This site may be easier to use if viewed in the "landscape" orientation.

Let’s imagine how we can make our downtown sidewalks more inviting, exciting, and fun.

We invite you to participate in how we improve our sidewalks and the elements of the "streetscape". A public open house was held on November 30th. This online open house will help us collect additional feedback through December 22nd. Please provide your feedback and share this opportunity with others.

Please visit the information or sections on this site using the buttons below or click "Get Started" to learn more and share information with the City.



Why are we looking at streetscapes ... sidewalks and the public space? 

Places and Ideas

Share what you know about the sidewalks and streetscape in today’s downtown and your ideas for improvements. 

Amenities and Activities

What kinds of amenities and activities do you want to see in downtown Salem? 

Next Steps / Stay Informed

Tell us about you and learn about next steps in the process. 

= Page includes questions or opportunities for comment.


In late fall of 2017, the City of Salem kicked off efforts to develop a Downtown Streetscape Plan. The Downtown Streetscape Plan will help imagine and prepare for improvements to our City’s downtown sidewalks now and into the future. Over the years, we have heard that the look and feel – the experience of downtown – is important. As we get started, the City would like to hear and learn from downtown businesses, property owners, and residents of Salem.

Open House Presentation Video: 11 min
Open gallery full-screen Use the mouse wheel to pan and zoom, or pinch and swipe on touch-enabled devices.
  • Study area

    Study area

  • Project scope

    Project scope

  • Study zone

    Study zone

  • People want a place

    People want a place

  • A great streetscape

    A great streetscape

  • Streetscape elements

    Streetscape elements

What is a "streetscape"?

The "streetscape" is the area in the public realm between private property lines or the exteriors of buildings and the curb or street. This is the area that people see as they drive or bike by or experience as they walk along the sidewalks. Businesses and properties adjacent to the sidewalk help shape the experience and can benefit from improvements to the streetscape or sidewalk area.

Goals for streetscape improvements

The following goals were shaped by various downtown stakeholders as the City prepared to embark upon this effort.

  • Transform downtown public realm
  • Consistent, cohesive, unique
  • Attractive, inviting, fun
  • Benefit downtown businesses + properties
  • Attract tourism
  • World-class urban environment
  • A more livable Salem

Streetscape benefits

Many cities strive to make improvements to their sidewalks and streetscapes for the following reasons. Sidewalks provide a venue that shape how residents shop, work, and experience their city. In downtowns, this can be even more important.

A place for people

  • Encourages walking
  • Fosters community
  • Improves public health
  • Invites visitors and tourists

A place that works

  • Attracts customers
  • Increases values and tax increment
  • Encourages housing
  • Recruits and retains businesses

A place that feels

  • Safe and comfortable
  • Active at all times of day

Give us your feedback on the following pages, but first...

Imagine downtown in 10 years. How do you hope to describe the public spaces and sidewalks of downtown in the future? What will be successful about downtown’s sidewalks in the future?

characters remaining

Your answer to this question will be posted on this page for others to read. For the purpose of this exercise, you are limited to 144 characters. By leaving a comment, you are agreeing to our comment policy.

Read other comments...

Places and Ideas

Share what you know about the sidewalks and streetscape in today’s downtown and your ideas for improvements.

Make a comment on the map to tell us...

Where the "heart" of downtown is

Use the heart to show us what you think of as the heart or lively center of downtown. You can see where other people see the heart.

Where you enter the downtown project area

Use the "door" icon to add locations where you enter the area. This could be by foot, bike, or car.

Where you go when you are downtown

Use the "star" to tell us about where you like to go and what brings you downtown.

What ideas you have for specific locations

Use the "lightbulb" to show locations where you have ideas to make improvements. These could be opportunity sites or places you feel have a specific challenge to address. You can also comment on ideas that have been added by others.

Comment Map

INSTRUCTIONS: Click the "Make a Comment" button to show options for placing a comment on the map. (At smaller screen sizes, click "Map Options" to show the comment button.) Once submitted, your comment will appear with an icon. To read other comments, just click the icons on the map. Click "Reset" to re-center the map.

Info icon

= Learn about related projects.

Amenities and Activities

There are many elements that make up a streetscape – lighting, trees, public art, and more. We’d like to learn what kinds of amenities and activities you want to see in downtown Salem.

Open gallery full-screen Use the mouse wheel to pan and zoom, or pinch and swipe on touch-enabled devices.
  • What do you like? 1/3

    What do you like? 1/3

  • What do you like? 2/3

    What do you like? 2/3

  • What do you like? 3/3

    What do you like? 3/3


Look at the images from various downtowns. Which images appeal most to you? Select up to five.

Image 1 of 5. (Select one.)
Image 2 of 5. (Select one.)
Image 3 of 5. (Select one.)
Image 4 of 5. (Select one.)
Image 5 of 5. (Select one.)

Next Steps / Stay Informed

Thanks for helping make Downtown Salem a great place to be. Watch for the next open house in February to view some concepts for sidewalk and streetscape improvements downtown.

Next steps

We’ll take all that we’ve heard over the next two months and develop concepts for sidewalk and streetscape improvements downtown. These will be shared in February at our second open house. We anticipate the Downtown Streetscape Plan to be completed later this spring.

Stay involved

Please provide your email below and consider sharing optional information about yourself so that we know who we are hearing from. We’ll add you to our email list and can keep you informed of the next opportunity to provide input on the Downtown Streetscape Plan efforts.

  • Visit the City of Salem website for more information:
  • Send questions to Sheri Wahrgren at
  • Learn about other projects in the area, such as the Riverfront Park Master Plan Update, which is just getting started. The first public meeting for that effort will be January 18, 2018, 6 p.m. at Pringle Hall located at 606 Church St SE.


How did you hear about this online open house? (Check all that apply.)
Are you interested in attending an in-person focus group in January? If so, which topics are of interest to you? (Check all that apply.)

Tell us about yourself

Do you visit downtown Salem? (Check one.)
Why do you come downtown? (Check all that apply.)
How often do you visit downtown? (Check one.)
How do you get downtown? (Check all that apply.)
How long do you usually stay per trip downtown? (Check one.)
How far away do you live from downtown Salem? (Check one.)


The following questions help us know if we are reaching a representative cross-section of the community. They are completely optional.

What is your gender? (Check one.)
What is your age? (Check one.)
Hispanic Origin — Please answer both questions about origin and race. (Check one.)

No matter what you have selected above, please continue to answer the following by marking one or more boxes to indicate what you consider your race to be.

Race: (Check all that apply.)
100% Complete