By Jillian Jorgensen
SALEM — A new roller coaster proposed for Canobie Lake Park is one step closer to approval after the Planning Board meeting Tuesday.
"It was pretty positive," Planning Director Ross Moldoff said of the board's reaction to the park's plans.
Plans submitted to the town say the ride will be a Compact Euro-Fighter coaster, made by Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, a German design company. The coaster starts out with a 97-degree drop, and then can be customized to include loops, over-banked curves, zero-G humps and other "thrill elements," according to the company's website.
The Planning Board was impressed with how far the Canobie consultant went — across an ocean — to make sure the coaster would meet town guidelines for noise and traffic.
"I think they were very impressed that the park had gone all the way to the Netherlands to see and view and videotape the ride," Moldoff said.
Consultants from Canobie took noise measurements in the amusement park in the Netherlands where a similar coaster is set up, Moldoff said. The noise survey satisfied the Salem board, he said.
Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten spoke to the board about traffic coming from the park, and said the department was very happy with its working relationship with Canobie Lake Park.
"They clear the traffic much quicker than they used to," Moldoff said.
But the board will await the results of a traffic study, determining how much extra traffic the new coaster might generate, before approving the new structure.
Moldoff said he thought that if approved, the coaster construction would begin this fall.
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