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Car enthusiasts speak out following community outcry over Westminster RTD garage car meetups

Posted at 9:23 AM, Dec 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 11:30:57-05

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Screeching tires and revving engines are becoming a regular part of life for some Westminster residents.

On Tuesday, residents across the street from the RTD Park-N-Ride parking garage told Denver7 about the nuisancesome car meetups cause in the community.

Some drivers who participate in those groups at the garage told Denver7 on Wednesday that the community mischaracterized some of their activities, saying they do not race each other or do burnouts like some residents claimed.

"We're not trying to trample on anybody, invade anybody's space and make anybody uncomfortable. We're just trying to have fun," said Mike, a car enthusiast who did not want to provide a last name out of fear of harassment.

His fiance Alyssa is also a car enthusiast, who says she is an organizer of one of these car groups.

"We're just trying to get together, hang out, ... look at cars, talk about cars," Alyssa said. "We do not go out there street racing."

But, Alyssa says revving engines is part of the group's activities as they show off their cars to one another.

"Some of us like to hear our cars," Alyssa said.

But, neighbors in the area like Rebecca Lettner don't.

"It's disruptive to the entire neighborhood," Lettner said.

Lettner showed Denver7 a video of a car meetup Saturday night at the garage, which showed a large group of cars gathering inside the garage, where sounds of loud popping exhausts could be heard from hundreds of yards away.

"We deal with cars racing through the garage both up and down the ramps going the wrong direction, revving their engines, squealing tires, doing donuts at the top of the garage," Lettner said.

It's unclear whether those activities occurred on Saturday, but regardless, Lettner said the constant noise prompted her to call the police several times.

But the response from RTD and Westminster police, she says, wasn’t satisfying.

“RTD police says that they're understaffed. That's an issue. Westminster police say they can't do anything unless RTD is requesting it. They both kind of push it off on each other,” she said.

A spokesperson for WPD says officers did ask the drivers of the seven or so cars they found Saturday night to leave, and they didn’t find any violations at the time. However, RTD asked the department to provide extra patrol to the parking garage for the remainder of the weekend.

In the meantime, Mike and Alyssa say they are willing to have a chat with residents to find a middle ground and to welcome them to their activities in an effort for everyone to get to know each other.

"Instead of people calling the cops on us all the time and accusing us of street racing and destroying property and causing all this trouble, come out and talk to us. Get to know who we are," Mike said.

Lettner admitted that it was a nice gesture, but the impacts the community is forced to endure is too much.

"I don't have any desire to hang out with them. They're beautiful cars. Seeing them, getting a tour of their cars, or even a ride in the car isn't going to make their noise acceptable to the community," she said.