Sept. 22, 2022 By Christian Murray
Drag racing is a problem throughout Queens—from Sunnyside to Fresh Meadows–and a Flushing legislator is looking to clamp down on the problem.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic is introducing legislation that would authorize the city to extend the hours that existing speed cameras are in operation in areas known for drag racing. The cameras would be allowed to operate in troublesome areas from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m.
The city, in accordance with state legislation passed last year, is permitted to operate speed cameras in school zones from Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., year-round. The city is currently rolling out as many as 2,000 cameras.
Rozic’s legislation, called Fighting Underground Racing in Our Streets (FURIOUS) Act, aims to expand the scope of the existing speed camera legislation in order to combat the problem that typically happens at night. Her bill would allow the city to extend the hours– but with the permission of a local community board.
“The status quo is simply unacceptable,” Rozic said. “We need to hold reckless drivers accountable and make it clear that this dangerous behavior will not be tolerated on our streets, particularly during a pandemic.”
New Yorkers across the city have been filing complaints about the surge of illegal racing, which puts motorists, pedestrians and cyclists in peril and keeps locals awake at all hours of the night with revving engines, screeching tires and squealing brakes.
City data shows 1,057 complaints were made to 311 about drag racing between March 20, 2020 and September 10, 2020 – nearly five times the 239 calls made during the same period in 2019. In August alone, 214 complaints were made — compared to just 73 in August 2019.
Rozic’s bill is being sponsored in the state senate by Brad Hoylman of Manhattan.
Drag racing is currently a persistent problem throughout Queens, with regular gatherings of speed racing in the parking lots of the Fresh Meadow Shopping Center and Cunningham Park.
In western Queens, Center Boulevard in Long Island City has become a hotspot for drag racing as well as 43rd Street in Sunnyside, Shore Boulevard in Astoria and the parking lot outside the former National Liquidators on 48th Street on the border of Long Island City and Sunnyside.
I’m confused. I thought there was already a new ‘law’ or whatever, that was approved, maybe it even came down from Albany, that said speed cameras could now be on 24/7 (as they SHOULD be BTW). What’s the point of speed cameras if people are still allowed to speed/drive recklessly during certain hours?
Anyway, how did this story also not mention 20th Avenue in Astoria? That upper part of Astoria…the No-Man’s-Land area that’s very industrial…there is drag racing there all the time. One night I was up on my Astoria rooftop and I heard a sound and looked down onto Steinway Street, where I observed, over the course of five minutes, at least FIFTY vehicles that drove North on Steinway, headed towards 20th Avenue. The site was positively terrifying, as some of the cars were clearly going in excess of 100 MPH (in a RESIDENTIAL area and where MTA buses travel!) and also a number of these cars went right through RED lights. It was so scary, because I thought ‘what if I happened to be walking on Steinway when these cars passed by?’ I would have been so scared that I likely would have ran down someone’s driveway. I mean, if these drivers are this reckless and careless about the safety of other drivers, pedestrians, etc., what else might they be capable of? And I mean, ONE wrong move and any of these cars would have literally been air-bound.
On a similar note, we MUST do something about the increase in ILLEGAL TINTED WINDOWS on cars. Many such drivers are the exact same types who speed, drag-race or are small time criminals. HOW is this allowed? WHY isn’t this caught during car inspections? The City (if they CARED) should be able to figure out which auto-body shops are putting in the ILLEGAL tints. Yes, I know there’s some B.S. about tints being allowed, and so long as they allow X % of light to come through. But all I know is this: if I CANNOT make eye contact with a driver, which is OFTEN the case now, then their tint is TOO DAMN DARK. Period.
Our streets are getting deadlier by the day. Massive oversized vehicles, and which are only getting BIGGER. F2500s? Are you KIDDING ME??!!! In a dense city like NYC?? Escalades? HUMMERS?? Jeeps with elevated frames, jumbo tires, BULLBARS and …. SPOTLIGHTS? What the fuh? NYC drivers have officially declared war on pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers. I am sick of it.
And… Eric Adams…DOT…NYPD. They do SQUAT. Everyone knows that all NYPD are PRO-CAR and ANTI-pedestrians and cyclists. This city is rotten to the core.
BAN vehicles over a certain size (or else TAX them up the whazoo). BAN tinted driver’s windows and front windshields. And…who is ‘policing’ the NYPD? They do nothing to make our streets safer. They pass right on by illegally parked cars and do nothing. I see it all the time. Heck, even NYPD themselves park in bike lanes, over crosswalks, etc.
Jamaica Ave near the Cross Island Parkway is terrible. It flies under the police radar a bit because cars will rev/race out to the end of the Queens border at Little Neck Pkwy/Jamaica Ave while riding on the Nassau side. Once they reach LNP, they turn around and race back to the CIP and take the bend for the service road for the CIP as it splits off of Braddock Ave. I am writing this at almost 10:30 at night on a weeknight and the noise just won’t stop. I have had luck with the local NYPD pct (105). I find that if you voice your complaint via Twitter toward the precinct, they will have their transport division reach out to you and monitor the area.
Add the best market parking lot on 37th street between 20th and 19th Avenue. Not drag racing, but lots of cars making donuts in the parking lot.
Douglaston Plaza Mall is a nightmare with all the racing.
49th Street between 20th & 21st Avenue is notorious at 2-3AM since it is a 2 lane road. You call 114 Pct and they tell you to call 311. SMH
21 Street also needs speed cameras
They race on i-278 and take exit 45 every night. 114 Precinct right across the street but would not care less. Many low-life retards using loud mufflers