Monday, July 14, 2008

July 2008 Transportation Update

Salem Traffic 2008-06-25 080

Cars and bikes aren’t the only way to get around on Bridge St.  [All photos are by the blogger unless otherwise mentioned.]

The bypass road is one month away from completion, assuming they stay on schedule.   The pedestrian path next to the road is paved and opened.  The landscaping at Howard St. is nowhere near done, with two big piles of dirt and a hole belonging to National Grid still there.   It may not be finished until the Jail project gets going later in the summer.

The half of the road nearest St. Peter St. was lit relatively early in the project last year, but the other half near March St., and the pedestrian path, has not been lit.

The closing of the east ramp at the North Street overpass didn’t happen yet;  not surprised here as the demolition of the three houses on site was delayed by several weeks.  Traffic signals need to go up on the west ramp first;  phone poles are up for temporary signals but no wire has been hung. 

I’ve asked Jason Silva, the mayor’s chief of staff, if there’ll be a ceremony marking the opening of the road.  The city hasn’t planned one, but Mr. Silva was interested in the idea and would try to interest MassHighway in the idea.

Despite my mixed feelings on the road, there has to be a ceremony.  Many people advocated for it and yet live nowhere near the road and may never drive it themselves.  They need to see this road and ponder for themselves whether it was a good use of their money, energy and time.  It would give John Keenan, our state rep, a pair of scissors to use.  Who knows if he’ll get to use them on the courthouse project?

A loud constituency on Salemweb wants to see a road party, based on the very successful bridge party that was held on the opening of the new Salem-Beverly bridge.  I don’t see much hope of this;  I can’t think the original party was paid for with municipal monies from either Salem or Beverly.  If the Salem Chamber of Commerce is putting on a party they’re being very quiet, so I guess the answer is no.

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