Cedar Point guests experience traffic jams, complain on the Internet

Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:30 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Point officials are reviewing the popular park's parking and traffic procedures after last weekend's huge crowds led to hours-long waits to exit. Irate Cedar Point guests complained on Facebook and elsewhere, even as they sat in their cars with nowhere to go.

Read more from The Plain Dealer.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 5:37 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I don't think this has been mentioned here, but, why should season pass holders, and regular park guests pay more money or get blacked out because Cedar Point can't get their act together. They don't need to raise prices, what they need is better planning.

If you go there on busy days during the summer, there are a multitude of employees instructing people on where they need to go for parking, as well as people outside the tolls taking cash parking fees, and stickering cars, so they have less backup at the toll booths. Why don't they have these same people direct cars as they are leaving?

One thing our local fair does, is re-route the entrance roads at a certain time, and all roads leading out of the park are for exit only. Especially after a big rock concert, where you have 40,000 or so people leaving all at once. It runs very smoothly. If Cedar Point just went down to 3 exit lanes, and, one entrance lane on the causeway prior to closing, it would take less time to get people out of the park. With better direction by staff, it would make it a lot easier.

Another problem they have, is that they only have one access road between the lots, and way too many places to cross it, with people going in all different directions. A solution would be to add another entrance access road at the edge of the lot on the bayside (blue Streak side)of the lot so that people who are arriving at the park, only use that road. Then turn the entire main road into an exit road, and all you have to do is merge into it, like a highway. They could also have a second exit road on the lake erie side for exit only, and merge that road toward the causeway, with both that road, and the main road leading out of the park, with all traffic leaving the park going in the same direction.

In the case of the fair, even the roads leading to the highway, are turned into one way streets, and any traffic coming toward the fair is blocked, until a majority of the exit traffic has cleared, all monitored by state and county police. And, never a problem. If they had better exit planning, things would go a lot smoother. And, the cost would be a lot lower than building new roads, and no need to further charge guests more money for access to the park, or exclude people from entering.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Wednesday, October 16, 2013 5:51 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:04 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I'd say that the main parking lot could certainly be improved. Unlike Walt Disney World, where the parking lots were designed to move large numbers of people efficiently, I'm guessing Cedar Point's main parking lot kind of "grew" as needed.

But...would Cedar Fair spend the money to correct an infrequent problem with significant roadwork? Maybe. Maybe not.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:14 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Another comment. I am assuming the back parking lot is the soak city lot. That's trickier, because the road leading back there is only 2 lanes in each direction. And there are a lot of blind spots and stops. Probably one of the worst planned roads I have ever seen. They could turn that into a one way street when the park closes. Though it may make it difficult for resort guests to get back to their rooms at the end of the night with more complaints.

Another less appealing idea would be a one way beach road, going along the lake erie side of the park, which would only be used by people exiting the soak city lot. And the road would only be used when the beach is closed. That way it would not interfere with people enjoying the beach during the day. And, would not interfere with those trying to get back to the resorts at night, as it would only be used as an exit road.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:16 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:22 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

It doesn't need road work. Painting in road lines on parking lots, and putting down cones, and re-directing taffic, doesn't have to include any construction. Another thing they could do is have one way parking. Like what you would find at a rest area, constant one way motion.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:29 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

You used to drive up to about where the Marina gate is, then drive across the peninsula to the Breakers. The park was all south of that road at the time.

Perimeter Road is what it is, a two lane road built when Cedar Point was a smaller, less-busy park.

Turning it into a one way "street" when the park closes is a no-go. Resort guests need to be able to get to their resorts, employees in their cars and employees on their buses need to get to their jobs or their rooms, and emergency vehicles need to be able to get around.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:37 PM
Jeff's avatar

Rye Beach and Cleveland Rd. east is irrelevant. The path to 250, and therefore 2 and the turnpike, are the problem. If they could build a road straight south from the big CP sign to 250, that would be a huge help. 250 can handle the volume, but the snake west and deal with the railroad thing is a mess.

The Disney lots all have a similar pattern. The tram lane splits it in the middle (there are two at MK), and cars enter at the center. They park a row at a time, two deep, and guests walk in front of the cars. Exiting all goes out to the perimeter of the lot in double lanes, and those paths merge to the exit.

CP has four or five ways out of the main lot, each interfering with egress from the others. Drivers can choose which to use. If that weren't enough, cars have to merge from the bay side lot! It's a mess.

The Soak City lot problem is an anomaly. If it weren't for the poor egress out of the main lot, it wouldn't be an issue.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 8:36 PM

^Exactly, the two choke points when getting out of Soak City is actually getting out of the lot (because for some reason the main drive to the exit disappears halfway through the lot making for a lot of confused angry drivers on the way out) and then once you hit the main lot and all the traffic. The Perimeter Rd part is quick and painless until you hit the Blue Streak turnaround on most nights, that is where traffic stops. Once you clear the tollbooth you are usually golden. Anyone who goes 250 to get to the highway is stupid, if you are going east, then take CP Rd if you are going west then take a right to get to Rt 4. There is no reason to hit all of those lights on 250.


2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:02 PM

Maybe they should just double deck the causeway. Top coming in, and drop it down to new toll booths in the wide area of land before the parking lot. Bottom level going out. It would totally be worth it for the three days a year they need it.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:10 PM

As has been repeatedly mentioned, the issue is the traffic getting to the causeway (past the toll booth). From there, its clear. So Cedar Point needs to come up with a better solution to get traffic to the causeway. After reading Jeff's comment, I'm inclined to think that there is an easy somewhat low cost solution to this.

Hire a consultant who specializes in traffic flow to re-design the parking lot (paint scheme only). There has to be somebody out there who designs roads and parking and also knows a bit about human nature to get them to drive the direction you want them to go. Once they figure out how to improve the flow through the main lot, and put down a new coat of paint. Compared to the other options, this one has to be the cheapest, and would give the biggest bang for the buck.

Last edited by 0g, Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:11 PM
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:30 PM
rollergator's avatar

Here's a real Traffic jam! ;~)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSQ1akE2CcMSQ1akE2CcM

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:38 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Well, that'd be a bad move wouldn't it? But what if you were getting 30,000 at $100 a head and 10,000 cars at $15 a pop? Suddenly, it's a good move.

In it's simplest form, that is to say, I'd rather have 10 customers paying $100 than 100 people paying $10.

Its not that Cedar Point isn't worth $100. Its just that I think they would loose a huge portion of their guests that come for Multi-Day park visits. This is because most travelers will probably be looking at a few different trip possibilities and if they see that a trip to Disney will cost them roughly the same as a trip to Cedar Point, and obviously the customer knows that Disney provides a better value because of theming and multiple parks, etc. then very few people are going to choose Cedar Point over Disney.

Cedar Point wants to attract more hotel guests and multi- day visitors because they make a lot more money on them, then they do on a regular one day guest and even a season pass holder. They are investing a lot into their hotel properties lately for a reason. Although I agree the prices should go up, I don't think the $100 would be the magic number. Perhaps something closer to the $70 range, similar to Busch/SeaWorld Parks.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:59 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

You focused on exactly the wrong thing. $100 was a completely arbitrary number based on nothing.

The point was serving less people and charging them more seems like it may be a better approach for this event.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 3:57 AM

I love the way stories are titled on CB. It's always entertaining to see typical over-hyped media headlines vs. Jeff's interpretation here.

Like I said a few weeks ago, this weekend never fails to bring in massive crowds and complaints. I wonder how many people have this experience, and then do it all over again next year on the same weekend.

I was looking on the Six Flags Great America website, and I noticed they either add a Thursday or the Columbus Day Monday (with lower ticket prices) on the heaviest October weekends. This seems logical, and I wonder how much it has helped to ease their Saturday situation.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 6:17 AM

I really don't see cp changing much of anything. They are in the businesse to make money. That means packing as many people in as they can. Raising the gate price may limit the crowds but limiting the crowd limits concession sales. Bottom line is cup doesn't care about how long it takes to get out of the park or your guest experience, they care about $ signs and they will continue to do what it takes to rake in the most money that they can.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 9:22 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

Timber-Rider said:
I don't think this has been mentioned here, but, why should season pass holders, and regular park guests pay more money or get blacked out because Cedar Point can't get their act together. They don't need to raise prices, what they need is better planning.

Perhaps but doing so would make the park more manageable on peak nights, resulting in a better experience. We've talked about dynamic pricing a lot lately. Disney does it, Universal does it. It works. Heck, even little ole Kennywood does it and they still pack the place on Friday and Saturday nights.

CP ismyhome said:
Bottom line is cup doesn't care about how long it takes to get out of the park or your guest experience, they care about $ signs and they will continue to do what it takes to rake in the most money that they can.

At the very least they care about the guest experience because it's what makes them money. They don't want unhappy patrons.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 1:26 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

CP ismyhome said:

They are in the businesse to make money. That means packing as many people in as they can.

No, it doesn't. In fact, that thinking is exactly the problem. I say you make more money from less guests who are happier and willing to pay more than from the sardine can of low-paying unhappy guests.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 1:29 PM
Fun's avatar

Yes, but then you have the folks who analyze annual attendance and point to lower attendance as a failure, in spite of revenue increasing. For some reason, investors want to see both increase hand in hand.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 1:44 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I say you make more money from less guests who are happier and willing to pay more than from the sardine can of low-paying unhappy guests.

But you make the MOST money by doing both - "packing in" those who would be sardines, and charging extra for those willing to pay more for an experience with a little more elbow room. Wait, isn't that how we got VQ in the first place? ;~)

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 2:39 PM
Gemini's avatar

The biggest obstacle for a Cedar Point "bypass" is existing homes. I can't imagine a scenario where a bypass connects south of Perkins Ave – you'd either have to merge onto Perkins, or go over it. North of Perkins Ave, it's a tight fit and there's probably a significant added cost due to property acquisition. (Bypass image. Orange is potential bypass. Blue shows current exit strategy. Yellow indicates area with environmental protection, though I assume that's a solvable problem.)

There has been talk, going back to at least the 1990s, about a possible extension of Strub Road to US 6, directly linking US 6 and US 250. Obviously it's not going to solve every problem, but it would provide a reasonable alternative for traffic both in and out of the park. The project would also be much easier to accomplish, given the only thing in the way is farm land and the Norfolk Southern tracks. It's also a win for local, year-round traffic. I haven't heard anything in recent years about this project, so it could be nothing more than a wish list item from some development committee. (Strub Road extension image. Orange indicates the extension. Chet and Matt's is circled in yellow, for reference)


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 3:45 PM

Um... If I can't get to Chet and Matt's on account of Cedar Point traffic I'm gonna be REALLY irate.

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