NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans neighbors say there are vehicles doing donuts and burning rubber almost on a weekly basis near the intersection of St. Bernard and St. Claude Avenues in the Seventh Ward.
One cellphone video showed people hanging out of cars, spinning in circles and screeching tires in a cloud of smoke.
“It can be loud sometimes, but it’s a part of the culture in this neighborhood,” Khi Vanallen said.
“Looks like to me, those guys are not professional drivers, to me somebody is really going to get hurt,” Israel Thomas said.
It’s been difficult for police to stop the shows. In many cases, drivers arrive at a location, do their stunts and are gone before officers arrive. This week, WWL-TV noticed something new in the middle of the street. Plastic barricades now block the spot vehicles use to battle it out.
“I didn’t know they were actually putting the barricades up for that,” Arlen Manwaring said. “That’s all brand new.”
If the point of the barricades was to dissuade the illegal stunt shows, neighbors tell us they aren’t working too well. Some of the barricades are already knocked over.
“That’s not going to stop them,” Manwaring said. “There was one out here the other day. They just did it around the barricade itself.”
“It’s pretty funny actually,” Vanallen said. “Yeah, they still figured out a way to do it.”
One man applauded the city’s effort to at least do something about what has become a chronic problem for the NOPD.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” Thomas said. “Stuff like that, it’s just dangerous.”
The NOPD released a statement on the barricades.
“NOPD leadership recently met with the Department of Public Works and identified the intersection of St. Bernard Avenue and St. Claude Avenue as one that would benefit from barriers being placed in order to curb reckless driving incidents. Discussions are ongoing regarding similar action at additional locations for a more permanent solution to deter such illegal activity.”