Unable to curb an escalating cruising problem on Whittier Boulevard, the Pico Rivera City Council has adopted an ordinance that gives the Sheriff's Department power to close streets and reroute traffic.
It is the second time in less than a year that the council has tried to legislate a solution for downtown cruising. Earlier, sheriff's deputies were allowed to cite drivers and passengers as well as tow away vehicles that pass an established checkpoint twice within a four-hour period. Initially the approach seemed to work, but the youthful drivers quickly learned they could avoid the checkpoints by turning off Whittier Boulevard onto side streets.
The new law, which gives deputies the authority to close any street to through traffic when it becomes too congested, goes into effect later this month. City officials hope the two-pronged approach--the checkpoints and street closures--will discourage cruisers who flock to Whittier Boulevard, particularly on weekends.