City leaders plan for safer roads after deadly pedestrian crashes in Chicopee

Efforts underway in Chicopee to make safer roads for pedestrians after five people have died since October after being hit by cars. Now city leaders are focused
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 6:40 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - Efforts underway in Chicopee to make safer roads for pedestrians after five people have died since October after being hit by cars. Now, city leaders are focused on new safety measures.

Among those safety measures, new signs, flashing lights, and even installing medians in high-traffic areas.

Proposed new measures to keep pedestrians safe in Chicopee discussed at the city council’s public safety committee meeting Thursday night.

This is after five pedestrians have lost their lives after being hit by cars on city streets in the past five months.

Among the plans, new lighting fixtures, signs, medians and even turning part of Old Lyman Road, which is a one-way street into a two-lane road.

But residents who live on the street said expanding their road will only increase the amount of traffic in their neighborhood.

“The problem is the traffic, the 450 cars a day that would go by my house,” said David Asselin.

Asselin also addressed the high-traffic roads in Chicopee such as Chicopee, Stedman, and Meadow Streets where multiple pedestrian accidents have occurred, some of them fatal.

Money for sidewalks and medians to cut down on crashes was also discussed.

Chicopee’s Department of Public Works Superintendent Elizabette Batista said they’re working fast to put those projects out to bid and bring those safety projects to fruition.

“We actually don’t pave typically after November 15 and contractors shut down in the wintertime,” said Batista. “We don’t have control over that. So, the engineering department has been working on putting together a project that is going to be going out to bid shortly so we can do this safety project. Then it’s going to take time.”

In the meantime, until the project is up and running, Chicopee will rely on law enforcement to crack down on reckless drivers going down Chicopee Street.

In a statement sent to Western Mass News Chicopee Police Public Information Officer Travis Odiorne said quote.

“Our department has increased enforcement of crosswalk violations throughout the city with added patrols utilizing overtime funds that the chief has approved. We are currently running a specialized patrol with the use of grant money also targeting crosswalk violations.”

Chicopee Police urged drivers and pedestrians to always be alert and aware of their surroundings to stay safe on the roads.