Northampton underpass open for bicyclists, pedestrians

Hampshire County

The city of Northampton unveiled a new addition Thursday morning, making things much safer for many pedestrians on foot and on wheels.

Mayor Damon Narkewicz was joined MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, to celebrate the the opening of  this $4.4 million underpass.

The underpass near King Street now connects the existing bike paths to the Norwottuck Rail Trail Bike Path,  with paths north and south of the tracks. 

Prior to the underpass being built, many  people would cross the tracks to access the other side of the trail, including students who attend a school nearby. The train tracks are now blocked off by a fence.

“Last year basically everyday I would just cross the tracks. There was another route you could take street but I just used the tracks because it was so much quicker,” said Northampton resident Alex Hunkins. 

“I think the safety has improved now that we have the tunnel, and I think it’s nice how the city has done all this stuff for us. It’s really helping us be safe and get to school,” said Northampton resident Quin James. 

The Mayor and Secretary tested out the underpass on pedal assist bikes from Valley Bike Share.

Hundreds of these bikes will be available to cyclists in the Pioneer Valley later this month. 

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