8 local communities receive state funding for pedestrian and bicyclist safety

West Springfield received $384,000

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Eight western Massachusetts communities are getting funds to help keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe.

22news explains which communities will be making improvements thanks to money from the state.

“We’re a cut through community really and there’s a lot of heavy back and forth commuter traffic and improvements that need to be made,” West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt, told 22News.

West Springfield will soon be able to make some of the improvements needed to make the city safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

They’re one of 79 Massachusetts cities and towns receiving state grants. Amherst, Belchertown, Holyoke, Longmeadow, Pittsfield, South Hadley, and Westfield will also receive funding.

West Springfield received $384,000.

“So we’re going to use it on Park Street which is right in front of our town common and the senior center and the idea there is it gets tons of traffic, we want to make the crossing safer,” Mayor Reichelt said. “A lot of feedback I’ve heard from residents is that they want the common to be utilized more and they want to feel more comfortable going out there but there’s just so much traffic in the crossing now.”

Mayor Reichelt also told 22news there are many other city intersections and crossings they plan to improve. Some of that money’s in the city’s budget.

“The proper signage is number one, you need the signs,” David Stolpinski of West Springfield said. “You need it so that people won’t be just starting out across the streets. You need the signals on the lights so that way cars will stop for them.”

The grants can be used for traffic enforcement, equipment to heighten the visibility of crosswalks, and community education.