Cruising continues to be a downtown problem

Second Avenue in downtown Memphis moves smoothly during the day. But things can slow to a crawl when the sun goes down.

"Cruising, cruising, cruising--every Friday and Saturday night," says Shawn Danko.

Danko owns Big Foot Lodge and says business is brisk, during the winter-time.

"Now that weather is warmer and more conducive to cruising out there, we see a sharp decline in sales as a result," says Danko.

He believes many potential customers simply don't want to deal with the headaches cruising can cause.

"You can't move, there's people hanging out of cars, it's loud, it's pretty obnoxious and very intimidating for a lot of people," says Danko.

"You got traffic backed up from one end to the other end--that end to that end, it's backed up," says Ronnie Jones of Pancho's.

Merchants say Memphis Police are usually out in force trying to combat problems created by cruising. But they don't believe it's a battle they can win.

"When you're dealing with 100's of cars and you know they're cruising, do you stop everyone? Can you stop everyone?" asks Danko.

"I think if they just re-route traffic, re-route some of it on the weekends so people can come through," says Jones.

"It's difficult and I think the fines need to be a little bit steeper," says Danko.

Unless something different happens, it appears cruising will continue to be a concern downtown.

While a lot of the people are clearly cruising, they are not necessarily breaking the law. That's because cruising is defined as passing the same point three times in an hour. That's hard to do when things are really backed-up.