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Alderman Calls For Solution To Problem Of Reckless Motorcyclists

CHICAGO (CBS) -- We've told you the story of reckless motorcyclists putting themselves and many others in harm's way – in big numbers on Chicago's streets and expressways.

As CBS 2's Jim Williams reported Tuesday night, there is an effort being launched to stop it all.

The reckless motorcyclists are more than a nuisance – they are a danger, people in the South Loop and throughout the city say. Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) has heard the complaints and wants solutions.

"People are going to die - innocent people like me walking to Jewel right now," said Dawn Nowakowski.

Nowakowski's fears are not unreasonable, considering that motorcyclists have been seen roaring down sidewalks, running red lights on Michigan Avenue, and narrowly missing pedestrians. Others put drivers at risk as they weave in and out of lanes on Chicago expressways – with some some doing wheelies.

They all act in large numbers – 200 to 300 at a time.

"I can't even believe what they're doing," Nowakowski said. "It's unbelievable."

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) is introducing a resolution in the city council Wednesday, asking the Chicago Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management to find a solution.

They could look at what police are doing in Clearwater, Florida. Officers won't chase speeding motorcyclists there, calling it too dangerous.

Instead, the Pinellas County Sheriff's helicopter tracks reckless bikers, and when they stop, officers get there quickly.

A Clearwater police spokesman told us dozens of motorcyclists have been cited this year – and four men were arrested in April. Police said three of them had gone well north of 100 mph.

In Chicago, multiple people told us they called 911 to complain about the reckless motorcyclists. The stories they shared are harrowing.

"Walking across the street and fearing they're going to hit me, they've put my life at risk without me having any choice," said a resident named Kim who did not want her last name used.

A City Council committee will take up the resolution and welcome comments from the public.


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