Multiple videos show metro Atlanta’s street racing problems aren’t going away

METRO ATLANTA — Arguably, it’s like a game of “Whack-a-mole.” Seemingly every weekend, police in the metro Atlanta area find themselves trying to break up street racing events that bottle up traffic and damage area intersections.

Channel 2 Action News reported on cars leaving skid marks on Atlanta’s “Rainbow Crosswalk” on consecutive weekends in February, forcing the city to put metal plates in the roadway to try and keep the vandals away. But the loosely organized events seem to just move to another location and cause even more chaos.

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Early on Saturday morning, video of a U-Haul truck doing donuts at the intersection of Clairmont Road and Buford Highway surfaced on Atlanta Scoop social media pages. Brookhaven police broke that incident up but not before a large crowd appeared, blocking traffic and making a mess of the intersection.

Channel 2′s Michele Newell spoke to Jan Bolgla and her husband on Saturday. The couple own Atlanta Vintage Books. Their store sits near the intersection off Clairmont Road. Jan said the sight of a U-Haul truck spinning out on a rainy intersection was disturbing.

“We’re very close to the road,” Bolgla said. “If anything, if a car got out of control, they could easily come through the window here. To go out and do it in a U-Haul truck, that’s just really strange because it’s not even a kind of car that would resemble a race car.”

Both Jan and her husband think more patrols in the area could be a deterrent.

“I think the police really have to patrol this area regularly,” Jan Bolgla said.

“I think it would be nice to have a little more police presence,” said Michele Bolgla.

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At around the same time--just a few miles away in Atlanta on Euclid Avenue, near Little Five Points and Inman Park--another group was tearing up another intersection.

Ty Goudy showed Newell video of the incident which happened just after midnight, early Saturday morning. Goudy said he was stuck in the traffic for over ten minutes before Atlanta police got there to break things up.

“It was traffic, people were standing around,” Goudy said. “I thought someone was shooting. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Goudy is concerned that when racers block intersections, nobody, not even an emergency vehicle, can get through the backed-up traffic.

“The safety. What if someone got injured or hurt?” Goudy said. “What if someone was in traffic trying to get to the hospital? It was very concerning for me.”

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In 2021, Georgia’s Department of Public Safety and several metro Atlanta police departments began teaming up to try slowing down the racing events around the area. The “Street Enforcement Detail” continues to patrol city streets, trying to stop the gatherings before someone gets hurt. Since the summer of 2021, they have arrested hundreds of racers and people who organize these events but they continue popping up.