Easthampton residents have found a way to make their streets a little safer after a woman was struck and killed in a crosswalk.
Orange flags at a crosswalk on Cottage Street are part of the Safe Walks program. It may be low tech, but residents say it’s working.
After 63-year-old Denise Herzog was struck and killed crossing Cottage St. late last year, Juliette Mooers and Cindy Bowe assembled some home-made flags and launched their Safe Walks program at the very crosswalk where Herzog was killed.
“We had it out within a week,” said Mooers of Easthampton. “My husband, I had an art tube, he sawed it in half, I made a sticker with duct tape and a sharpie, it was very homemade.”
Here’s how it works: Bright orange flags are placed in cones at both ends of a crosswalk. A pedestrian holds the flag, so drivers see them as they cross the street.
The program has since spread to more than 25 Easthampton crosswalks, with packs of flags purchased from Amazon.
“Sometimes they fly by, but I think this is more on their mind, they can kind of see the lines of orange flags,” said Mooers told 22News.
One of the new flag locations is just outside of White Brook middle school. One parent said you can spot them even in the fog.
“They’re really using them a ton,” said Emma Huse, also of Easthampton. “I always see kids walking across, and adults as well. The kids are really enjoying having them out there, and they know what they’re for, so they’re really watching the crosswalks and making sure they’re waving them in each direction. it’s been huge for them.”
An Easthampton woman will be arraigned on a charge of negligent motor vehicle homicide in Herzog’s death this week.