This topic of conversation is something I came across in the Great Barrington Community Board Facebook group. It appears over the past couple of days there has been much backed up traffic and congestion on Route 7. Residents are wondering why this has become a glaring problem.

Looking at the member comments in the Facebook group page, there seems to be one main reason (at least according to other residents that are experiencing the same issue).

COVID-19 is the Big Reason

One member of the group pointed out that the bus organizations are not allowing school choice students to ride in buses. In addition, parents can’t meet busses at locations at this time because of covid and limitations. In addition, I was speaking to a gentleman on Tuesday who drives one of the school vans and he mentioned a similar reason as parents are voluntarily keeping their kids off busses due to COVID-19. Hence, more vehicles are arriving at the schools to drop kids off and pick them up which in turn, is causing more congestion.

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It's Ben Like This for Years?

According to one of the group members it has. This is what she wrote in the post:

I don't understand why this is just being noticed when it's been like this for years. There is always a line to the middle school. You have to drive down the turning lane to get around them because of all the cars lined up to go into the school.

In addition, there was a response to her comment that agreed and pointed out that this issue goes back many years in Great Barrington. Here's the comment below:

There have always been bussing issues going back to when we were in school. Dewey, Bryant, Searles, and Monument. New school's old problems. Someone said yesterday that busses were picking up from a different side at Monument. What different side? They have been picking up and dropping off at the platform and in front of the school for more than 40 years and having trouble with route 7 and asking for a light for that long too.

It seems like the issue has been around for a while in Great Barrington but limitations due to COVID-19 are magnetizing the issue even more. What do you think? How should this traffic issue be corrected?

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