POLL: Salem's Worst Spots for Pedestrians (and Drivers)

Take our poll and let us know which Salem spots give you the biggest headache.

Last week we reported that the and responded to .

That got us thinking, and we want to know which crossings on Salem's roadways are the toughest spots for pedestrians and drivers.

We've included some specific crossings in our poll, and we've also named some streets that have some sticky spots too.

Options in the poll were generated by readers and police log observations.

If you know of a tough crossing that we missed or have more specific information about a tough crosswalk or driving spot, please share it in the comments. We all walk different routes each day. Let us know which spots give you the biggest headache, and be safe on the roads this holiday season.

After we've gathered your input, we'll create a map to keep you in-the-know when it comes to spots that require a little extra caution.

Jroug December 19, 2011 at 02:14 PM
There are three huge problems: 1) Salem is an old city, not designed for the volume of traffic (or even the type) it now has, and in many areas, the roads & signage are in violation basic safety law - which means (incredibly) that there is no way to drive in certain parts of Salem without breaking laws. Drivers and pedestrians are both understandably frustrated by the situation. This encourages further bad behavior. 2) The Salem police are seemingly uninterested in enforcing moving violations. Their HQ is on the same block as one of the worst intersections in the State and violations occur almost every time the light changes, yet they are rarely (if ever) out giving tickets there. This sends a message that violations are okay and expected. Is this lack of enforcement so they don't discourage tourists from coming back or have the police have fallen into the same mindset of many residents who have given up on the roads being workable? Either way, it's a disservice to residents. I unfortunately have first hand knowledge that members of the Police department are not well-versed in Massachusetts traffic law, including such simple concepts a s right of way. The above two issue create a perfect storm, an unwieldy city that forces (and tacitly encourages) drivers to break laws and a near-complete lack of enforcement.
Jroug December 19, 2011 at 02:15 PM
3) I see little action taken at the Government level in terms of analyzing the problem and making positive changes (if I'm wrong, I'd love to hear about it). The city seems to wait until the situation reaches a near-crisis level before they take any action, and that happens at a glacial pace. Some of the (too few) changes the city HAS made (left turn from Essex onto Washington for instance) are steps BACKWARD. There are areas like this where changes would not be perfect but can easily improve on the current situation. There have been only two meaningful traffic projects in the 15+ years I've lived in Salem: the traffic circle that operated on a completely different set of rules than the laws of the state (hilariously right outside Salem's traffic court) and the intersection of Derby/Congress/Hawthorne was an obvious nightmare for 20+ years and it only JUST got the traffic lights it obviously required. Even then some locals fought against both projects because lights slow them down - a short-sighted and selfish view.
Jroug December 19, 2011 at 02:15 PM
With the addition of the new dorms and Salem State's new University status, South Salem is becoming as frustrating as downtown and I see nothing effective or meaningful being done to address the increased volume of even foot traffic, never mind the vehicular. Now there's talk of a CVS at the intersection by Salem State and I'm being told that the volume of traffic it will add is a separate issue from the unexamined increased traffic at Salem State, which is pure BS - you can't tell me that a project a hundred yards from Salem State is irrelevant to an existing Salem State traffic issue. Someone in city government needs to take this issue to heart - it's a real problem and while full solutions are likely going to be slow going due to budgetary restrictions, there are plenty of improvements that could be implemented at little cost - just by adding signage or using exiting lights that are now just blinking yellows. In the meantime, I wish the Police would brush up on the driving laws of the State and start enforcing. It will not only help reduce violations, but increase the city war chest.
Leese December 21, 2011 at 10:15 PM
The city has the money, they just choose to spend it elsewhere. For various reasons, the current administration prioritizes development over public safety. The police department is overworked and understaffed as a result. As well, the city doesn't have a traffic engineer. They employ consultants to conduct traffic studies on an as-needed basis, for example - when new development is proposed. There is some comprehensive traffic planning going on, but not as much as is needed.
Celeste Ross January 30, 2013 at 03:42 PM
I couldn't agree more! I saw a women get struck by a vechicle at this intersection a few years back. She was crossing from Dunkin Donuts to the old Sylvania Lot. A car taking a left onto bridge just knocked her down. It was horrific to watch! If and when I cross there...I run never walk. There is no button to push there. It's scary even when you look carefully it's still hard to figure out when it's safe to cross. Very Frustrating!!


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