West Springfield Police preparing for influx of Big E crowds, traffic
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Hundreds of thousands of people who will be traveling to West Springfield over the coming days for The Big E. Opening day is tomorrow and town officials are preparing to take on the crowds and heavy traffic jams.
Thousands of people will travel each and every day to the town of West Springfield, all to get in on the action at the fair. With all those people comes crowds and even traffic jams. Western Mass News found the West Springfield Police Department out on Thursday placing cones and signs around town.
“Our traffic bureau is getting ready to put all the signs out. They’re also posting ‘No Parking’ on all the side streets, off of Memorial Ave. There’s no on-street parking during The Big E,” said West Springfield Police Sgt. Joseph LaFrance.
Those streets that will have no on-street parking include:
- Agawam Ave.
- Allston Ave.
- Baldwin St.
- Bosworth St.
- Bridge St. from Union St. West
- Circuit Ave.
- Cold Spring Ave.
- Colony Rd.
- Exposition Ave.
- Exposition Ter.
- Heywood Ave.
- Lowell Ave.
- Lowell St.
- Memorial Ave.
- Norman St.
- River St.
- Roanoke Ave.
- Sears Way
- Union St. Ext.
- Windsor St.
- York St.
It’s all-hands-on-deck at the police department with teams utilizing motorcycles and bikes to patrol.
“All-hands-on-deck for the next 17 days. Every officer, there’s no vacation time right now, so we’re all here. Any officer fit for duty is ready to go,” LaFrance noted.
One traffic change that will stick around from last year is that there will be no left turn onto Memorial Avenue from River Street during The Big E.
“We did that last year because of the bridge construction and everything and it worked out very well. Despite the one lane in each direction, there was no traffic, so we are going to implement that again,” Reichelt noted.
Town leaders are asking residents to plan ahead for the traffic jams and for guests to utilize parking in small businesses.
“All the residents and businesses in the Memorial neighborhoods appreciate if you park there too because it helps them out as they go through the next 17 days in a gridlock,” Reichelt explained.
Perhaps people can also utilize the new Bird scooters now available in West Springfield.
“That’s how I’ll be getting to the fair,” Reichelt added.
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