Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot said a better alternative than having people drag race on city streets is to give them a place to go.
That’s part of a notice of motion coming to Calgary’s Executive Committee meeting Tuesday. The item calls for an increase in police presence, but also a scoping report on potential road closures for street racing.
The motion cites the lack of a legal outlet for people to test the vehicle upgrades against other cars. Chabot said main drags like Rundlehorn Drive, Temple Drive, 52 Street SE, 68 Street SE are just a few of the places that turn into after-hours drag strips, he said.
It's become a bigger issue, Chabot said, because of the 2011 loss of Race City Speedway.
“If there's any way that we can as a municipality provide a venue that will help could be monitored and, I guess, regulated, obviously, that would be a better alternative than having them doing it ad hoc on city streets,” Chabot told LiveWire Calgary.
Street racing a common issue during Calgary election campaign
Chabot said he’s looking at options for a problem that’s gotten out of hand in his ward. He said it came up regularly at the doors on the campaign. It’s not just the speeding, Chabot said – which is an obvious safety issue. It’s the noise, too. The issue did come up at several ward forums on Calgary's east side.
“All I can say is that there's a lot of young people who put a lot of money into their vehicles,” he said.
“And you know what, they will find a place to actually race their vehicles.”
Chabot said he’s like to soup up the notice of motion a little more. He said enforcement needs to be a part of it. Though, the councillor said a recent provincial decision to limit new radar enforcement is a problem.
There is a track under construction near Carstairs, Alberta, 40 minutes north of Calgary. It broke ground in Sept. 2020.
The notice of motion is at executive committee for approval on its technical merit only. If approved, it would go to council before any action is taken. It could come back Dec. 20.