Swifts Beach / Route 6 intersection gets pedestrian lights

May 14, 2024

A crosswalk near the intersection between Swifts Beach Road and Route 6 now has flashing pedestrian lights, months after an accident left a Wareham resident with serious injuries. 

Contractors working for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation installed the lights at the crosswalk the week of Sunday, May 5. 

Mason Hendricks, 24, was hit by a car while crossing Route 6 at the crosswalk near the intersection in January. 

Seeing the lights “made me so very relieved,” said Jody Santagate, Hendrick’s mother. Santagate said she contacted the Department of Transportation to try and improve safety at the intersection. “While it’s not the complete answer, it’s a very good start.”

A plan is in the works for a traffic light at that intersection. While originally scheduled to begin construction this winter, it has been pushed back, with the most recent reports placing the start date of the project in 2026. 

“All this is temporary — it’s not a real fix at all,” said Alan Slavin, a former Select Board member who has gone on record as advocating for the traffic light. 

The Department of Transportation also has plans to fully reconstruct Route 6 from a point east of Cromesett Road to Town Hall, including a “shared use” bike path and the reconstruction of the roadway to be two lanes rather than four. 

John Goggin, a member of the department’s communications office, said the pedestrian crossing lights “will enhance the visibility of the existing crosswalk and improve safety for pedestrians crossing Route 6 until the crosswalk can be incorporated into a new traffic signal at the Swifts Beach intersection, through the Route 6 Corridor Improvement project.”

Santagate said she still had safety concerns for the crosswalk. “I am calling on all Wareham residents who drive this stretch of road to be extra vigilant in this area,” she said.