After much discussion and debate throughout the summer and fall of 2019, the Yakima City Council adopted an ordinance in October of last year allowing cruising on specific Saturdays each year. The second and third Saturdays in June, July, August, and September are designated in the ordinance as available for ‘open cruising.’ Other than on those days, cruising is prohibited in Yakima.
Last Friday and Saturday, multiple vehicles were driven up and down Yakima Avenue as people congregated on sidewalks and in parking lots along the street to watch.
“The cruising that took place last weekend violated the City’s cruising control ordinance,” said Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler. “People gathering in groups on sidewalks and in parking lots was in violation of orders from the governor concerning COVID-19 that restrict the size of social gatherings.”
The City’s cruising control ordinance says that a violation of the ordinance could result in a $100 fine.
Police can also cite drivers for traffic violations and people for trespassing on private property, such as parking lots.
“Enforcement, including police writing citations, will hopefully not be necessary,” said Beehler. “The City prefers community members demonstrate personal responsibility and follow the cruising control ordinance.”
In addition to allowing open cruising between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm on the second and third Saturdays in June, July, August, and September, the City’s cruising control ordinance requires organizers of cruising events to get a permit from the City and to provide insurance.
No one has applied to the City for a cruising event permit for this year.