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Royal Oak Police Issue 'Zero Tolerance' Policies On Woodward As Cruising Season Heats Up

"The summer-long activity is incredibly disruptive..."

June 10, 2019 - 12:45 pm

(WWJ) Royal Oak City Hall announced on Facebook that officials are taking a 'zero-tolerance approach' to illegal activity involving cruisers on Woodward.

The illegal activity listed speeding, loud music, littering and parking on private property.

"It falls on the police every year, once the weather turns warm, to depress any unlawful behavior along the city’s nearly six miles of curbs on Woodward Avenue," the city wrote, adding "The summer-long activity is incredibly disruptive to the otherwise quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods adjacent to Woodward."

Metro Detroiters well know that Woodward Dream Cruise -- ballyhooed as the largest classic car cruise in the world -- happens the third Saturday of August. In reality, cruising season now stretches from when the weather becomes warm to when the weather stops being warm. Woodward is crowded every Friday and Saturday night with classic cars, sometimes even on weekday nights when the weather is conducive.

On the actual day of the cruise, nearly 1 million people are said to line Woodward, some coming from as far away as Europe. The area of 13 Mile and Woodward in Royal Oak is considered the epicenter. 

And while some residents in the quiet neighborhoods that line Woodward embrace the cruise, others loathe this time of year for the noise, smell and general disturbance they have to endure. 

"I live near 13 and Woodward and have dealt with the cruisers since I moved here in 2006. I never minded it, but it does suck when it goes on all night. There were times I couldn’t even keep windows open on nice nights due to the noise. I always felt as long as people were respectful about it, I was fine with it. It sucks the police have to do this every Saturday to contain it, though," resident Danielle Szostak wrote on the city's post.

Responses on both sides of the equation were fiery, with Chris Vogler writing, "Noise make your sensitive ears hurt? Great, then move and quit complaining. Probably should’ve considered that when you paid $250k for an 800 sq ft bungalow."

"It's amazing that people buy houses next to an area that's known for cars activity for over 25 years then want to change it. Why did you move there -- just to complain?" Tony Tiberia wrote.

Ouch.

For his part, Royal Oak's police chief said he's "proud of Woodward’s strong heritage and the role we play in keeping the Dream Cruise a safe event for its fans.”

Chief Corrigan O’Donohue went on to say, “But the neighbors and businesses along Woodard have had enough with the summer-long activity. For the last few years, we have tried just asking motorists to move along and enforcing the more serious infractions, however, it has become like herding cats and it is pulling a tremendous amount of police resources. There is no question that our residents and business owners would like us to take a more aggressive approach to resolve this issue”

O'Donahue says there were no complaints on Saturday night, so the crackdown seems to be working.

In addition to the more obvious violations, the Royal Oak Police Department would like to remind motorists that it is illegal to park on private property without the owner’s permission. Most of the businesses along Woodward have granted police permission to enforce this activity. 

If you witness any infractions, please call the police non-emergency line at 248-246-3500.