WESTMINSTER, Colo. — The sounds of engines revving and tires screeching have become a staple, neighbors say, at an RTD parking garage in Westminster weekend nights.
“There's always been a little bit of racing activity in the garage, but it really exacerbated in early spring of 2020 with COVID,” Rebecca Lettner said Tuesday.
She lives near the Park-n-Ride garage near U.S. 36 and Sheridan Boulevard. The issue of multiple cars, doing anything but parking and riding, seems to have only gotten worse, she says.
“Cars [are] essentially drag racing, going the wrong direction of the garage, and [doing] donuts at the top of the garage,” Lettner said.
The most recent incident happened Saturday night, when she spotted multiple cars during this latest meetup of car enthusiasts.
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 says 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.
“I feel like they're definitely dropping the ball,” Lettner said.
The problem isn’t just at night, she says, as she captured on video several dozen cars leaving the garage at the request of RTD Transit Police in April.
One could argue it’s better for them to be there than in the streets, but Lettner doesn’t believe it makes a difference.
“It's not safe. It might not be, per se, dangerous to me across the street here, but it's dangerous to the participants. And it's just a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt,” she said.
RTD provided the following statement to Denver7:
“Safety is a top priority for RTD. The intent of RTD parking garages is for customers to leave their vehicles while they ride transit. We are dismayed that our parking facilities are being used for any purpose that causes disruption to our customers and the residents of Westminster and endangers people’s lives and property. We work with local law enforcement on incidents that occur at our facilities. If people see concerning incidents at RTD facilities, they are encouraged to call RTD Transit Police at 303-299-2911.”
There are cameras in the garage, and Lettner hopes RTD and WPD will use the footage in their investigations.
RTD will also be sending officers to the garage for “periodic patrols and high visibility.”