2 Investigators: Lower Wacker’s ‘Drifting’ And Street-Racing Problem

CHICAGO (CBS) – After a 20-year-old man died street racing in 2015, the city of Chicago took steps to curb the practice on Lower Wacker.

But 2 Investigator Brad Edwards found that almost three years later, dozens of motorists gather there every weekend night to race and more.

“It’s a little bit like the ‘Fast and the Furious,’” one driver tells Edwards, referring to the movie series about fast cars.

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) says he’s received thousands of complaints in recent years from downtown residents about the noise from racing and “drifting,” which refers to the fishtail effect that occurs when the back of a car slides after a sharp turn.

“It’s a horrible sound,” says Streeterville resident Deborah Sawyer, who lives across the river from Lower Wacker, near Columbus. “In the middle of the night, I mean what type of person does this?”

“I’ve made it a priority of my office to address it,” Reilly says. “[But] we’ve had limited success.”

Sawyer says as soon as she calls police, the racers scatter.

But a few hours later, they often return.

Reilly says more enforcement is needed, and that means more than cops showing up.

“There needs to be consequences. There needs to be tickets written,” he says.

“It’s not a matter of time before someone gets hurt. We’ve already had a fatality related to this particular issue,” he adds.

A Chicago Police Department spokesperson says officers are taking steps to stop the motorists.

“We have allocated additional resources to the area, including dedicated patrols as well assigning unmarked vehicles to augment those patrols,” the CPD representative says. “We have also been working with local businesses in identifying and preventing any unauthorized groups from gathering on their property.”

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