POLL: Let's Talk About Life in Halloweentown

Salem goes through lots of changes in October — take our poll and let us know how you feel.

Salem is Halloween, but we undoubtedly go through lots of changes on the yearly journey to Oct. 31.

Beginning late in the summer, tourists come to visit, taking advantage of our shops, attractions and restaurants.

In early October, are hauled in to the , Derby Street and and the population begins to boom. It's not as easy to find a parking space as it once was.

So we want to know, for you, is Halloween worth some of the inconveniences you might face during the year? Are you the kind that lives for Oct. 1, or are you more of a Nov. 1 lover?

Take our poll and discuss why you feel the way you do in the comments.

Matthew Richard October 19, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Halloween would be worth more the convenience if we could find a way to harness the economic potential of this resource. The flash boom this holiday provides the city's economy is misleading, and resembles the reliance on a 'Christmas bonus.' Salem has so much to offer, and can be so much better off if we filled the other months of the year with social activites, in addition to just the 6 months leading to "The Season." By only caring about that brief resource, we lose out on the rest of the City that is there before and after the holiday visitors arrive. Halloween should be benefitting us, not making us reliant on it. If we want to be known as 'Halloweentown of the World,' we should be living it all year round, and not embracing it for only 31 days.
chester suchecki October 19, 2011 at 03:37 PM
i think its time to look at the prospect of extending the blue line into salem underground via marblehead ,swampscott and lynn. there has to be some relief of the traffic created by salem state and the tourists. i'm sure m/headers will appreciate this form of transportation to go to boston. another thought how about runninfg it toward the malls in peobody and danvers. there has to be some relief around here for traffic soon or salem will self destruct.
john October 19, 2011 at 04:00 PM
I find it hard to beleive that Salem turns a profit on Halloween. It's good for businesses but bad for taxpayers. How can the income to the city come close to the cost for police,DPW and toilet rentals? During the motorcycle ride we had so many police officers working it was unreal.
Diane Wolf October 19, 2011 at 04:23 PM
You know when Salem is really spooky? February.
Aubry Bracco (Editor) October 19, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Also, Matt — you made an interesting comment at the forum last night about other New England towns and looking at those as we create a vision for Salem. Any more thoughts on that? Are there any city or towns that we can look to for inspiration that you see as comparable to Salem in terms of what they have to offer and challenges they may face?
Aubry Bracco (Editor) October 19, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Chester, do you think the traffic snags are in the usual places this October, or are there new ones? Do you have thoughts on how the new traffic lights at Derby and Congress are working out now that we've increased capacity in terms of cars and people?
Liv October 19, 2011 at 04:59 PM
I know so much about Halloween Day is about free entertainment, but I wished there was a way to earn city revenue on Halloween. Perhaps, as the city already has police set up at the ends of the pedestrian mall, there could be a $1 wristband charge to walk on the closed streets. This has worked well for cities like Memphis with a famous street. As for Salem in February, one of my favorite times in the city is during the Salem's So Sweet Festival.
Matt October 19, 2011 at 05:07 PM
John, that's my point. If we have this resource, we need to find a was to utilize it's economic benefits. The businesses 'profit' from the extra flow, but ultimately, they end up sending their extra reported income to the feds and such for taxes, and are left for weaning off the bonus from the season until the next year. The City has the burden of cleaning up the mess that the extra flow brings to the public sector, and that's costs us rather than helps us.
john October 19, 2011 at 06:37 PM
The city claims to make money every year from halloween. I wish they would show proof of profit to cost.
gene October 19, 2011 at 06:50 PM
I don't want Salem to be known as "Halloweentown of the World." There is much more to Salem than witches and zombies. Usovicz devastated Destination Salem and tourist marketing and we need to recover from that poor decision. However, the facts are Salem does make money from Halloween so instead of questioning it research it. You will find that this is money maker, but we can do more. If you want to extend the Blue Line to Salem (remember it can only go as far as Canal Street without major infrastructure changes) tell me where we are going to put all those extra cars driving through Salem YEAR ROUND. We can't handle what we have now.
chester suchecki October 19, 2011 at 08:13 PM
todayn its raining so there are no tourists around traffic is moving. come friday traffic aroud here is ruthless . nobody wants to give an inch and that includes pedestrians. traffic is at a standstill on weekends and the next week and a half should be intersting to say the least. noise is the big problem for me. it does not stop, pedestrians cars,trucks,motorcycles not to mention added runs of our diligent fire, police and ambulance crews. oh did i forget every car has its own music. i have earplugs for the bad days.
john October 19, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Gene,maybe you could tell us how to research the cost of Halloween to the taxpayers, compared to the profit to the city? In all my years I have never seen a breakdown of the cost for police and DPW overtime compared to the revenue from parking.In fact I have never ever seen anything telling us how much money we pay to all the police from OTHER cities and towns for halloween,so please fill us in.
chester suchecki October 19, 2011 at 09:23 PM
what in the world happened to pioneer village? did it finnally go back to dirt like the rest of the municipal park buildings?
gene October 19, 2011 at 10:21 PM
That data has been presented to the City Council year after year. I am sure you can ask the City Clerk for the information or watch SATV like I do. When I've seen the presentations, it usually is presented when they ask to change the parking rates, they have all the costs and revenue.
john October 19, 2011 at 10:53 PM
So am I to understand that parking meters in October collect more than we pay for police,toilets and DPW overtime in October? I would bet that the parking meter revenue in October does not even cover the police OT for Halloween night alone. Maybe they can show a profit by the year from meters but that is misleading to compare a year of meter revenue compared to a month of expense in October.By the way, trying to get specific information from the city is impossible
Don Nadeau October 20, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Yes! Salem is known for Halloween, among other attractions, and should continue to capitalize on it. If a professional study has not been done(!) One certainly should be done. If you don't like the city, move. I moved here because I love it, and it is the people and the spirit (no pun) that I love. And the mass transit. I sold my car so I'm not part of that problem anymore, and it is no longer a problem for me, except for the poorly designed and built intersection at the T station missing important pedestrian islands, the station itself - and the new design does not take pedestrians and bikes into account! Folks have the right to public places and to express themselves, public revenues and expenses are public record, and the city is proactive in improving the holiday, the peacekeepers do a bang up job (no pun), and the good folks at the Chamber of Commerce have a wealth of facts to inform us (thanks Rinus, Ben, et al!). Go Salem!
d October 21, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Improving public transit and pedestrian facilities is critical to the future of Salem's tourism industry. Automobile traffic is a blight on the experience of residents and visitors alike. Let's make it safe and pleasant for people to use the T. The current T station is ugly and isolated from the city's attractions by a dangerous gauntlet of Bridge St. traffic. However, the location has enormous potential with extensive river frontage and lots of underutilized acreage now serving as single-level parking. It will take imagination, creativity and years of effort to reintegrate the North River frontage into the city, but that should not deter us from taking short-term steps to make the T station an attractive destination. The commercial potential of the foot-traffic can provide economic leverage.


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