SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – WalkBike Springfield & Holyoke Biking and Pedestrian Committee Host will be hosting the Hampden County 28th World Day of Remembrance Event on Sunday.

The World Day of Remembrance is an international observance that is dedicated to remembering the many millions of road traffic victims throughout the world, according to a news release from WalkBike Springfield. This observance was begun by the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) in 1995 and was adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 60/5 on October 26, 2005, as an “appropriate acknowledgment for victims of road traffic crashes and their families, and to acknowledge the crucial work of the police and emergency services.” 

WalkBike Springfield and the Holyoke Biking and Pedestrian Committee are residents who are working to improve the safety of walking and bicycling in their communities and in the region. This day spotlights the reduction of traffic speeds, low speeds, which have the potential to prevent deaths and serious injuries, in particular to pedestrians.

The mission of WalkBike Springfield and Holyoke Bike/Ped Committee is to take a proactive, preventative approach that prioritizes traffic safety and speed management as a public health issue.

The Hampden County 28th World Day of Remembrance Event will begin at 1:00 p.m. on the steps of the Springfield Central Library on State Street.

Deborah Huber, a WalkBike Springfield activist, said, “We have 48 pairs of yellow-painted shoes to represent each of the victims of the past year. As I read a description of each fatality, please attach a ribbon to the shoes. We welcome anyone who knew the deceased, please write their name on the ribbon and say a few words.”

Springfield City Council President Jesse Lederman says, “We still await the long-awaited changes to State Street after years of advocacy by neighborhood residents, library patrons and employees, and City Councilors who have called for action to address the dangerous crossing situation and traffic pattern in the lower State Street corridor. It should have come much sooner. I will say it again, just as I said in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022: action must be taken by the administration to physically redesign this area and throughout the City to slow traffic and keep pedestrians safe. As the long list read by WalkBike Springfield indicates, we need to redesign many of our streets throughout Springfield to reduce vehicle speed. We need to see the protected crossing established here at the Springfield Central Library to protect the residents, patrons, and employees here at the Springfield Library. But, we also need to see the implementation of pedestrian protection across the city of Springfield.”

Lederman also called for speed tables on residential streets and the appointment of the Complete Streets Council.

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