Street racing in Campbell Heights has come to an end for now.
The city installed rubber speed bumps on 190th recently and it’s reduced racing on Friday and Saturday nights to zero, says Scott Wheatley. (The racing was taking place on 190th Street between 38th and 34A Avenues.)
Wheatley, the executive director of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, said business owners in Campbell Heights reached out to him after getting nowhere with the city over several months last summer.
“They were frustrated,” recalled Wheatley. “They started talking to the RCMP earlier in the year, but I only got involved when they were getting incredibly frustrated.”
After contacting the police and finding out there was very little the police could do, Wheatley said businesses in the area reached out to the city to try to get City Hall to do something.
“They told the city they were happy to get any type of remediation, however little or big, whatever was necessary to solve the problem,” he said. “They would have accepted traffic buttons, speed bumps, barriers, anything physical that would stop the racing—and they offered to foot the bill.”
Despite the offers over the summer, there was no movement. It wasn’t until the beginning of October that anything happened and that was after months of racing.
Wheatley said the RCMP doesn’t have enough officers to continually send out patrols to stop the racing.
“They only have a dozen officers for that area and they just can’t spend the time patrolling it,” he explained. “You can’t send one officer, because if you send one cop, they could get swarmed by the spectators. So then you have to send two or more and then you’re pulling them away from other things.”
Wheatley said on Fridays and Saturdays about a dozen cars would race and there’d be about 200 spectators lining 190th.
Wheatley said he’s cautiously optimistic that racing in Campbell Heights has come to an end for now. Though he said he fully expects something to bubble up in another area later.
He said the answer to curb street racing permanently is better planning.
“The city has offered to look at how they do planning for streets in the area in the future,” Wheatley added. “Instead of just putting in grids of straight streets, they’ve offered to look at ways of building roads that don’t support street racing, like putting in curved roads, traffic circles, that sort of thing.”