Residents discuss ways to improve 'car-centric' Pleasant St. - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Residents discuss ways to improve 'car-centric' Pleasant St.

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Residents and city officials met Tuesday night to discuss ways to improve the 'car-centric' Pleasant street.

"Pedestrian safety is particularly important on Pleasant Street because its a corridor that people use to enter the city from the south," said Ryan O'Donnell, Northampton City Councilor.

Some of the ideas presented include adding more trees to the area, marked crosswalks, and better sidewalks.

"When I'm on my bike, I tend to avoid Pleasant Street," said Joel Russell. "The cars go too fast on most of it and it doesn't have any real coherent shape to it. And most of it isn't very pleasant to walk on."

The city is hoping to receive a $1.8 million state grant that would help pay for the changes.

"The hope is to be ready to go to bid March 1st. So, we can hire someone on board by the time it gets warm enough to work," said Wayne Feiden, Director of Finance and Sustainability.

Freiden says Main St. is a vibrant place, but it is expensive for local businesses. 

"We want to expand downtown in a way that there will be enough room for different types of budgets," Freiden said. 

A draft plan was presented Tuesday night. 

Joel Russell say it's a good start.

"I think that the project is going in the right direction and there a lot of good ideas on the table," Russell said.

His biggest concern is making sure cars that whip by, go slower.

"That's the most unsafe thing on Pleasant Street. The cars go too fast for the kind of place it is."

If all goes as planned, construction will begin in the spring.

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