WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Construction for an extensive project on Route 20 in West Springfield and Westfield continues Tuesday morning.
MassDOT refers to as a ‘Road Diet’. In addition to resurfacing the roadway, crews will reduce travel from four lanes to two lanes. It is a 1.2-mile section of road on Route 20 from East Mountain Road in Westfield to Dewey Street in West Springfield.
This road has been 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. Another fatal crash in 2019 led to the city contacting MassDOT to find a solution.
The hope is that reducing lanes will make the area safer. There is also a notable gap for bicycles and pedestrians in this area. Crews will install a wide area between lanes and add new bicycle lanes.
Route 20 Road Diet Details:
- Reduce the vehicular travel lanes from four lanes to two along a large portion of the project limits
- Install a wide painted median island between both lanes
- Provide new bicycle-accommodating shoulders
- Install rumble strips delineating the edge of the median island and shoulders
Fewer crashes, particularly:
- Pedestrian and bicycle
- Fewer lanes can reduce speeds by eliminating passing
- Fewer lanes also provide a more consistent traffic flow and reduces conflict points between vehicles
- Lower speeds reduce fatal injury crash rates
Safer for Non-Motorized Users:
- Calming traffic is linked to increased pedestrian safety at crosswalks
- Reduction in pedestrian crash risk by improving sight lines
- Can reallocate space for dedicated bicycle facilities
- A Road Diet design opens a more predictable and practical path for emergency responders.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of June.