Her hesitation was understandable, but Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll made the right call in scrapping plans to install four-hour parking meters on Margin Street.
A working group that included representatives of all the major stakeholders in the central business district labored long and hard to come up with a comprehensive set of rates and restrictions that gives anyone coming downtown a reasonable chance of finding a place to park. The plan, which increases fees in some places but reduces them in others like the South Harbor garage, was approved by the City Council and should be given time to prove itself before changes are made.
However, installing meters at the busy corner of Margin and Gedney streets on the periphery of this district simply didn't make sense. Both the post office and businesses like Steve's Quality Market attract people looking to simply run in, conduct their business and leave. A simple, 15-minute limit makes much more sense than meters, particularly ones that could be fed to allow parking for hours.
Driscoll had legitimate concerns that others affected by the changes would seek immediate relief, as well. But we agree — and hope the council will, as well — that the rest of the plan should be given a 90-day test period before the inevitable tweaking begins.