Neighbors angered over south side street racing
It's a scene neighbors call dangerous - a night of fun turning into a risky situation for drivers and their families.
Eyewitness News has learned police are stepping up patrols to stop street racing on the south side of Indianapolis.
By day, it's just a shopping plaza. But when night falls, you'd think Madison Avenue was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Oh, it sounds like a race track. They're just gone," said neighbor Brandon Mullenix.
"Lot of revvin', haulin'. They're just taking off like a bat outta hell," added neighbor Dwaine Balay.
Souped up cars, dozens and dozens of them, gather on warm weekend nights in the Shoppers World parking lot along Madison Avenue. While most are there to have fun and show off their ride, some want to show off much more - street racing up and down Madison, where the speed limit is only 40 miles per hour.
"Basically, they meet up here and then I guess they see how fast they can push their cars," Mullenix explained.
"They've gotta be doing at least 80, 90, just racing and thinking they're having a good time and not thinking about other people's safety," said neighbor Shirley Cogswell.
Eyewitness News cameras captured it and the racers even boast about it with clips on YouTube. But neighbors want it to stop.
"It's scary," Cogswell said. "You kind of want to get off the road!"
"It's definitely dangerous," Balay said.
"You just wanna get out of the way. It's dangerous," Mullenix added.
Some of the female workers at stores in the plaza say they actually fear leaving work on the weekends, because the cars will rev their engines and act like they're going to hit them. One employee told Eyewitness News she doesn't even drive to work on weekends anymore. She has someone pick her up, to make sure she stays safe.
Metro Police are aware of the problem and say they've stepped up patrols in the area. We saw several cruisers and found several cars pulled over last Friday night.
But neighbors say it's not enough.
"We need more police officers," Cogswell said. "You would think after the complaints, the police would be out here more often. It's gotten pretty bad lately."
"There's usually cops that show up and chase 'em off, but they usually just hit the street and come right back later on," Balay said.
Store managers told Eyewitness News that the owner of the plaza, who lives out of town, is actively trying to figure out a way to curtail the speeding and street racing. Neighbors say they don't mind people gathering to show off their cars. It's the racing that's putting others in danger.