At the suggestion of coffee participants and as reported in a press release, the Town of Great Barrington has installed public hand sanitizing stations in several locations downtown. And by early next week, two busy Main Street crosswalks now have rainbow safety flags for pedestrians to pick up and carry while crossing the street: pedestrians pick up a flag from a bin on one side of the street, look both ways, hold it high while crossing and then drop it in the bin on the opposite side.

Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski made the following statement:

We have a four-lane road running through downtown with multiple crosswalks, but just two are controlled by traffic lights. We’ve painted the crosswalks, installed warning signs in the middle of the street, stenciled the pavement and amped up police enforcement, but there’s always more we can do. Rainbow “GB” flags have been designed to match the town’s painted rainbow crosswalks and to reinforce Great Barrington’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, and rainbow colors are hard to miss. The flags are a temporary measure as the town works toward more permanent crosswalk safety improvements, such as islands and flashing lights.

Police Chief Paul Storti said any effort to improve pedestrian safety is welcome, and that the “stop-look-wave” stenciling on the sidewalks has been quite helpful.

In addition, Storti said the following:

All of the town’s efforts and our department’s enforcement of drivers who ignore crosswalk activity have helped, but any and all creative ideas can be added to the prevention mix.

Virtual Coffee with the Town Manager is a monthly event, on the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. Details for the next coffee, on Feb. 3, can be found on the town website calendar.

(information and images sent to WSBS from the Town of Great Barrington for online/ on-air use) 

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