I was out walking the other night for the second time down Howard Street. They have a major parking/emergency vehicle issue. The sidewalks are narrow but historical and the street is narrow and abuts the cemetery. In order for the emergency vehicles to travel down this beautiful street, the neighbors have to park on the narrow sidewalks. If they do park on the sidewalks, they receive a $25 parking ticket. If they don’t park on the sidewalk, they have suffered from damaged cars if a fire truck, ambulance or any emergency vehicle travels down this road.
I was talking to Matt Smith, head of parking and traffic at the city of Salem. I have sent him a suggestion that a resident mentioned when walking in that neighborhood. The concept is called Woonerf or “living street”. The concept originated in Netherlands. As the neighbor said , it has the advantages of creating a better looking street, keeping all the historic features of the streetscape, traffic calming and a street more oriented around people, instead of cars.
It might be the solution for Howard Street. We keep the sidewalks-incorporating them into the road so there is no tickets for parking closer to the homes.
When I become your ward councillor, I will work on solving this problem. I raise this as a possible solution since we can learn from other historical communities and incorporate it into our beautiful city. I look forward to working with the residents on Howard Street and Matt Smith to develop a solution that meets the needs of safety as well as parking.