Bicyclist injured after being hit by vehicle on Damon Road in Northampton
NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Police are investigating after a vehicle and bicyclist collided on the rail trail in Northampton Wednesday morning.
The collision happened on Damon Road around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.
“It doesn’t surprise me because there’s a lack of clarity as to who’s got the right of way at this intersection,” said Jamie Elkin of Northampton.
“I used to say it’s like going into combat…you gotta have your head on a swivel, you really gotta pay attention when you get to those intersections,” said Tim O’Brien of Granby.
Avid bikers spoke with Western Mass News after a bicyclist was hit by a vehicle on Damon Road in Northampton, where the rail trail intersects with a busy stretch of roadway near Route 9.
“If you’re a bicyclist, you really need to stop and press the button because cars aren’t always gonna stop for you,” said Brandon Boudah of Northampton.
Northampton Police told Western Mass News that the biker was taken to Baystate Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Now, following this near-tragedy, riders are questioning the safety of the crosswalk.
“I’m just super cautious. I just wait and wait and wait or it would be nice if I had some lights that tell me when I could really go as opposed to…it looks clear,” Elkin added.
The traffic lights were altered after road construction was completed in the last year or two. There are two red lights and a yellow light that hang above the street, as well as a sign instructing drivers to stop on solid red and yield when clear on a blinking red light.
Local business owners told us this new set-up is creating quite the confusion.
“I think the light itself is a little confusing for people…It goes to a blinking mode where you stop and then go. Some people don’t quite understand that,” said Matt Yee, COO of Enlite Cannabis Dispensary, which is located near where the collision occurred.
“The cars don’t respect it nearly as much as when they were just solid lights and it went back to flashing yellows,” said Leila Everett, general manager of Northampton Bicycle.
Others added that they believe the intersection also poses a threat to drivers.
“Sometimes, the drivers will stop when they see you, but the car behind them is not expecting them to stop and there’s like almost a chain reaction,” O’Brien noted.
Northampton Police said the incident remains under investigation. They also told us the driver of the car is a 56-year-old man who is not facing charges and he was cooperative at the scene.
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