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Drag Racing on Tramway Blvd

MEMO FOR THE RECORD           

Subject:  Drag Racing on Tramway Blvd

Sponsor:  John Betak, President, Association of Sandia Heights Neighborhoods (ASHN)

Guest Speaker:  Lt Josh Kingsbury, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO)

Location:  St Chad’s Church, 12 September 2015, 2 pm.

Attendees:  Lonnie Talbert, District 4 County Commissioner; several ASHN members (Thole, Randall, Williamson, etc.); SHHA Board members (Bower, Manning); John Evans of SHS Security; other members from neighborhoods bordering Tramway Blvd. (Total attendance estimated to be about 40).

Comments by Lt. Kingsbury:

--City and County-wide issue but Tramway Blvd is major focal point for local drag racing clubs.

--Clubs are highly organized and don’t like using available drag strips—feel “entitled” to use city and county streets—more challenging.  Some clubs have hundreds of members.

--Not a new issue but clubs have recently gone “high tech” by stationing lookouts when drag racing commences.  Lookouts closely monitor police and sheriff radio calls with scanners and send alerts when law enforcement mobilizes.  Racers gone by the time law enforcement arrives.

--Most drag racing occurs between 10 pm and 4 am.

--Clubs sponsored by local auto body shops and some car clubs.

--BCSO has noticed significant increase in resident complaints regarding both auto and motor cycle racing, etc., along Tramway Blvd over the past several months.

--Recommends that residents continue to register complaints (798-7000: BCSO non-emergency number).  Needs resident complaint data to justify increase in manpower to augment current manpower levels working the drag racing problem.

Comments by Commissioner Talbert:

--Complex problem tied to heavy workload at Metro Court,  light sentences for those caught drag racing, no “muscle” in existing ordinances, and overcrowding at MDC.

--Working with County to amend current DWI ordinances to include drag racing.  Pushing to impound or confiscate those vehicles involved in drag racing if owner of auto is convicted.  No real “near-term” solution but augmenting DWI ordinance will help in long run.

Comments by Bob Bower:

--Meeting well organized and run in a very professional manner.  John Betak did an excellent job of moderating the meeting.  Good comments from attendees and good responses by Kingsbury and Talbert.  SHHA needs to support Talbert’s efforts in pushing for modifications to existing DWI ordinances to cover drag racing issues.

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Bower

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