Gridlock in Great Barrington
By now, you are probably aware that going from point A to point B in the town of Great Barrington has turned into a massive amount of frustration and anxiety for local and visiting motorists. A normal short distance can lead into a longer and more arduous journey and the main culprit in this case is the constant road construction that is constantly causing delays and a massive amount of impatience for all behind the wheel.
For example, if you are travelling through Main Street during daytime hours, you're aware of the constant volume of vehicles but if you add the cones, flashing yellow lights and one lane roads with local police directing traffic in these zones, the end result is obvious: You will NOT be getting to your impending destination immediately.
As we speak, there is a construction project in progress just parallel to our WSBS studios heading north and south on Stockbridge Road (aka route 7) as the main obstacles involve one lane of traffic, police officers on scene guiding you through a detoured route until it is all clear to continue towards a normal route that you are already accustomed to.
A recent water main break was the main culprit in purporting this latest round of delays which was located at the junction of routes 7 and 23. The repair work resulted in a influx of road blocks that force drivers to slow down and recently a local police officer was on duty to direct traffic in a timely and safe manner, but the delays mounted causing more headaches while behind the wheel.
Adjustments were also needed last Wednesday to modify the water pressure in a residential area of Great Barrington which included road closures in the vicinity of Quarry, Elm, Cottage and East Streets. The project took longer than expected as motorists use these locales as "short cuts" to avoid the congestion on Main Street therefore causing another round of delays and that did not sit well with drivers, but the necessary work was mandatory to correct the problem at hand.
The announcement of completing a "rotary" located adjacent to The Great Barrington Police Department that merges routes 7, 23 and 41 is bound to cause more traffic inconveniences as this heavily travelled artery could result in more inconveniences on the horizon. We are already seeing the opening moments of this project as motorists must carefully maneuver towards getting to their impending destinations as traffic splits up the arterial both north and south bound and there are times where a local police officer will be situated to direct traffic to keep things under control. Completion of this rotary has yet to be determined which also adds to the interruption of traffic flow.
Let's not forget the all-important question: When will The Division Street bridge re-open? For now, drivers have to use an already crowded route 41 as a detour or take route 183 into Housatonic before heading back to 41. This has been a major inconvenience for all who want to make their way north to West Stockbridge or Pittsfield as drivers heading to the rural part of the town are also getting their share in turning a road trip into a major headache.
The Bottom Line: I understand construction is needed to make necessary improvements, towards keeping our infrastructure safe and sound, but if we all had advanced notice as to when and where we can stay off the roads to avoid further congestion, these traffic problems could easily be avoided and we can have a steadier flow of vehicles on our local roadways and this excessive gridlock could be alleviated once and for all.
If you need more details, log on to The Town of Great Barrington's web site OR check for updates on The Great Barrington Police Department's page by going here. We also invite you to tap in on the WSBS web site as we'll keep you up to speed (no pun intended) on developing details regarding road closures, delays and traffic hot spots.
Finally, I close with these three words of wisdom that will keep us sane from this so-called traffic nightmare: "PACK YOUR PATIENCE"!!! Trust me, it's NOT easy, but it's the ONLY antidote that I have regarding all-important sage advice to keep everyone safe on our local roadways each and every day. We are ALL in this together, so let's band as one to make things more bearable while behind the wheel on a daily basis.
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