SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After multiple pedestrian deaths, the city of Springfield is working to make a section of State Street safer. 22News I-Team reporter Taylor Knight took a closer look at the project to find out how it will impact people who drive on and cross that street every day.

There are 2 different design plans being considered by the city. Both have the same goal: to prevent any more pedestrian accidents from happening on State Street.

Robert and Katie Glasgow volunteer at the Springfield Central Library and live right across State Street.
The I-Team watched them patiently wait to cross the street for more than 2 minutes until it was safe.

“When we cross the street, we only cross when nothing is coming or going,” said Katie. “At the traffic light, they have to step on the gas to get up the hill. Everyone comes up like it’s open season on the race track. They don’t let you cross. They are always killing somebody and there’s always an accident there.”

The Glasgow’s were just some of the pedestrians the 22News I-Team saw crossing State Street while dodging traffic.

Three people have died since November of last year crossing State Street. Now the city has plans to add a crosswalk near the site of one of those deadly crashes. The crosswalk is planned to go across State Street in front of the Central Library so people who are using the library or going to the church can get across the street safely.

There are two design plans that the city is considering. Both include the installation of a High-Intensity Activated Cross-Walk or “HAWK” signal. There is an example of one on Route 9 in Hadley. When activated by a pedestrian, the lights turn from blinking yellow to solid yellow and then to red, stopping traffic so they can safely cross. Also part of both plans, State Street would be reduced from 2 lanes in each direction down to one.

“State Street is a little trickier because you’re talking about 4 major lanes there. So we have to be careful. You don’t want a solution to create another problem, ” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

According to the crossing study sent to 22News, this would help slow drivers down and prevent cars from passing, and improve visibility for both motorists and pedestrians. Mayor Sarno said drivers should start seeing temporary barriers on State Street near the library soon.

“Making people aware of their speed, making people aware of pedestrian traffic, and vehicular traffic,” remarked the Mayor.

One option also has a raised crosswalk which would cost the city about $20,000 more.

Read the State Street Pedestrian Safety Study with crosswalk design plans and costs: