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Lowriders cruising back in National City

The United Lowrider Coalition celebrates the end of a decades-old ban on cruising in National City as the last "No cruising zone" is taken down.

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — The United Lowrider Coalition is celebrating the removal of a decades-old ban on cruising in National City with the final "No cruising zone" sign being taken down.

Following a statewide movement sparked by National City lowriders, the city has repealed a ban on cruising in the community. While other cities around California moved to lift their cruising ban, lowriders in National City were hit with one barrier after another. 

But on April 4th, National City leaders agreed that lowrider cruising is not a crime in this city.

After decades of pushing for a change in the ordinance, the council voted in favor of repealing the law and returning a cultural lifestyle to Highland Avenue.

It is a major victory for the low-riding clubs in National City.

“Oh, I’m like in awe. Like…It’s unbelievable that we got here today. From pop-up cruises in 2020 to today. But, the ban was established in 1992. So, it’s been 30-plus years that these signs have been up, reminding us that we’re not accepted, welcome in the community,” Marisa Rosales from the United Lowrider Coalition said.

"That was the late 80's, 90's. Times have changed; today is 2023," National City Mayor Ron Morrison said.

State Assemblymember David Alvarez also touted a state bill he introduced that would lift cruising bans throughout California. 

"It is now time that they cruise without the fear of being stopped or judged," said Alvarez.

The National City law was implemented in the 90s to prohibit cruising on Highland Ave with lowriders. The law came after concerns about crime and traffic congestion from cruising. 

Many Black and Latino riders felt discriminated against and have since argued that this is a law that profiles people of color.

"Well, it was…like sad. Because, you know, I would cruise these streets in '92 when the ban was on. It was very sad to see them. It was a constant reminder that we were not accepted,” said Rosales.

With the repeal in effect, many men and women are planning to join the lowriders and slowly cruise on the streets of National City.

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