Street racing in north Austin neighborhood concerns residents

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Residents of a north Austin neighborhood say large groups of street racers are keeping them up at night and blocking off roads to race each other.

People living off Harris Branch Parkway say the competition racing happens several nights a week. 

Viewer video of street racers flying down Harris Branch Parkway. I’m told around 60 trucks line the streets, blocking traffic for nearly three hours every Sunday night to race. The people who see it say its getting dangerously close to hurting someone. pic.twitter.com/T1VqMInwZ0— Alex Caprariello (@alcaprari23) June 11, 2019

“They will come up here, stop the traffic and then street race all the way up to the light at Howard,” said Wes Farris, who lives in Edinburgh Gardens. “You’ll be able to see the black marks from the donuts and the tires.

Businesses say they have lost customers over the noise and additional traffic.

“As you can tell, they’ve been doing donuts here,” said Jeremy Walton who works at DB Schenker, a shipping and receiving warehouse.

Walton said DB Schenker’s parking lot has become the “hangout” for drivers during the street races. “You have trucks and cars going back and forth, up and down, fast, pretty much drag racing.”

Last year, a group on Wells Branch was shut down. Local law enforcement arrested 15 people in a street racing sting operation. At the time, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office told KXAN they would likely relocate and find a new place to go fast.

“Travis County has come out a few times. APD has never come out, unfortunately. It’s kind of gotten old. It’s so dangerous for anybody here,” Farris said.

People hope it doesn’t take an accident for change to come.

“I have lived here for 10 years with my family and all my neighbors have kids. If one of us comes out of our neighborhood during a race, we are dead. That kind of impact and that kind of speed,” Farris said.

APD said there are no specific traffic codes against street racing, so they were unable to say how many times, if at all, they’ve responded to specific complaints.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said they have launched additional initiatives to try to crack down on street racing.

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