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Springfield City Council considers proposals for pedestrian crosswalk on State Street

A portion of State Street  and the Central  Library, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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A portion of State Street and the Central Library, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A Springfield City Council subcommittee will consider proposals on Tuesday to install a pedestrian crossing on State Street.

The thoroughfare connects the city's Central Library to its parking lot. The area of the street has been the site of numerous pedestrians being struck and killed by cars. Most recently library employee Gayle Ball was killed on Nov. 10, 2021 while attempting to cross the busy street.

City Councilor Jesse Lederman said the proposals are aimed at reducing vehicle speed and enhancing pedestrian safety.

"One would narrow the street and create a protected crosswalk with a signal, and it would do so by extending the curb out. The other would do so by creating a pedestrian island in the middle of State Street," Lederman said.

He said current crosswalks nearby have not been effective in discouraging people from walking directly across the street at that location.

"People have been crossing at this location for years. It is not going to stop, and if we do not make a physical change to the location, we know that there will be another fatality. And that is just something that is not acceptable," Lederman said.

The virtual meeting is open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m.

Kari Njiiri is a senior reporter and longtime host and producer of "Jazz Safari," a musical journey through the jazz world and beyond, broadcast Saturday nights on NEPM Radio. He's also the local host of NPR’s "All Things Considered."
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