Communities plan for Telegraph cruise

Photo courtesy of Robert Ankrapp

Photo courtesy of Robert Ankrapp

The sixth annual Telegraph Tommorow Car Cruise will hit the streets from 9 9 p.m. Saturday. The route will take vehicles up and down Telegraph Road from Eureka Road in Taylor to Puritan in Redford Township.

Hot rodders and classic car enthusiasts from throughout southeast Michigan – and beyond – will converge on Telegraph Road for the sixth annual Telegraph Tomorrow Car Cruise.

Spanning the cities of Taylor, Dearborn Heights and Dearborn and Redford Township, the event is expected to draw thousands of enthusiasts between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Dearborn Heights Mayor Daniel Paletko is looking forward to welcoming the arrival of fellow car buffs to his city.

“We’re going to have another great cruise this year,” he said. “We’re looking forward to welcoming both cruisers and spectators to Dearborn Heights. It’s shaping up to be another great event – it’s going to bring back some fond memories for everyone.”

Police Chief Lee Gavin said his staff is ready for the influx of traffic and visitors, and hopes everyone keeps safety in mind, whether driving or viewing.

“This is typically a pretty safe event for us” he said. “Other than an occasional minor violation, everyone behaves themselves. That’s great, because we want both the drivers and spectators to have a safe and enjoyable day.”

Heights police, like neighboring communities along the route, will have stepped-up patrols throughout the cruise. Gavin said that burnouts — the practice of spinning the rear tires to create smoke — as well as street racing of any kind is prohibited.

“We’re going to maintain a good police presence up and down Telegraph,” Gavin said. “We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but safely. We’ll have a number of officers on hand to help out where needed, and to remind the motorists that they need to obey the traffic laws, as well as use some good common sense.”

Gavin stresses that his officers will enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding alcohol-related violations.

“The consumption of alcohol in vehicles or in the public areas is strictly prohibited,” he said. “This is one we’ll watch for and enforce vigorously. There will be a lot of cars cruising up and down Telegraph, and a large number of spectators sitting in proximity to the roadway. Alcoholic beverages have no place in this kind of environment. I hope a word to the wise is sufficient on this issue.”

Gavin also encourages the spectators to exercise caution.

“Spectators should cross only at the intersections” he said. “Crossing Telegraph, with this amount of traffic, in any place other than intersections is dangerous.”

He added that spectators are welcome to watch the action from the medians (the grassy areas between the northbound and southbound lanes), but they must leave their cars in designated parking areas on the right-hand side of the roadways – cars may not be parked in the medians or along the left-hand curb of the roadway.

In addition, Gavin reminds spectators to exercise caution and watch for traffic when walking through the public parking lots.

Heights Emergency Manager Bob Ankrapp also reminds spectators to be mindful of the weather conditions.

“It is important for the public to protect themselves from prolonged exposure to the sun and heat, and to drink plenty of nonalcoholic and noncaffinated beverages to remain hydrated,” Ankrapp said. “Also, everyone should watch for the potential for severe weather. During the hot summer days, thunderstorms can pop up quickly. If you see lightning or hear thunder, take cover immediately in a nearby building.”

Cruisers should adhere to all normal traffic ordinances regarding speed and legal turns in addition to, as Gavin suggests, “exercising some good common sense out there. It’s going to be crowded, so please exercise some caution and some tolerance for your fellow cruisers and our spectators.”

He said burnouts — the practice of spinning the rear tires to create smoke — as well as street racing of any kind are prohibited.