With Flint's infrastructure crumbling and violent crime soaring, Mayor Don Williamson has city workers paving an eighth-mile section of Bluff Street between Chevrolet Avenue and Stevenson Street. Guard rails are also being installed.
The reason? The mayor plans to have city-run drag races on Saturdays.
Bryn Mickle and Joe Lawlor of The Flint Journal report:
Lapeer County drag strip operator Ed Vakula, however, is skeptical of the city plan.
Vakula said a new drag strip hasn't opened in Michigan in 40 years, something he attributes to neighbors raising a ruckus over the noise before plans even get off the ground.
Neighbors of Vakula's Lapeer International Dragway complain of noise from four miles away and Vakula doesn't envision that residents living near the Flint drag strip will be too happy either.
"It's loud but we are used to it," said Tom Coulter, who lives near Vakula's drag strip.
"If the wind blows this way... You would have to raise your voice (to have a conversation)."
Aside from noise, there is also the question of insurance and making sure the cars are fit for racing, said Vakula.
Insurance for a drag strip can run upwards of $1,000 a day and a mishap with a stick shift transmission can turn a car into a bomb, sending shrapnel into spectators.
"I've never heard of anyone putting (a drag strip) in a city," said Vakula.
"I can't believe they would do that."