All Politics is Local

Downtown drag racing draws ire

Bothered by car noise downtown? You’re not alone, if recent email correspondence between the Vancouver City Council is any indication.

The Columbian maintains an ongoing records request, and recieves the emails and text messages among city councilors in biweekly installments. Over the last two weeks, councilors have been fielding emails from residents frustrated by pollution — of both the air and the noise variety — from cars and motorcycles racing in downtown Vancouver.

“Myself and many other residents of downtown Vancouver are being subjected to a LOT of noise pollution from loud cars and motorcycles racing around on our streets. Columbia seems to be the place to be if you want to race your car or make lots of noise. This is happening all hours of the day and night,” one resident, Kevin Williams, wrote to City Hall in a May 12 email.

“Is there NO police around to cite these people that are obviously speeding? If there were any patrols nearby, all they have to do is roll down and window and listen. It would not take much to find the offenders, just follow the noise.”

Another Vancouver resident, Ginger Metcalf, wrote in about the “growing intolerable nuisance, disturbance, and danger of the racing, revving and roaring of souped up cars and motorcycles along 8th St., Columbia, Washington and the side streets.”

“The racing activity used to be occasional, growing to Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Now it’s just about 24/7. Not only is it illegal, it’s dangerous,” Metcalf wrote.

In a follow-up message to Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes, Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said on May 13 that the council has been receiving more and more complaints related to the issue.

The city needs “a good strong response from the Chief’s office,” McEnerny-Ogle wrote, referring to the Vancouver Police Department’s chief of police.

The department ramped up its response to street racing — as my colleague, Jerzy Shedlock, reported on May 23, VPD believes the activity comes from a combination of Clark County residents and spillover from Portland. The department will continue enhanced enforcement in the downtown and The Waterfront Vancouver areas for the next couple of weekends.

Calley Hair

Calley Hair

I write about city and federal politics. Find me at twitter.com/CalleyNHair