Mayor Kim Driscoll today announced that the City of Salem has launched a “mode shift” participatory budgeting program, where residents will be able to propose projects that will encourage alternative transportation and then vote on those projects. The projects with the most votes will be advanced to construction or implementation this fall.
The program is being funded by $30,000 that the City of Salem has received from the Commonwealth through a state charge assessed on ride-share services like Uber and Lyft in 2017. Per the state law, ten cents from each such ride is being distributed proportionately to each city and town based on the number of rides that originated in that community.
Residents are encouraged to submit their proposed ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline of July 16. Only one proposal should be sent in per person. After July 16, the City will review the submissions, combining similar proposals and eliminating those that do not match the program or statutory requirements.
The final proposals will appear on a ballot and every Salem resident will be invited to vote for the proposal of their choice. Residents will only be able to vote once per person and will be able to do so either online at www.salem.com/shift or in person during City business hours in the Mayor’s Office at City Hall, 93 Washington Street. Voting will last from August 1 until August 31, after which point the proposals will be sorted by the most number of votes and awarded funding in that order until the full $30,000 is utilized.
“In the future we may opt to put these dollars to specific programs like a shuttle service or bike share,” said Mayor Driscoll. “This year, however, we thought it would be great to galvanize some public engagement and enthusiasm around alternative transit options. I hope anyone with a concept or idea about how to encourage mode shift in transportation here in Salem – whether it’s a capital project, an educational effort, or a new program – will submit their proposal to go onto the ballot. And I encourage all Salem residents to vote for the project of their choice this August.”
Full program details are available at www.salem.com/shift.