UMass Amherst implements new pedestrian safety measures on Massachusetts Ave.

Construction is underway at UMass Amherst in the area where one student was hit and killed by a car in February and another student injured in March.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Construction is underway at UMass Amherst in the area where one student was hit and killed by a car in February and another student injured in March.

A part of Sunset Avenue has been closed off to traffic due to construction for pedestrian safety improvements. The goal is to upgrade crosswalks, sidewalks, and intersections.

“As the school continues to enroll more and more students, we’re going to see a more densely populated campus, so pedestrian safety is important,” said senior MaryKate Boggan.

Boggan is going into her senior year at UMass Amherst and she is pleased with the construction that is going on to keep students safer while walking on campus. Massachusetts Avenue has specifically been targeted as it is where a student was hit and killed by a car in February and another was hit and injured in March.

UMass Amherst has unveiled a number of improvements in the works along Commonwealth and Massachusetts Avenues. Included are raised crosswalks, textured pavement inlay, and ADA curb cuts at crosswalks.

There will also be reflective paint markings and flashing pedestrian beacons. Plus, signage and landscaping will be modified to improve sight lines.

“I think it’s a little hectic right now, but hopefully, it will all be over by the time this semester,” Boggan said. “And then, we’ll have all these great new safety features.”

Boggan told Western Mass News that she hopes drivers and people walking on campus will pay attention to the roads this school year.

“I’ve always been really big on pedestrian safety, but especially now,” she said. “I mean, you can’t risk it at all, and I think technology is such a huge issue, so many people are on their phone or have earbuds in.”

This week, traffic will be reduced to one lane and there is a detour at the intersection of Sunset and Massachusetts Avenues. However, we were told the majority of the work is expected to be complete by the start of the fall semester.