Matt and Lisa Caswell, of Salem, take advantage of the nice weather to get out of the house and ride their bikes over the Union Street Railroad Bridge on Thursday, April 9. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

In two weeks, people will be able to walk to the Salem Saturday Market using Union Street.

On Monday, the Salem City Council voted to close down a portion of Northeast Union Street from Northeast Front Street to Northeast Winter Street and Northeast Winter Street from Northeast Market Street to Northeast Union Street on Saturdays starting Aug. 7.

The closures will be in effect from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturdays through the end of September.

Councilor Virginia Stapleton championed the idea. On Monday she told councilors she hasn’t gotten any negative feedback from neighbors in the impacted area but was prepared to respond to concerns.

The main concern raised by councilors Monday evening was over people not being able to drive back to their homes when the closure is in place.

People can leave their house, but can’t return until the barricades are taken down, said Peter Fernandez, public works director.

Councilor Jim Lewis was the sole “nay” vote Monday evening, because he said the motion was too restrictive for not allowing local access by car.

“I’m more of a fan of sharing the road,” he said.

City staff will circulate a flyer to the residences and businesses in that area letting them know of the impending closures as part of Stapleton’s motion.

The closures require a city crew of four people to set up and tear down the barricades at a cost of $1,360 for each closure. 

Previous coverage: Union Street would become pedestrian walkway under Salem city councilor's proposal

Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, saphara@salemreporter.com.

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