, Salem, MA


September 26, 2012

Surviving the Main Street makeover

Peabody businesses feel a pinch, but are taking a long view

PEABODY — The transformation of Main Street has begun, and downtown Peabody merchants seem convinced of two things — the disruption is both terrible and entirely necessary.

“This month, business has been horrible,” said Teresa Capela of Teresa’s Crafters Boutique. “... I’m hoping it will get better. That’s why I’m still here.”

“It’s going to help downtown Peabody,” said Roseanne DeFilippo, who has operated Roseanne Hair Salon for 23 years. “And we need it. We need it to look nice just like Danvers Square.”

The project began at the end of August, and the process of digging up the sidewalks started Sept. 4. Currently, sidewalks are gone on one side of the road. All that remains is dirt and sand for an area stretching from just outside the square up to and beyond the Peabody Institute Library.

At the same time, heavy equipment is breaking up sections of the road. Commuters were braced for the worst as the wide four lanes are narrowed to two.

The aim, Mayor Ted Bettencourt said, is to get drivers to slow down, to create a less hectic atmosphere and more parking, and perhaps entice customers to stop and pop into the stores. While the work is ongoing, drivers, including the hundreds who pass through daily on their way to Salem and Marblehead, have been waved into makeshift lanes.

“I did get some phone calls early on from some drivers,” Bettencourt said. “Mainly people from Salem. But I haven’t recently. But there will be rough days.”

The Main Street renovation is slated to provide decorative streetlamps, greenery, brick sidewalks and “bump-outs” intended to extend the sidewalks into the road and make crossing the street less hazardous. All that is only the first step in a three-step program, the mayor said.

The next project will be flood mitigation in the square, followed by a redesign of the square that will include moving the Civil War Memorial to a site in front of the courthouse.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech High-flying Tech Stocks a Concern for Investors "Heartbleed" Bug Puts Internet Security at Risk AP Tech Review: Samsung Galaxy S5 Toyota Recalls 1.8M Vehicles in the US Comcast Executive: 'Merger Not a Problem' Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Employers Add 192K Jobs; Rate Stays at 6.7 Pct Senators Press Barra About GM's Delay in Recall More Americans See Middle Class Status Slipping GM CEO Faces House Hearing on Recall NHTSA: GM Should 'Fix Vehicles Quickly' GM's CEO Testifies on Faulty Ignition Switches Owner, Families Share Cobalt Stories Jury Selection Begins in Apple-Samsung Case BMW Plans $1 Billion Expansion in South Carolina
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Comments Trcker