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Officials announce traffic redesign of State Street in Springfield near library

Officials announce traffic redesign of State Street in Springfield near library

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Changes are coming to State Street in Springfield following a pair of deadly pedestrian accidents in recent months.

Springfield Department of Public Works is working with MassDOT to make safety changes to the street. Most notably a portion of State Street near the library will be narrowed from four lanes to two lanes.

City officials said they will implement a crosswalk just east of the library. The crosswalk will feature a flashing yellow light or possibly a pedestrian-induced red stoplight.  Officials hope the changes will force drivers to slow down.

Brendon Holland lives in Springfield’s East Forest Park section of the city but works downtown. He rides his bike to work as much as possible.

“There’s really no good way for me to bike to and from work, there are just less bad ways,” said Brendon Holland of Springfield.

Springfield Public Works Director Chris Cignoli said they will place cones, barrels, and barricades along the street to mimic what they anticipate the roadway layout to look like once the redesign is completed. The temporary layout will help officials analyze traffic flow and make changes if necessary.

In the spring, crews will begin the process of permanently narrowing State Street and installing the raised crosswalk.

“I really hope the city doesn’t focus on this one intersection,” said Brendon. “Because we really need a larger change across the entire city to make everything safer for people in all of our neighborhoods.”

The project will cost about $650,000.00. Meanwhile, Springfield Police will continue their stepped-up traffic enforcement by ticketing drivers who are speeding.

City Councilor Jesse Lederman sent 22News the following statement on the new design:

“Today’s announcement is the direct result of years of efforts by local residents and members of the City Council who have implored the administration to act in the best interest of pedestrians and library patrons and employees.

The administration’s actions today are what myself and Councilor Williams, and at the time Councilor Gomez, now Senator Gomez, were seeking when we called upon the city to act in 2019 after consulting with neighborhood groups and pedestrian safety organizations. 

Even though at the time we received forceful opposition to this idea from the administration, we did not give up and worked with residents and community organizations to keep this issue at the top of the agenda. I am glad to see that the administration is finally taking action.

I look forward to the opportunity to review the proposal and receive community input at our upcoming Maintenance and Development Committee next week. I want to recognize all of the residents and library patrons and employees who have fought so hard to bring attention to this issue, including the organization Walk/Bike Springfield and the Armory Quadrangle Civic Association.

We will continue to keep this at the top of our agenda and we will not stop until the proper changes are made to protect pedestrians and address the epidemic of traffic fatalities and tragedies that our community has faced.”City Councilor Jesse Lederman“Today’s announcement is the direct result of years of efforts by local residents and members of the City Council who have implored the administration to act in the best interest of pedestrians and library patrons and employees.

The administration’s actions today are what myself and Councilor Williams, and at the time Councilor Gomez, now Senator Gomez, were seeking when we called upon the city to act in 2019 after consulting with neighborhood groups and pedestrian safety organizations. 

Even though at the time we received forceful opposition to this idea from the administration, we did not give up and worked with residents and community organizations to keep this issue at the top of the agenda. I am glad to see that the administration is finally taking action.

I look forward to the opportunity to review the proposal and receive community input at our upcoming Maintenance and Development Committee next week. I want to recognize all of the residents and library patrons and employees who have fought so hard to bring attention to this issue, including the organization Walk/Bike Springfield and the Armory Quadrangle Civic Association.

We will continue to keep this at the top of our agenda and we will not stop until the proper changes are made to protect pedestrians and address the epidemic of traffic fatalities and tragedies that our community has faced.”

City Councilor Jesse Lederman

According to a statement from the Springfield Police Department, the city developed the new traffic enforcement plan in response to the now six fatal crashes in Springfield in the month of November. Captain Dave Martin of the Springfield Police Traffic Bureau discussed the increase of patrols in the city and says cruisers will be out there doing their job and there will be zero tolerance, “if you don’t obey the sign, you can expect to get fined.”

Fines:

  • $105 for drivers going 1-10 miles per hour over the speed limit and an increase $10 for every mile per hour over the speed limit after that. 
  • $355 for drivers going 35 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
  • $100 for drivers violating the hands free law for the first offense, $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine plus an insurance surcharge for 3rd and subsequent offense.

https://www.wwlp.com/news/local-news/mayor-sarno-to-provide-state-street-traffic-enforcement-update/