SACRAMENTO, CA - As Redding city officials look at a proposal to bring back cruising to downtown streets in order to boost business, Sacramento business owners and residents consider the pros and cons of an American driving tradition.
Redding Mayor Patrick Jones said he thinks the culture of socializing while driving slowly down crowded streets would bring more customers to the area.
South in the Central Valley, cruising is illegal in Modesto, the city where Ron Howard and Harrison Ford cruised for action and love in the film American Graffiti.
In Sacramento, cruising on the streets of Broadway was extremely popular until it was outlawed in the 1990s.
Sacramento residents said they remembered when hot rods would rumble through Sacramento, showcasing the best. Then cruising got a bad reputation when violence and illegal activity would break out, prompting city officials to ban it.
Many stores are abandoned on Broadway. Business owners like R5 Records Manager Dali Basi believe cruising could help Broadway and other areas as long as it was regulated.
"I think anything would help that promotes Broadway as a whole," Basi said. "I think that is what Broadway has always lacked. It doesn't have a vision like midtown. Broadway never advocates for Broadway."
Carl Stein grew up in Sacramento and said he recalls the good ole cruising days.
"I'm a car guy," Stein said. "We cruised mainly on K Street before the mall was around. There wasn't a whole lot to do back then in Sacramento. Everybody and your friends were out there. It was just a lot of fun and really social."
California Automobile Museum Director Karen McClaflin said she would like to see cruising return to Sacramento.
"I would like nothing better than to see owners of classic cars come out and showcase their vehicles without getting in trouble," McClaflin said. Currently, the museum hosts legal cruising events.
Yet an informal survey of other Sacramento residents told News10 they did not want cruising to come back. They said that even if cruising was heavily regulated by the city, it would eventually get out of hand.