WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Cruising in Whiteville is a well known past time and now dozens want to bring it back. Things got heated during a meeting Tuesday night as a group of people spoke in front of the Whiteville City Council in hopes of lifting the current ban.
“We have alienated an entire generation of kids out of our downtown area. You can go in our downtown area tonight it’s a ghost town,” Marc McGee, who opposes the cruising ban, said.
A ghost town that dozens, if not hundreds, are trying to bring back to life.
“It was always a tradition here in Whiteville for years,” McGee said. “I mean there are people here who met their significant other in downtown cruising.”
Teens use to drive up and down the streets around Downtown Whiteville and hang out until city council banned cruising in 2000. Many say cruising brought great memories, fun, and money to the economy.
Now they say it has caused businesses to shut down and changed the town as a whole. But not everyone agrees with those comments including the Whiteville Mayor Terry Mann.
“Trash, noise, that many people congested in the area things are gonna happen,” Mann said.
“Concerned about the noise, with loud trucks with the really loud mufflers and music and it’s just a concern for people with young families,” Jonathan Medford, who supports cruising ban, said.
At first the mayor said he was not budging on lifting the ban which prompted more than half of the people to leave the room.
“I just don’t think cruising in the form that it was in in 2000 when it was banned is gonna work in my opinion in Downtown Whiteville,” Mann said.
But shortly after, the mayor had a change of heart.
“We instructed the leader, the spokesman for them, to come up with a plan, a suggestion. And me and the city manager would meet and we would take that plan revise it or approve it and we would take it to council for consideration,” Mann said.
After leaving the meeting some cruisers hit the streets in Downtown Whiteville but police quickly shut it down.
The mayor hopes the group can get back to him with a plan and once they do he hopes to have an agreement most people will be happy with.