Improving safety and access in West Springfield

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A plan is in the works to improve sections of West Springfield hard hit by outdated city planning and the June first tornado.

West Springfield residents and business owners met at the Memorial Elementary School Wednesday night to make recommendations to improve traffic circulation and economic development in the Merrick and Memorial neighborhoods.

“A lot of the recommendations are to improve transportation facilities like sidewalks and curbs,” said Pioneer Valley Planning Commission senior planner David Elvin. “A lot of that is happening in areas people are pretty familiar with, like by the White hut, where you don’t have sidewalks but you have a lot of people walking sometimes in the street. So we’re working to improve the safety and the access to businesses there.”

Elvin told 22News they’re trying to find ways to improve quality of life near Memorial Ave. Elvin said this study started before the 2011 tornado ravaged these neighborhoods. “That changed a lot of the thinking about redevelopment,” said Elvin.

Elvin said a lot of the recommendations that came out of the the tornado planning is going into this study; making the residential neighborhoods more accessible to the people who live there.

The idea is to provide recommendations for the PVPC to craft a plan for safe routes to school both on foot and by bicycle, and to provide better access to businesses.

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