Improving the Streets of Blubber Hollow

Way back in November MassWorks Infrastructure Program granted the City of Salem $3.5 million to “help make Goodhue, Bridge and Boston streets more inviting to pedestrians and bicyclists.”

From the report in the Salem News:

The grant, which through the state Department of Housing and Community Development, features a Complete Streets approach. Complete Streets endeavors to increase road accessibility for non-motor vehicle traffic, such as pedestrians and bicyclists. This includes repairing sidewalks and adding bike lanes, or at least providing signage for a shared roadway. Tentative improvements to the area include repaving, new bike lanes and sidewalk upgrades on Bridge Street from Flint to Boston streets, plus finishing a shared path between Grove and Bridge streets with lights. There’s also planned to be a separate bike path between the intersection of Bridge and Flint streets and the Leslie’s Retreat path … Improving walking and biking conditions can cut down on the amount of vehicles traveling through the city, which is also environmentally friendly.

Sounds great and good, and there seemed to be some urgency to the matter.

The city hopes to begin making improvements in the spring. “We’re going to get right on it,” the mayor said.

Here it is in mid-July and no work has been done or started. You read that right – NOTHING.

This stasis is par for the course for Blubber Hollow, the ‘front door’ to the Gallows Hill neighborhood. Elsewhere in the Salem News article is a summary of development plans

Five sites in the neighborhood are planned to … hold housing complexes. The only completed one is North River apartments at 28 Goodhue St. The site includes 45 residences. Approved projects include mixed-use residential at the Gateway Center on Bridge Street; residences at the former Salem Suede site, or Riverview Place; and residences at the former site of Salem Oil and Grease, to be called Grove Street Apartments. Approval is [also] pending for apartments and retail at the intersection of Goodhue and Boston streets, called River Rock Apartments.

Need it be written that NOT ONE of those five projects has begun construction. As noted in an earlier post, the only life in Blubber Hollow are abject homeless and hungry rats.

We’re patiently waiting, Ms. Mayor.



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