SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While State Street is a busy road for drivers it’s an area that has just as much foot traffic.
Now Springfield City Councilors are hoping a new crosswalk could make the road safer for pedestrians.
Springfield resident Katie Litten is one of many pedestrians who try to dodge traffic when crossing the four lanes of State Street in front of The Springfield Central Library.
Katie works at The Springfield Museums but has to cross the four-lane road to get to her car since parking at the Museums is mainly for patrons. The road does have crosswalks but there at opposite ends of the street.
“There kind of a distance and out of the way,” Katie said. “We tend to take the closest path to get to where we need to go to work.”
A pedestrian was killed in the State Street intersection in September of 2018.
Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman is one of several city councilors urging DPW to implement a “hawk signalized crosswalk” that can be triggered by pedestrians so they can safely cross the street.
However DPW is saying a crosswalk would create more traffic for drivers.
Lederman responded, “Lets be serious people are already having to stop on State Street because people are crossing illegally, but we need to take into effect that we need an accessible crossing when we’re dealing with individuals with small children or may be elderly or disabled.”
“I think it would do great,” Katie expressed. “With the library construction phasing out now there will be more people coming this way.”
According to a study by the Federal Highway Administration these types of crosswalks reduce pedestrian involved crashes by 69 percent.
Lederman told 22News, “It’s time to make it safe for pedestrians to access the facility.”