State lawmakers fund Chicopee roadways following pedestrian safety concerns

Speeding issues in Chicopee has grabbed the attention of state lawmakers. Now, thousands of dollars from the state budget will fund safety precautions.
Published: Oct. 23, 2023 at 10:56 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 23, 2023 at 10:57 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Ongoing speeding issues in Chicopee has grabbed the attention of state lawmakers. Now, tens of thousands of dollars from the state budget will fund the city’s efforts to add safety precautions throughout the city.

Lawmakers said both drivers and pedestrians need to be more careful out on the roadways. But with the help of a $50,000 check presented to the city early Monday, lawmakers are hopeful city streets will become safer.

“Folks can’t cross the street without possibly getting hit,” expressed Representative Shirely Arriaga.

Safety concerns on Chicopee’s roadways have been a recent point of concern for both city leaders and residents. Now, local lawmakers are stepping in to make sure the city has the resources it needs to make the streets safer.

That’s why the Chicopee legislative delegation has presented the city with $50,000 with the sole purpose to adding safety measures on the streets.

“We want to make sure that Chicopee got their fair share of funding to make sure they protect pedestrian safety in the city of Chicopee, to make sure the city streets are protected,” explained Senator Jacob Oliveira.

On behalf of the Chicopee legislative delegation, Senator Jacob Oliveira presented Chicopee with a $50,000 check to put towards protecting pedestrians.

The money comes from the state’s fiscal year 2024 budget and will be put towards adding rapid beeping beacons, additional signage and radar speed signs.

“We’re trying to curb speedsters, we’re trying to curb it any which way that we can,” added Senator Adam Gomez. “Hopefully we can through this little piece of money, which is very difficult to secure in the budget, can really have an impact.”

Since last Thanksgiving, at least three pedestrians have been killed in crashes on Chicopee Street alone and about 10 more have been killed in other parts of the city. Alarming statistics that lawmakers, like State Representative Shirely Arriaga, hopes this money will keep from increasing.

“Just to think about one individual losing their life crossing the street monthly, that is scary,” said Rep. Arriaga. “It is a public safety concern and we need to take that seriously.”

State Representative Shirely Arriaga grew up and still lives in Chicopee, making these concerns both professional and personal.

“Is my child safe to go to and from school and to the bus stop?” questioned Rep. Arriaga. “The reality of it is that at least one person is getting hit monthly. That is alarming, that is scary and as a parent I can’t imagine getting that phone call. So yes, we need to take this seriously.”

Monday’s measure isn’t the first of it’s kind for the city of Chicopee. In response to last year’s fatal crashes, the city dedicated $200,000 towards installing more than a dozen flashing beeping beacons and other signs.

Representative Arriaga told us the city has already begun installing the new signage.