Families, police prepare for Dream Cruise

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published August 16, 2017

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ROYAL OAK — The time is here to motor into town for the 23rd annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

The annual event officially takes place 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, on the iconic roadway from Ferndale north to Pontiac.

Greg Rassel, president of the Woodward Dream Cruise board, said this year, Ford has stepped in as the presenting sponsor, and the event expects to attract more than 40,000 vehicles and 1.2 million people from throughout the world.

Notable Dream Cruise happenings in Royal Oak include:
• The Performance Park Classic Car Show from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 18, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 19 at Memorial Park.
• The Family Fun Zone from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at Pioneer Park.
• The Cruise in Shoes 5K Fun Run and Walk at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 19, beginning on Yorba Linda Boulevard and finishing at Shrine High School, 3500 W. 13 Mile Road.
• Fifty Amp Fuse will perform from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Duggan’s Irish Pub, 31501 Woodward Ave.
• The “Chrome, Fins & Style” and “Woodward Memories” exhibits will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Royal Oak Historical Museum, 1411 W. Webster Road.
• Ford displays will be at Duggan’s Irish Pub and at Normandy Road and Woodward Avenue on Aug. 19.

“The Normandy strip mall plaza will have all sorts of vendor displays and all sorts of interactive displays,” Rassel said.

Dave Kindig, award-winning hot rod builder and star of the TV show “Bitchin’ Rides” will also be in attendance at 30252 Woodward Ave., south of 13 Mile Road. His team said that Kindig will be bringing several of the cars restored by his Salt Lake City-based shop, Kindig It Design, including a fully customized 1955 Chevrolet Nomad wagon.

When it comes to actually hitting the strip in your hot rod, the Royal Oak Police Department wants everyone to be safe and have fun while visiting the city.

“This is a family-friendly event,  and we encourage people to come out and have a good time,” said Royal Oak Police Department Lt. Keith Spencer.

Spencer said the department reminds people that alcohol and cars do not mix, and this is an alcohol-free event, including those along the roadway.

Since June, the department has been stepping up cruise enforcement along the corridor “as part of an ongoing effort to reduce noise and maintain the quality of life for residents and businesses along Woodward Avenue.”

That noise ordinance and parking enforcement will continue on cruise day.

Spencer said the department receives many complaints throughout the summer regarding loud vehicles on Woodward Avenue and cruisers using private business parking lots to congregate and rev their engines.

As part of the initiative, the Royal Oak Police Department has been taking enforcement action with zero tolerance on vehicles that are modified or are being driven in a manner that violate traffic laws or the city’s noise ordinances.

“We want to ensure this is a safe event, so there will be zero tolerance on any reckless driving or dangerous behavior,” Spencer said.

The department’s actions haven’t been welcomed by all, and attorney Baron Morris has threatened to sue the city over what he is calling unlawful noise tickets to motorists, whom he said are not close to exceeding stated noise levels.

Morris drafted a letter and sent it to the Royal Oak city attorney saying he feels the department is unfairly targeting people who have been cruising in the lead-up to the event.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office has also issued a traffic control order on Woodward Dream Cruise day banning commercial vehicles, any vehicles over 10,000 pounds and vehicles with trailers.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, anyone who violates the order will be immediately directed off Woodward Avenue and will face being ticketed if they refuse to comply with the order.

“The Sheriff’s Office and our local law enforcement partners who are tasked with maintaining the safety and security of the Woodward Dream Cruise sought this one-day traffic control order to better protect those attending the event,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement. “This traffic control order will streamline the flow of traffic, enhance the cruise viewing experience and add a layer of protection for those attending the event.”

Spencer said motorists in the area should expect delays on the day of the cruise and seek alternate routes if they are not participating in the event.

Spencer said that following the close of the event at 9 p.m., there will be limited restrictions on the roadway, and motorists should expect further delays until about 10 p.m.

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