SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The City of Salem is keeping its usual Halloween crowds at bay by canceling events, closing streets, and shuttering businesses early.
Last week, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said several new measures aimed at reducing crowds would take effect over the weekend.
“Ordinarily, there is no better place to celebrate Halloween than Salem," Driscoll said. "Our first priority from the outset of this pandemic has been keeping residents, employees, and visitors healthy and safe. To help ensure we can meet that goal, we are taking action to limit the number of people who will be in Salem on Halloween.”
Driscoll said any visitors who are still planning to come to Salem Saturday night should consider postponing their trip.
"We're concerned ... that we're going to have lots of people flocking to Salem for the typical Halloween events that will not be happening," Mayor Driscoll said. "They have all been canceled."
As with every year, fines for illegal incidents such as noise violations, public intoxication, littering, and vandalism have been tripled for weekends in October.
All businesses in Salem are being asked to close by 8 p.m., and Salem Police will close roads to through-traffic and pedestrians as circumstances warrant. To help mitigate any evening crowds, no lines or waiting will be permitted on the public way after 8 p.m., including at retail, museums, attractions, walking tours, and restaurants.
MBTA commuter rail trains outbound from Boston will not stop at Salem station on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. All City and private parking garages and lots will close to entering traffic at noon on October 31st, and November 1st.
Salem residents with reserved parking spaces or who live downtown, and any downtown business employee with proof of employment, may enter and park in both City garages at any time at the regular parking rate and subject to available spaces. Exiting traffic will still be allowed.
The City is temporarily expanding resident parking areas to additional streets during the final weekend of October and will be ticketing and towing illegally parked vehicles. Driscoll said hang tags and stickers will not be issued for the expanded resident parking areas, instead license plates will be run by police prior to towing in order to check the registered address of any vehicle.
(Photo: Getty Images)