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Drag racing irks Calexico residents, officials get earful

April 22, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — "Big Daddy" Don Garlits wannabes drag racing down Rainbow Avenue have been waking up Calexico's Rainbow Park subdivision residents with tires squealing, motors revving and clutches grinding.

The residents told City Councilman Frank Montoya and the Calexico Police Department they want the racing stopped.

Last week Calexico police stepped up efforts to stop the races before they start and have increased patrols in the Rainbow Park area.

That area includes the popular illegal drag racing strip on Kloke Road near William Moreno Junior High School.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Montoya said he received a number of calls from residents of Rainbow Park in the northwest part of Calexico upset that drag racers are using the mile-long and curved Rainbow Avenue as a back stretch.

Residents said racers speed down the street and turn sharply onto Desert View or Horizon streets to circle back to the starting point.


Black skid marks in the direction residents mentioned are visible in that area.

Montoya recommended at the hearing that stop signs be erected along the street to discourage the racing.

Calexico Police Chief Tommy Tunson said stop signs wouldn't stop drag racing, since it is already illegal.

He said he would increase patrols in that neighborhood.

According to police, anyone stopped under suspicion of racing can be charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor. The charge would be in addition to an excessive speed violation.

This week several people have been warned and cited about drag racing, according to police.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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