CHICAGO - It’s loud, it’s crowded, and it’s potentially deadly.
But people living around the Chicago Stockyards District say nothing is being done to stop the growing problem of drag racing. FOX 32 talked to neighbors who say it’s keeping them awake almost every night.
"It's a safety issue for our neighborhood. We don't know who they are,” said Bridgeport resident Sandhya.
Cellphone video captured the scene along Racine Avenue between 35th and 47th Streets. Scores of cars can be seen waiting to drag race down the middle of the Stockyards District, and most of the drivers were from other parts of the city and suburbs.
Another video showed cars gathering in a nearby parking lot as a Chicago police officer drove by, with large groups of mostly young men and teens gathering outside their cars while ignoring social distancing.
A group of Bridgeport neighbors told FOX 32 the racing used to be limited to weekends, but now it's screeching tires and roaring engines nearly every night until one or two in the morning.
"It's coming onto the main streets. That puts everyone else who's driving at risk. And I don't think somebody should be at risk for someone who wants to have fun,” Sandhya said.
"It's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt or even killed on the strip,” said Alderman Raymond Lopez.
15th Ward Alderman Lopez believes it's getting worse because so many people have so much free time during the pandemic shut down.
Lopez wants the city to cut grooves into the pavement of Racine Avenue to discourage drag racing.
"Especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of our distributors are working additional hours, so we're seeing a lot more truck activity. And to help people drag racing in between trucks, it's a recipe for disaster,” the alderman said.
In one video, you can see a police car parked where all the cars have gathered to race.
"It's really concerning because them being law-enforcement they should be the ones breaking stuff up like this,” Bridgeport resident Regina said.
A police spokesman says the department is aware of the problem and is taking measures to crack down, including blocking off some of the lots where the cars congregate.