One Northampton crosswalk is inherently dangerous
To the editor:
The accident in the crosswalk on New South Street that took the life of Dr. Pallav Parakh makes me angry because I believe that crosswalk is not pedestrian friendly. It is not driver friendly either, as I have experienced many times in the past. I do not know the details of the accident that occurred Oct. 31 and have no intent to label anyone guilty or innocent.
Personally, as a driver, I have been in the position of turning right at the light onto New South Street (from Route 9 near Smith College) at a low speed and being startled when I see a pedestrian is making his or her way across the crosswalk from behind the Academy of Music. There is a huge blind spot that is created when a large vehicle is stopped by the red light on its way into town and directly in front of the crosswalk.
Driving out of town, you can only see the pedestrian when they have cleared the opposite lane (behind the large vehicle) and now they are right in front of your car. I am aware of this hazard and if I see a truck stopped in front of the crosswalk I proceed with extra caution. What about the driver who knows nothing of this blind spot?
I question how and why this crosswalk was approved for Northampton. A complete redesign is needed and necessary for the future safety of our pedestrians and our drivers.