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VIDEO: What Do You Think of the Pedestrian Mall?

People along the Essex Street pedestrian mall share their thoughts on what works and what doesn't.

As the City works to come up with the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, Salem residents and business owners are about how to make it a better place.

They also have many questions.

Should vehicular traffic be allowed on the mall? Can businesses survive without car traffic? What should be done about the park benches, fountains and the trees?

Many residents and business owners have had their say during a  being conducted by the City in conjunction with an architecture and planning firm, which will conclude next month with the selection of a final plan.

Salem Patch talked to people Tuesday afternoon as they strolled down Essex Street. Swampscott resident Alexandra Townsend, Phoenix Gabe of Salem, John Hanson of Salem, and Debra Crosby, owner of all weighed in.

Watch our video to hear their thoughts on this vital corridor.

What is your vision for the mall?

Erin Cyr March 10, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Nice Work John!
Jared Robinson July 12, 2011 at 01:31 PM
I think having cars on the Pedestrian Mall is going to suck. 100% suck. The small businesses there are probably excited to see some REAL traffic, but with only 3 or 4 parking spots, it's not going to drive up any additional business... just frustrated people looking for a place to park. On top of that, the small businesses that work back there and get a reasonable lease rate will probably get killed after they open it to street traffic as the land value will now go up because it's got active street facing property. I would estimate, at the least, rents will go up by 25% if not more.
rich swiniuch July 13, 2011 at 03:44 PM
Putting cars back onto the Mall is the only salvation for it. The biggest problem of the mall is that Essex St is a mall. These didn't work in the past and most towns and cities eliminated them.. Previous to and for some time after I owned and operated a small pet and pet supply store on upper Essex in the Y building. A drop of 40% of business income was lost which consequently put us out of business. And since then the only businesses that opened have been marginal and didn't last.

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