"There've been complaints for a lot of years that there's not enough parking for our downtown," says Salem mayor Cyndi Dickey.

The old saying goes, 'The squeaky wheel gets the grease.'"Everybody wants to park right in front of the shop where they're going to, and that's just not possible," Dickey said.

In the city of Salem's case, the grease is taking the form of a series of projects to shape the future of the downtown.

"One that was completed a couple of months ago, which is our sidewalk from Sugartree Alley down to State Street," explained Dickey. "It is being used a lot for parking; there are about 200 spaces back there."

Then there's the much-anticipated Burchfield Alleyway project.

"It's going to have tables, and it's going to have little seating areas in it," Dickey said, giving us a walking tour. "It is 10 arched columns that go back the length of the alley. They're lit with LED colored lighting that are computerized to change colors and change patterns in how the lights move, then there's bistro lighting in the canopy above. There's music, there's security cameras."

Amenities were designed with the hopes of driving more foot traffic to the growing number of downtown businesses.
Mayor Dickey and other city leaders will cut the ribbon on the Burchfield Alleyway project on Friday.

A living example of the squeaky wheel getting the grease.