Decriminalized zone for sideshows proposed in Santa Rosa
SANTA ROSA, Calif. - A Santa Rosa neighborhood has proposed a unique solution to illegal sideshows.
The Roseland district is proposing a city-sanctioned zone where sideshow activities would take place under a controlled environment, according to the Press Democrat.
One city councilman tells the newspaper it's a great opportunity for government to involve younger generations in policy making.
The idea of tolerating the raucous gatherings where people perform stunts in cars comes at a time when other cities have called for crackdowns. This week, Vallejo police chief called sideshows ‘street terrorism.’
Vallejo City Council voted unanimously to start citing spectators at sideshows, as well as people who promote or encourage the illegal stunts.
Sideshows have surged recently throughout the Bay Area. Over the weekend Oakland police were trying to track down participants of a sideshow that included 70 cars.
Large scale sideshows can attract hundreds of participants.
Santa Rosa isn't the first city to consider the argument for legalizing sideshows.
In the past, some have argued sideshows are an important part of the culture and should not be criminalized.
According to KQED, supporters say if legal safe venues were created, then the number of dangerous illegal sideshows would decrease. And instead of spending money on policing these illegal events, the city could charge admission fees to legal safe venues which would generate income, and provide economic opportunity to the drivers.