WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Commuters are frustrated with an extensive road project on Route 20 between West Springfield and Westfield.
It’s official, MassDOT has put this stretch of road on a ‘Road Diet,’ what used to be two lanes on either side will turn into one lane on either side with the hope of making the area safer. However, people from surrounding communities are concerned the change will make things more dangerous.
The 1.2-mile section on Route 20 from East Mountain Road in Westfield to Dewey Street in West Springfield.
The road was identified as a high-crash corridor. From 2015 to 2018, a safety analysis between the intersections of East Mountain Road in Westfield and King’s Highway in West Springfield reported 212 vehicle crashes, including two fatalities.
Commuters are concerned reducing lanes will cause dangerous congestion during rush hour times. Part of the project will also include new bike lanes, a feature people are also concerned about.
“Bikers, if you drive this road… beware. Traffic is horrendous. There are a lot of speeders on this road, it is a dangerous road, but decreasing it to one lane, I think it’s going to make things worse, especially with a bike path on this road. Bikers, if you drive this road… beware.” Dale Clink of Westfield
Another hope of the road diet design is to open a more predictable and practical path for emergency vehicles and to improve visibility for everyone on the road. Over the course of the project, the road is being resurfaced which means a smoother ride for drivers.