Late-night dragsters along Avenue U have neighbors holding their ears and police racing to figure out a way to stop the speedsters.
Freewheeling adrenaline junkies are drag racing between E. 56th Street and Bergen Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 pm to 3 am, residents allege.
“It’s like the Indy 500!” said Jeffrey Sacks, who lives around the corner. “There are cars that drag race on Avenue U at all hours of the night and nothing is ever done about it.”
The tricked-out vehicles, mostly Japanese sports cars, zoom down Avenue U so fast that they leave a trail of dust in their wake, according to witnesses.
On top of that, the cars are so loud that Sacks’s neighbor, John Castorino, can’t hear himself think — or talk.
“When I’m on the phone in my living room, the person on the other end can never hear me, and always asks if I’m outside,” Castorino said.
One of the racers, who requested anonymity because he admits to driving his car in unlawful fashion, downplayed the problem, saying it’s all in good fun because “we’re not hurting anybody.”
Police say their attempts to stop the races have been futile.
“Unfortunately, they know our cars,” said Lt. Robert Haley of the 63rd Precinct.
The drivers slow down upon spotting the familiar police cruisers along Avenue U, he said.
But, Haley has a new plan: plant a cop car out of sight to “do radar,” then pull over any unsuspecting speed hogs — a service that would restore the neighborhood’s tranquility and fill up the city’s coffers, according to Castorino.
“The city complains about having no money but it can make hundreds of thousands of dollars if cops just stand on the corner and issue tickets,” he said.