As someone who has been personally harassed by cops for cruising in a lowrider, I can understand the excitement behind the news that San Jose, California has finally lifted its 40-year-old ban on cruising, as Mercury News reports.
It’s a long time coming for car enthusiasts in the area, mainly lowrider clubs. City council member Raul Peralez called it “a huge win for our community here and for our city as a whole.”
The city implemented the ban in 1986 claiming that cruising was impeding traffic on some of the city’s main streets, specifically Santa Clara Street, Story Road, and King Road. But lowrider groups in the area weren’t buying it.
The lowrider clubs were integral in the Latinx community, and many accused the ban of being part of a broader racial bias against people of color. Groups said that the ban criminalized “a Latino cultural activity” — and a harmless one at that.
In the years since, various groups in the area have made it their priority to get the ban repealed. It surprised many when Councilman Peralez informed them that getting rid of the ban was one of the things on his agenda. And Peralez did just that.
“I was like, ‘who’s this guy?’ But he was a man of his word. He reached out to us shortly after, and we’ve been partnered up on many things throughout. I consider him a big advocate of the Lowrider Council and the lowrider community in San Jose” said one leader of one of the local advocacy groups on Councilman Peralez.
The reversal of the ban officially went into effect on August 9. Of course, the repeal of the ban doesn’t mean things like sideshows and street takeovers are legal now, so think twice before you go out there and ruin it for everyone.