GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Greensboro Police Department, British Woods community members and local leaders gathered to discuss a major disturbance and concern: street racing in the community.
Residents said for the past few months, rowdy drivers have been speeding along Battleground Avenue disturbing people living in the British Woods neighborhood.
Thursday, Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman met with people living in the neighborhood at the Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church to help figure out ways they can stop the nuisance.
Mary Jordan-Johnson has been living there for several years. She said the drivers gather outside the Cookout restaurant along Battleground Avenue in the Westridge Square Shopping Center before racing down Battleground Avenue.
“We’ve had a major issue with cars speeding up and down Battleground Avenue, and the aftermarket mufflers that are backfiring and sounds like gunshots, it’s kind of alarming,” said Jordan-Johnson, British Woods resident.
Jordan-Johnson said they sometimes race up and down Whitehurst Road with loud mufflers during late hours of the evening, which she said is unsafe for the children in the neighborhood.
“You think you’re about to settle in for the night…it’s very, very loud and very alarming for the whole neighborhood,” said Jordan-Johnson.
John Thompson, Assistant Chief of Greensboro police Department Patrol bureau, said the racers are not just on Battleground Ave. They travel throughout the city to gather in parking lots along Wendover Avenue and Gate City Boulevard.
“It may seem like it’s harmless they may be like; hey I’m just going to do a donut spinout and show my friends. But that vehicle can quickly get away, can lose control and can hit people in the parking lot, other cars and can do significant damage,” said Thompson.
Thompson said once they notice the police are nearby, they send a group text message and move to another location to continue racing. He said this has been happening for years but that doesn’t make it safe. The only difference is the car are newer and faster.
“The cars now are much heavier, much faster and can be much more dangerous,” said Thompson.
Thompson said even though the police department is short-staffed, they will work with local shopping center management to team up, getting off-duty officers to watch the parking lots.
“It’s a good tool for us because it doesn’t pull officers that can answer calls off the street but again, being sure and limited doesn’t give off the ability to work off duty,” said Thompson.
Thompson said they plan to work to get a Traffic Safety Unit in different neighborhoods to study the volume of drivers and the speed they drive on different roads where the complaints are to gather information to further the investigation.