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Letter: Downtown has devolved into a dangerous racetrack

Letter: Downtown has devolved into a dangerous racetrack

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Police try to stop street racing and mayhem downtown

The driver of Spyder Roadster speeds down South Broadway past a St Louis police officer, using his vehicle to block the entrance to a parking lot as cars cruise and speed around 2 AM on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in downtown. Another police officer in a different car was also in the lot in addition to dozens of concrete barricades placed both inside and around the lot's edges to prohibit people from congregating at South Broadway and 4th Street which has become a popular spot for cruising, cars doing doughnuts, often followed by barrages of gunfire. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

I work in downtown St. Louis each week day. In the last few months, I’ve noticed a great increase in reckless driving, with cars speeding and swerving in and out of traffic. Cars race through intersections ignoring stop signs and stop lights. Some intersections are blocked with concrete barriers, and it gives the aura of a demoralized city under siege. These barriers create other dangerous problems as drivers race ahead to get through the openings ahead of others.

There also seems to have been a big increase in cars with expired license plates or no license plates at all. Cars without license plates make it harder to identify lawbreakers.

Have the police given up and abandoned downtown? Not so long ago, I remember seeing many police on the streets as well as police on bicycles. What has happened? Failure to enforce these laws makes downtown St. Louis less safe, emboldens lawbreakers and encourages them to ignore other laws.

Mayor Lyda Krewson, Police Chief John Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards should increase the police presence downtown and start making it safer.

Joseph van Kaenel • St. Louis

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