In article in the Boston Globe yesterday, Salem has acquired "smart" parking meters in preparation for better management of it's parking resources.  Salem is starting off on the right foot by both raising and lowering parking rates. Quoting the article:  "Hourly rates in the parking lots and garages will be lower than the hourly rates for meters on the adjacent streets. In addition, lower demand areas, such as the South River area, will be priced less than higher demand areas, such as the northern end of downtown.  For example, hourly rates in the garages will drop from $1.50 to $0.25 in the Waterfront Garage and from $1.50 to 75 cents in the Downtown Garage." 

Salem will join a significant list of smaller cities that have embraced parking reform.  These include Redwood City and Ventura California as well as trail-blazing Pasadena which undertook reform in the 90's and has seen such dramatic positive results.  We'll be keeping an eye on Salem to see how it all pans out in the coming months.