Hadley community fighting for changes to Route 9 crosswalk

Hadley community fighting for changes to Route 9 crosswalk
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:10 PM EST
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HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Parents in the Hadley community fighting for changes to a crosswalk after a 13-year-old boy was severely injured in a hit and run. Now, state leaders and police are fighting the same fight.

“You shouldn’t have a crosswalk in a major artery like Route 9 or Route 5. I don’t think it’s safe,” said Christopher Kosinksi.

Since that crash, parents of the community have been fighting for change, arguing that the crosswalk is far too dangerous on a very busy roadway. Rebecca Casagrande is one of those parents. Her daughter attends school with the boy that was hit and she told Western Mass News more needs to be done to make the crosswalk safe.

“More signage, coming in both directions. I don’t think there’s enough signage. I don’t think it gives drivers enough notice,” Casagrande said.

Now, Hadley Police Chief Michael Mason is also arguing for that. He said the current ‘HAWK’ lights positioned by the crosswalk are not working.

“I have never liked the light because I think it’s confusing and I think it’s pretty evident it’s confusing, judging by how many people drive through the light,” Mason explained.

Mason discussed the matter with the town’s select board during a meeting Wednesday night. He says his men and women have placed extra patrols in the area since that crash.

“We’ve actually had plain clothes officers cycling the light and then we have officers who are waiting to pull cars over if they run through the light,” Mason noted.

However, ultimately, he believes something needs to be done by the state. Western Mass News reached out to the MassDOT to learn what they’ve done since the crash and what they plan to do in the future. A representative sent us a statement that read, in part:

“MassDOT has improved the crossing by restriping the crosswalk with high visibility crosswalk lines and installed post mounted pedestrian crossing warning signs.”

“MassDOT will work with town officials to review this location and any potential safety enhancements as was done with the original installation of the hawk system. In the meantime, MassDOT appreciates the police department’s efforts to patrol this area and reinforce existing traffic rules.”

Hadley Police said they are still looking for that driver that hit the young boy in the crosswalk. They said they have had multiple reports of white vans matching the description, but none have been the van they are looking for. Currently, they are still looking for leads and hope to have an update in the case soon.