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June 19, 2012

Rally brings traffic; parking at premium

JOHNSTOWN — Rally organizers understand that Thunder in the Valley can create some traffic backups and parking headaches, but they say locals always seem to take the disruptions in stride.

“It is just one of the things that go along with having a national-caliber event,” Executive Director Lisa Rager said at Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau offices.

As usual, much of the on-street parking in Johnstown’s business district will be reserved for motorcycles, Rager said.

The bureau has obtained sponsors to pay the city’s parking authority for the 200 parking spaces.

Four-wheeled vehicles should check out the city’s parking garages, where $5 daily event parking rates will be in effect, she said.

In addition, there will be some public metered parking spaces outside the central business district.

There will be additional restrictions on parking on Johns and Washington streets this year, Rager said. The area must be kept clear of parked vehicles for the motorcycle stunt burnout show and the Budweiser Clydesdales loading area.

For spectators and bikers who want to experience Thunder in the Valley without dealing with downtown traffic, there are sanctioned events in Ebensburg, Windber, Richland Township and Greenhouse Park.

CamTran is offering another alternative to stay out of the traffic. Fares will be just 25 cents on all urban and rural system buses today through Sunday, spokesman Josh Yoder said.

CORRECTION: 25-cent fares are Thursday through Sunday.

“It is nice to give people an alternative to get around town,” Yoder said.

The Johnstown Inclined Plane provides another way to get into town for those in the Westmont area. Thunder in the Valley is the local attraction’s biggest weekend.

Traffic delays are usually minimal, Rager said, adding that Thunder’s visitors and local commuters are generally understanding.

“If you have parking and traffic issues, that is just a sign that you have a successful event,” she said.

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