Repaved Route 20 observe to maintain bike lanes on the ‘street eating regimen’

Repaved Route 20 observe to maintain bike lanes on the ‘street eating regimen’

WEST SPRINGFIELD – The portion of Route 20 on the Westfield line is on a “street eating regimen.”

The Massachusetts Division of Transportation (MassDOT) just lately repaved a bit of Route 20 on account of deteriorating street circumstances and determined to vary the street’s lane construction. Starting on the Dewey Road intersection in West Springfield and touring roughly 1.2 miles to East Mountain Highway in Westfield, the street will likely be decreased to at least one motorcar lane in every course. The area saved will likely be transformed to a large, painted median and new cycle lanes will likely be separated from motorized automobiles by rumble strips. The estimated price of the challenge is $1.5 million.

Though the road eating regimen is seen as a visitors calming measure, West Springfield Metropolis Councilman Anthony DiStefano has raised issues in regards to the impression it can have on street security.

“I agree there’s room for enchancment, this can be the most cost effective means however not the neatest or one of the best,” he stated.

In accordance with MassDOT, “A security evaluation performed from 2015 to 2018 alongside Route 20 between the intersections of East Mountain Highway in Westfield and King’s Freeway in West Springfield reported 212 car accidents, together with two fatalities.” In 2019, one other fatality was claimed Accident killed the lifetime of 25-year-old Anthony Fierro of West Springfield.

Analysis performed by the Federal Freeway Administration discovered that street diets lead to an general discount in accidents of between 19 and 47 % on four-lane highways. Within the case of this part of Route 20, MassDOT expects a discount in aspect wipers, left flip and angle crashes, and collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

Maintaining all visitors in a single lane means drivers will not be capable to overtake one another, which MassDOT believes will scale back speeds and lead to a smoother movement of visitors.

“This challenge proposes optimizing sign timing to higher reply to real-time visitors patterns, somewhat than following a preset cycle no matter visitors ranges. It will assist scale back delays, car queues and rear-end collisions at these places,” stated Kristen Pennucci, MassDOT communications director.

These new bike lanes prolong present bike entry, just lately added alongside Route 20 at Westfield, by way of this hall into West Springfield.

“The Pioneer Valley Planning Fee is presently conducting a examine of the Route 20 hall on behalf of West Springfield, which incorporates the residential areas east of the present challenge boundaries. Though the outcomes of the examine should not but recognized, it’s anticipated to incorporate recommendations for potential automotive security and bicycle/pedestrian mobility enhancements that might be related to the proposed challenge,” stated MassDOT.

MassDOT launched an analogous “avenue eating regimen” on southbound Riverdale Road between Elm Road and the North Finish Bridge final yr. After a trial interval wherein the state monitored visitors circumstances 24 hours a day, this alteration proved efficient in lowering speeds, and the state made the change everlasting.

“They are not out to make life troublesome for us,” Mayor Will Reichelt stated in a video posted to his Fb web page whereas discussing the development.

Nonetheless, DiStefano stated motorists who’re pressured to decelerate on a single-lane stretch typically pace once more when the street widens once more.

“I’ve seen folks put their foot on the bottom,” DiStefano stated. “West of Dewey Road, it is kinda arduous to get off these aspect streets.”

With out extra street diets or extra visitors lights alongside Route 20 east of Dewey Road, “I do not see how one can’t exacerbate the visitors issues,” he stated.

The street works are anticipated to be accomplished by the top of June.

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