Let's Talk About North Street
I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the new bike lanes on North Street.
I moved to Salem precisely because it was a walkable town. I commuted on my bike year-round to Marblehead and when my children were all attending elementary school, we biked from our house on Federal Street to the Saltonstall School together. That said, I am not a fan of these new grant funded road configurations. What works well in New York City on large main streets without driveways or street parking clearly does not translate to our streets here in Salem, and they have already been proven to be unsafe.
Shared Streets and Spaces is a funding program that supports quick-launch improvements to public health, safe mobility, and strengthened commerce in Massachusetts municipalities. The concept “quick launch” is the first red flag I see; and yet another example of bureaucracy without common sense. Common sense that would likely have been provided by the Salem Bicycling Advisory Committee who resigned en masse in 2015 complaining that their suggestions were ignored, and they were unable to be effective.
Traffic flow in Salem is a city-wide problem that needs a whole city overview of sidewalks, streets, and a combination of off-street bike paths connecting schools, parks, and businesses.