State to install crosswalks, bus stops this fall on Route 10 in Easthampton

The state Department of Transportation will install two crosswalks on Route 10 this fall, one just north of Groveland Street where a city couple was struck and killed by a motorist a year ago, and the other at Valley Apartments.

The state Department of Transportation will install two crosswalks on Route 10 this fall, one just north of Groveland Street where a city couple was struck and killed by a motorist a year ago, and the other at Valley Apartments. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By MADDIE FABIAN

Staff Writer

Published: 10-26-2023 6:52 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Around a year after a city couple was killed by a vehicle on Route 10, the state Department of Transportation will install two new crosswalks this fall to address pedestrian safety concerns.

The proposed improvements include crosswalks at two locations on Route 10, one just north of Groveland Street and the other at the Valley Apartments, 180 Northampton St.

Project plans also include sidewalk improvements associated with the crosswalks, flashing pedestrian crossing signs, along with new bus stops, to be coordinated with the city and the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.

City Engineer Dan Murphy said work on crosswalk improvements has already begun and will be completed in three weeks.

“I am very happy this MassDOT project will improve safety for people walking and using transit on Northampton Street,” Murphy said in a statement.

Murphy added that the Department of Public Works will continue to make improvements to crosswalk safety and safe networks, specifically building off the Manhan Trail. 

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This Wednesday, Stuart A. Larkin, the South Hadley man charged in the deaths of the two pedestrians — Edward O. Hanlon Jr., 81, and Ilona L. Murray, 60 — pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent motor vehicle homicide in Northampton District Court.

Larkin was sentenced to a year in jail, suspended for five years while on probation, and was ordered 200 hours of community service.

“We applaud MassDOT for initiating this project in response to the two pedestrians that were struck and killed in this area last year,” Mayor Nicole LaChapelle said in a statement.

As a small-scale project under a “rapid implementation contract,” the crosswalks and bus stops will be constructed in an accelerated schedule to address safety concerns.

The project comes as a separate Route 10 construction project, aimed for completion by spring 2028, will resurface and widen the road, construct and reconstruct sidewalks, add new wheelchair ramps and crosswalks, and improve signage, pavement markings and drainage.

With safety in mind, the Easthampton City Council also recently moved to petition the state to reduce speed limits by 10 mph on a stretch of Route 10.

And Murphy said the city also aims to prepare an action plan this winter identifying locations in Easthampton where safety improvements can be made, and has also applied for funding from the Safe Streets and Roads for All federal grant program.

Maddie Fabian can be reached at mfabian@gazettenet.com.