The Town of Stockbridge has contracted with the Springfield office of VHB (Vanasse Hangen Brustlin) for a professional traffic study along Main Street.  $13,900 to fund the study was approved at a special town meeting last January.

The study will focus on two traffic hotspots: the notorious "Red Lion Inn" intersection of Routes 7, 102 & Pine St. and the intersection just up the road, where Main, East & Vine Streets meet up in front of the firehouse. I can tell you I've had a couple of close calls at both in my daily commute, and some kind of improvement would be most welcome. Just exactly what that would be is part of the study.

Police Chief Darrell Fennelly told the Berkshire Eagle, "Everything is on the table." Presumably, even a roundabout, which even the thought or mention of makes many locals bristle. But first, the study. Within a few weeks, VHB will begin collecting peak season traffic counts and data on volume and speed. Engineers will follow that up with observations of traffic, bicycle & pedestrian traffic, parking areas and crosswalks. They'l look back at accident reports, do projections for the future and come up with no more than two recommendations for each intersection to present to the town.

Their report is anticipated by the end of the year, but that's still not the finish line. According to the contract, the findings "should be considered conceptual in nature until a field survey can be developed and more detailed engineering can occur"--which is not included in the VHB study.

In the meantime, buckle up, keep your eyes wide open and smile & wave to the nice folks along Main St., Stockbridge.