The following was sent to Salem’s Councillors in support of the proposed change to the Sidewalk Ordinance. The proposed changes are intended to preserve, enhance and maintain brick sidewalks in our historic downtown, as well as to improve sidewalks in all of Salem’s neighborhoods. The Board encourages residents to share their thoughts with Salem’s Councillors as well. A list of and links to Salem’s Councillors can be found HERE.
To the Council,
We, the board of the Federal Street Neighborhood Association, are writing to support the proposed amendment to the sidewalk ordinance, presuming the error in the draft — i.e., specifying the deletion and replacement of “Section 38-195” which should be “Section 38-165” — is corrected.
Maintaining and installing brick sidewalks will serve to enhance the character of our historic neighborhoods and downtown. Brick is likewise more economic over the long term, as inevitable defects which occur only require the bricks to be reset, as opposed to breaking up, removal and replacement of unsightly and unsuitable asphalt.
The use of brick also advances Salem’s goals of being Greener and more resilient to Climate Change. Asphalt is made from petroleum, and its production causes the release of greenhouse gases. Unlike asphalt, a brick sidewalk set in stone dust is pervious, therefore reducing stormwater runoff and preserving the capacity of Salem’s storm-water collection system. (For this reason, it is essential that brick sidewalks not be set on an underlying layer of asphalt, as was done in the sidewalk renovation at the Public Library.)
We urge you to support this amendment.