SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield has announced the beginning of construction on State Street near the Springfield Central Library to make the area safer for pedestrians.

There have been three deadly pedestrian accidents at this location since November 2021. Beginning on June 1st, the road will be narrowed by traffic cones, barrels, and barricades to lessen the width and review the impact on traffic as engineering designs are being evaluated.

Part of the engineering design is to add a raised crosswalk along with a RRFB/HAWK system. The complete project will cost $650,000. Pending further review of the narrowing of the road, the area may also be permanently changed from four lanes to two to get drivers to slow down and to pay attention.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Chris Cignoli and Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood made the announcement Tuesday.

Mayor Sarno confirmed, “I want to thank DPW Director Chris Cignoli and his team of engineers for doing a thorough job in reviewing this study to help mitigate traffic on State Street and increase pedestrian safety.  Simply put, this is not about money, it’s about public safety.  This new design plan will enhance the safety for our pedestrians, and help control and mitigate the flow of traffic on one of our city’s busiest public roads.  Working with Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood and her brave and dedicated men and women in blue, we will continue with our active traffic enforcement not just on State Street but across our City.  Now we need our courts to back these citations and not dismiss them.”

DPW Director Cignoli said, “The pedestrian and roadway improvement analysis, which was started back in June 2021, carefully reviewed the data and previous traffic and pedestrian studies for the corridor.  These included a recent roadway safety audit, traffic study for the casino development and field observations counting pedestrian crossings.  Together, they all played a part in determining the safest location on where a crossing could be installed while adhering to all state and local statutes for public roads and intersections. ”      

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

The following are incidents that guided this decision because of pedestrian fatality:

During the month of April, 1,586 citations or warnings have been expedited for traffic offenses.

Cignoli continued, “The installation of these temporary traffic pattern measures that will narrow the roadway will help us to determine the proper roadway layout to alter the traffic flow to accommodate the new installation of the raised pedestrian crossing with the RRFB/HAWK system.  The DPW will review and monitor the impact on traffic before any construction is slated to begin.”