally hundreds of times. The cops come, make [the racers] all leave, and they come back 20 minutes later."
To get a sense of what is going on, check out the video below from Youtube that shows some of the action on Lower Wacker:
Of course it isn't a new phenomenon that hasn't been seen before. Blues Brothers captured the Hollywood version of the joy ride experience way back in 1980, even before films like the Fast & Furious franchise further popularized the activity and the Chicago-filmed Batman series gave some pointers for how to tackle Lower Wacker. Time will tell how the real story ends.