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Mayor wants anti-cruising legislation

September 06, 2000

Mayor wants anti-cruising legislation



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Hagerstown's mayor wants to curb drivers who cruise the city's main roads.

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Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said Wednesday he will submit anti-cruising legislation to the City Council within the next few weeks. He wants to target drivers who cruise East Washington and East Franklin streets in downtown Hagerstown.

The mayor says the noise from the vehicles, their stereos, and the people riding in them lower the quality of life of the residents of the streets where drivers cruise.

Bruchey said those cruising the streets provide good cover for those looking to buy illegal drugs along Washington and Franklin streets.

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To those who may oppose such a law, Bruchey suggested, "Go to your grandparents' and take 500 cars and drive up and down their street. It's noisy. It affects their quality of life."

The past two Friday nights Bruchey said he has been on East Franklin Street from 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. watching the traffic from a resident's front porch and observing police traffic enforcement actions.

Bruchey said he saw "probably 300" vehicles cruising the streets the entire time he was there watching.

Most of the "cruisers" looked as if they were between the ages of 16 and 25, he said.

Bruchey said he's less concerned with the cruising that goes on up and down Dual Highway, which he said is a "historic" cruising street and has fewer residents.

Bruchey said the ordinance he submits to the council may be similar to a Chambersburg, Pa., cruising ordinance.

Under the Borough of Chambersburg cruising ordinance, cruising is defined as driving past a point in the designated no-cruising area three or more times within any two-hour period between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. from April 1 through Nov. 1. Violators are subject to a fine of $50 to $600, or 30 days in jail.

The Chambersburg no-cruising area is downtown and includes part of U.S. 11, also known as Philadelphia Avenue, Main Street and Second Street, between Commerce and South streets.

Chambersburg Police Chief Michael DeFrank said the cruising ordinance has helped reduce traffic congestion in the downtown area. He said since the ordinance was passed in 1991, his department has written "several hundred" citations.

Bruchey said Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith is "all for" a city cruising ordinance.

Smith could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

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