NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – National City streets brought back cruising for the first time in 30 years.
The city banned cruising in 1992, but Friday marked the first step in potentially bringing back the historic tradition for good.
“It represents the Hispanic, Latino culture. It’s a lifestyle too,” said Marlo Vasquez with Impalas Car Club.
The city banned cruising in 1992 in an effort to curb crime and traffic congestion, but lowriders say it put a stigma on their culture.
“That’s a really long time to hold onto something. The culture changed so much and they just held onto the stereotype,” said Tony Cordova.
The United Lowrider Coalition has been meeting with police and the city for months, saying community relationships with lowrider groups and the police have improved over the years. City leaders agreed it was time to give the tradition another chance.
“At the time, it was bad timing with a lot of gang violence. Now it’s more of a culture, it’s calm. Nobody wants drama, we just want to drive,” said Panson Coronado.
The city agreed to six cruising events between now and October, on the first Friday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Any subculture, there’s a few bad apples that you can’t avoid. Luckily we’re moving forward and we’re providing the new generation of riders the opportunity to put a new stamp on it,” said Vasquez.
The police department says abiding by traffic laws, not drinking alcohol, and cleaning up after the events will be crucial as the city considers the future of this law. The next event is Friday, June 3.