Shuttles to help ease Cruise traffic

SALEM – With the Arby’s Cruisin’ Crew handling show car parking for the 2014 Salem Super Cruise, Gene Johnson, the Arby’s Cruisin’ Crew organizer, said they expect to run two shuttle buses from the east and west ends of the city to help alleviate traffic congestion.

The 9th annual Salem Super Cruise is set for June 19 through 22.

Johnson told a crowd of 23 people at Wednesday’s Super Cruise meeting that plans call for running shuttle buses from the 1900 block of East Third Street, at the north end of the Salem Regional Medical Center parking lot, and from the Frostop lot in the 900 block of West State Street, to the downtown area and back every 15 minutes.

The shuttles will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“We hope it will cut down over 20 percent of the traffic,” he said.

The city will still manage the overall event and the Arby’s Cruisin’ Crew is a supporter of the Salem Community Food Pantry.

Johnson said show cars will be in three lots, on East Pershing Street across from Timberlanes, on East Second Street, behind the Salem News, and on South Broadway Avenue in the Butech-Bliss parking lot. The Cool Time Cruisers will handle the lot behind the Salem News.

“I’m waiting for permission to park cars in a church lot on the north side,” he said.

“By doing all this we’ll be cutting down on traffic and educating the people on where to park,” he said.

East Pershing Street will be closed off except to westbound traffic between North Lincoln Avenue and South Ellsworth Avenue. Traffic lights on State Street will be green during cruising hours from 5 to 10 p.m.

Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst said, “We know it’s going to be an inconvenience … it’s for two nights … we do want to make it friendlier for the people downtown and make it work.”

Another new item is a simulcast that will broadcast the same music and advertising into all three lots and to Arby’s, Johnson said.

The cruise will kick off Thursday night with special, two piece dash plaques to the first 100 show cars. The first dash plaque half can be picked up at the Timberlane’s lot and the other half at Arby’s.

The plaques will be available the first night only and the kick-off cruise begins at 4 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m.

The Super Cruise autocross will move to the Salem High School parking lot and Kenst said the school board requested security and a provision the school receives the concession money.

Last year the popular event was held at Walmart which has agreed to sponsor refreshments for the high school students to sell this year.

High school student Dominic Righetti and his father, Mark, organized the autocross and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Sports Car Club of America will conduct the event as it did last year.

Kenst said T-shirts should be available by the second week of April and the city will print 10,000 brochures. Net profits from T-shirt sales will go to the Salem Community Food Pantry.

There will be live entertainment at the Broadway and State Street stage all four days.

Sunday’s Show ‘N Shine will be sponsored by Bricker Automotive NAPA Auto Parts in Lisbon and will have the same contestant categories and trophies awarded as in the past.

The next Super Cruise meeting will be at 7 p.m., April 16 in city hall and is open to the public.