Streets are emptier than they've been in recent memory, and those keen on speeding and tire smoke are certainly taking advantage. Triple-digit speeding tickets have skyrocketed, the coast-to-coast Cannonball record has been broken twice since the health crisis began, and many less publicized instances of dangerous driving have been going down nationwide. One of these places is Atlanta, Georgia, where local outlet CBS 46 reports city officials are considering setting up a designated space for street racing and associated sideshow antics like burnouts and donuts.
Atlanta officials have been working with Bloomberg Associates, a municipal consulting agency set up by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to determine the best way to curb illegal street racing in the city. But Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reportedly said its considering such a space after it was recommended by her 18-year-old son.
"Along with Bloomberg, who we’ve reached out to help us do some bench marking and assessment of what’s happening in other cities has been to consider a designated space for street racing," Mayor Bottoms said to Atlanta's City Council this week, according to CBS 46
Other cities have considered the idea even before the current crisis. Detroit held a few sanctioned 'sideshows' early in March of this year after having similar issues. Those saw a few accidents involving spectators but no major injuries, and no commuters inconvenienced or put in harms way. Sacramento and Kansas City have also discussed setting up a designated spot.
"It keeps the culture of Atlanta alive, we do love our burnouts and our cars," Atlantan Xavier Dickinson said to the news station.
That's not to say Atlanta is unified under this plan, though. The CBS report references another council member named Dustin Hills who just introduced a new law strengthening punishments for sideshows, street racing and other forms of automotive hooliganism, claiming that a designated area wouldn't do much to stop people from partaking elsewhere. A petition on change.org with over a thousand signatures disagrees with that assessment, but the debate goes on.
Frankly, if it reduces the chance some knucklehead will do something dangerous out on public roads, makes car enthusiasm that much more accessible by offering up a free place to cut loose, or even just brings people together after all this, is it really such a bad idea?
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