To the editor:
In response to the Thursday, March 29, letter from members of the Salem Parking Study Working Group ("Salem parking changes a work in progress"):
Our business, Steve's Quality Market, has been in operation for more than a century, and generations of our family have been raised in Salem. We have been very supportive of the Salem community and have welcomed many of the changes meant to improve our city throughout the years.
However, we are not in favor of the change from a posted, 15-minute parking zone to the four-hour smart parking meters that are being installed in front and on the side of our store and the Salem post office. We are not in favor of meters of any kind at these locations.
In your letter, members of the parking study panel stated they listened to and met with businesses and individuals to get their input on the smart meters. Steve's Quality Market was never contacted by the city, nor were any of the neighboring businesses in our area (New Life Cuts, Salon L'Ondina, Extra Effort Exercise Studio and North Shore Driving School). We were not informed.
Further, as stated in the letter, if committee members did their best to listen to residents, employees and customers, why does it have to defend its decision in a letter to the editor and why are we and our customers so baffled and stunned by the decision to install four-hour smart meters in front of Steve's?
To stay in business, we depend on quick turnover. Someone parking in front of Steve's for even half an hour — never mind four hours — is detrimental to our livelihood.
The elderly make up a large portion of our business. How can anyone expect them to park and walk a distance for their groceries?
If you look at other cities and towns, do they have meters in front of their post offices? Do other cities and towns value their city's business enough to make sure they are doing what is in the best interest of revenue-makers and residents? In this case, I am sure we were just an oversight, but this decision should be reviewed and rectified.
Steve's Quaility Market