Cruising may take a bruising on Highway 100 in West Allis

City will use barriers to discourage drivers

June 11, 2013

West Allis — The folks living just west and south of Highway 100 and Theodore Trecker Way might sleep better this summer as West Allis takes steps to get "cruisers" off their streets.

The city's latest solution to discourage cruising drivers is to barricade 109th through 112th streets at Trecker so that the motorists can't use that area as turn-around spot for their repetitive routes.

The Highway 100 cruising problem has been going on for decades. It involves the practice of some motorists, sometimes accompanied by loud stereos and mufflers, who drive along long stretches of the road back and forth, not unlike scenes played out in such movies as "American Graffiti."

The peak time is between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. during the warm-weather season.

When Alderman Gary Barczak, who lives on 110th and represents the area, was first elected in 1988, he sponsored an ordinance that tried to curb cruising. But the practice has flourished nonetheless, even extending the southern turn-around from National Avenue to the 4400 block of South Highway 100 in Greenfield, he said.

The cruisers' primary turnaround spot on the north end of the city is the Speedway convenience store at Highway 100 and Trecker. But when the Speedway lot gets backed up, the cruisers go around the block, mostly using 109th and sometimes 110th, Barczak said.

The residents of 109th have petitioned the city to do something about the issue.

"The people on 109th have had enough," Barczak said, noting that the cruisers sometimes race each other and blow through stop signs.

"It's a pretty good nuisance," he said.

If the problem moves to 110th, so will the barriers, he said. The Common Council last week approved barriers as far as 112th.

Meanwhile, West Allis police are doing what they can to keep things orderly.

"The police chief is putting pressure on, giving no mercy to anyone disobeying the law," Barczak said.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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