Morris Cruise Night founder Herb Wyeth returned to the Morris City Council on Monday with a map of proposed additional parking for cruise nights in the downtown.
At last month’s meeting, Wyeth told the council the Aug. 10 cruise night had 886 vehicles, a record number for the 12-year event. He told the council they are running out of room for all of the vehicles in the current space they are allowed to use downtown.
In August, the council discussed allowing vehicles to be parked along Liberty Street, between Washington Street and Illinois Avenue. Previously, that street has been closed off to cruisers for traffic purposes. In addition, they said Cruise Night may be able to use Washington Street, from Franklin Street to Liberty Street.
Wyeth provided the council with a map Monday, illustrating how about 55 more spots could be added if these streets could be utilized.
“We would like to try this for the last few months and see how it works,” he said in regards to the remainder of this season’s scheduled events.
Alderman Bill Martin, who was running the meeting in Mayor Richard Kopczick’s absence, said he will have the map presented at the next Street and Alley Committee meeting for its approval.
The proposed plan would be to barricade Franklin Street at Washington Street, so only show vehicles could use the street. The vehicles would come through to be lined up for assigned parking, and parking spots on Washington could be used for additional parking.
Where Liberty hits Illinois also would be barricaded, so the spaces on Liberty can be used for show cars.
“If we can block that, it ends a lot of congestion,” Wyeth said after the meeting.
If not all the spots are needed, the barricades will be removed from Illinois Avenue, Wyeth said.
He also said he spoke with owners of the businesses along Liberty Street, between Washington and Illinois, and they had no concerns with the cruise night area being extended.
“We got permission from the Morris police department to put signs up,” he said.
The signs would be by police order that no one could park in these spots after 2 p.m.
August has historically been the cruise night season’s busiest month. It attracted 99 vehicles that have never been to the event before. About 8,000 spectators came to Morris, as well.
It had 137 cities represented and four out of state entries. The beneficiary of that most-recent event was the Community Nutrition Network’s Meals on Wheels. The 50-50 raised more than $9,400, half of it going to CNN.
The next Morris Cruise Night is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. Proceeds of the 50-50 raffle will go to the R.E.A.C.H. program.
For more information on the cruise nights, visit morriscruisenight.com.