The Road Races on Rt 1/9 Between MetLife Stadium and Newark Airport
This is a weird one.
Street racing has always been popular in New Jersey, whether you realized it or not (I did not).
As it happens, our neck of NJ hosts a popular destination for street racers around Newark Airport.
In this video from 2020 (see the second video below) where large crowds amassed on highways with shiny cars and big engines riding low to the ground, a group of men makes bets and trash talk for an upcoming race.
Later a crowd has taken over one side of a busy section of US 1 and 9 by the Wilson Ave exit. Two cars roll up to a starting line with one man directing the drivers on foot.
Dozens of people are walking the highway, leaning on the cars preparing to race, and hyping up the drivers. Lights from motionless cars behind the racers blur the background.
The word is given to "clear out." A few people jog out of the way, and the onlooking crowd parts to the side. A few "brave" men are still in the path of the revving vehicles. (Our cameraman is in front of both cars.) We see a fire truck pass by.
The cars are pulled up once more to a further line, more revving and burning rubber.
Finally, the crowd is truly free from the path of both revving engines. One man, a flashlight in his hand points to each driver, shining his light into the front windshield.
With a quick nod to both, his hand comes to the center, and up. Both cars speed forward and are out of our view within seconds.
We switch to a camera on the lead car. Suddenly it's overtaken by a four-door and the video ends.
If you live in northern Jersey or more specifically Morristown, and you drive to Newark Airport all the time, and you have never in your life seen anything like this going on, you're not alone. I'm equally oblivious.
But yes, street racing is happening, mostly at night, mostly in what appears to be sectioned-off areas of routes 1 and 9 near Newark Airport, right in our backyard.
Personally, I'm not bothered by it. I find it good to know, just in case they're racing on active highways. I'll make sure to be extra sharp next time I'm on my way to the airport.
There is a matter of safety and legality. Although, after some investigation, it appears these races are only getting shut down and racers are being ticketed at most.
Ultimately, the race gets shut down one night and starts again the next in a different area around Newark Airport.
I'm not hearing of a dramatic case of accidents or injuries, and the police haven't been too invested in putting an end to the races.
In any case, these races are something we all should be aware of for one of three reasons: 1. be careful next time you're driving toward the airport. 2. maybe you want to do some street racing? (I don't recommend it) 3. the video was kind of funny.
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