NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Northampton is looking to redevelop parts of Main Street to make it safer and more accessible.
Northampton has been working on improving the downtown and Main Street for years and now they’re working with MassDOT to finalize these newest plans.
With thousands of college students nearby and dozens of popular businesses and restaurants, Northampton’s Main Street is one of the busiest streets in western Massachusetts. While the street is wide, about 90 feet from one curb to the other, the many people who move by foot or bike in the city have been confined to a small space, mainly because of extra-wide driving lanes and angled on-street parking.
Jane Hertz of Northampton told 22News, “The configurations are rather obscure here because you have a three lane which sometimes becomes a two lane. And at this point sometimes bikers go on the sidewalk and that could be injurious to people who are walking.”
While some do have concerns, the ultimate goal is to make Main Street more accessible and safer. The City of Northampton outlined the three main goals for this transition:
- Provide Safety and Access for All
- Promote a Vibrant and Attractive Downtown
- Create a Functional, Enduring, and Sustainable Streetscape
The new design would move curbs further into the roadway to make wider sidewalks, outdoor dining areas, protected bike lanes, and new bus stops.
A public input meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 26th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to discuss the design process.