SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield city leaders are working to keep people safe as they walk around the city.
This is especially happening in a tunnel under train tracks on Washington Avenue where a man was accused of raping a woman last year.
Springfield’s traffic engineer, Eric Claussen, says he has been complimented on the upgrades made.
“I have heard from neighbors, and users that use this particular tunnel, that they do feel much safer as they’re walking through,” Claussen said.
Stewart Auto Service Owner, Stephen Stewart, says the improvements help more than just his business.
“Anytime that people in the area feel safer and more comfortable, it allows more people to want to come to Commercial Street and you know, visit the shops down the road, the eateries, the restaurants down there, just wonderful improvements for the whole area,” Stewart said.
One improvement that Stewart likes is more lighting both in and out of the tunnel.
“Cars going down Washington can actually see into the tunnel,” Stewart said. “For people coming to the area that have never been here before, it does give them a sense of security.”
Claussen says lighting isn’t the only upgrade.
“We widened out the sidewalk, and again made this more of an inviting sidewalk or place,” Claussen said.
Claussen says he wanted to create what he calls a ‘sense of place’
“Especially in and around our central business districts to do improvements and enhancements to really upgrade, to really create that sense of place,” Claussen said. “Make things more appealing for people to walk or bike.”
Claussen suggests you don’t walk or bike through any dark tunnel alone at night and staying aware of your surroundings is key.