Friday, February 29, 2008

Most Salemmites are uninformed on the bypass road

In talking with people on Salemweb and elsewhere, a lot of people are unaware of this project. By contrast, the Salem-Beverly bridge project in the early nineties happened before the Internet, the web and blogs, but it was much better reported. The Salem News had good newspaper reporting then with frequent and substantial news updates on the bridge project. People were very ambivalent about the bridge, but they were not uninformed. That may not be the case with the bypass road.

Except for one photo in the Gazette last summer, and scattered mentions of the project, there's been little reporting on a project that directly affects not only my corner, but also all of Bridge St., including the impending Jail project.

The image above is an annotated copy of a blueprint sheet that I got from Sue Cranney, the manager of the road project, two years ago when it started. I've marked several major landmarks, including both halves of the Jefferson, the Salem Jail and the elderly housing complex on the corner of Bridge and St. Peter.

Of most interest to me and others, is the section in the middle of the print between St. Peter and Howard. This section, directly in front of the Jail, will be turned into a pedestrian path when Bridge St. is jogged towards the river to meet the new roadway.

This is, as far as I'm aware, the last major part of the road to be completed. As you can see elsewhere in my Flickr set, the lighting and traffic signals, and some of the signage, have already been in place for a while. There was a lot of digging and utility relocation done in the past two years of construction that might well be complete.

I'm concerned about the pedestrian signal to be placed on my corner. I and the Salem Commission on Disabilities asked Sue Cranney two years ago to put in voice-announcement ("Talking") signals for people with disabilities. These signals can be found at Marlboro Road, Vinnin Square and the Jefferson/Canal/Loring Ave intersection near Salem State College Central Campus. These are different, and much nicer, than the buzzing audible signals you may have run into.

We wanted these installed at Salem Depot, but when the rotary was removed, we got "regular" audible (buzzing) pedestrian signals. Apparently, they had been ordered well prior to construction before we had even met with Sue.

I hope not to be disappointed again.

The project is presently shut down for the winter but spring is not far away. It's still scheduled for completion in the summer.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

keep up the good work

The Salem Insider said...

David,

The print journalist and his media is all but dead. Keeping the public informed now falls on the shoulders of those (like us) who care enough to make it happen.

Thanks for keeping up on this project, I for one am interested in its outcome as I travel this road every day.