Safety precautions to be added to Northampton crosswalk - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Safety precautions to be added to Northampton crosswalk

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A Halloween tragedy in Northampton has prompted the mayor to call for new safety improvements in the city.

Back on Halloween, 35-year-old Pallav Parakh was struck by a truck while crossing the crosswalk on New South Street. The Hatfield doctor died from his injuries, and now the city is working to prevent another incident like that from happening in the future.

"In an instance like this where we've had a tragic death at one of our crosswalks, we really wanted to bring our team together to look at it to see are there ways we can improve it to make it safer," said Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz.

Narkewicz said the improvements will include adding a rapid flash beacon system to increase pedestrian visibility.

"This is both a motion and pedestrian activated signal, so that when a pedestrian either cues up or is in a crosswalk, the diamond shaped pedestrian signs have a flashing beacon to provide a visual cue to cars," said Narkewicz.

In addition, a parking space will be removed. The city is experimenting with orange safety barrels to eliminate passing in the right-hand lane.

"I think it's a really good idea," said Emma Un, a college student in the area.

And many people CBS 3 caught up with had the same reaction to the plan.

"I think it is really necessary," said resident Ian Costa.

Costa says he's seen many close encounters at the crosswalk.

"I use that crosswalk all the time, and I always feel a little bit uneasy about the speed of the cars going at the pedestrians," said Costa.

The hope is to have the new system up and running as soon as possible. The mayor says it will likely be installed in the coming weeks. In addition, the city will be completing a study of traffic flow in the area, which will now include the South Street crosswalk.

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