Tuesday July 31, 2012

Each year, Lenox plays host to three crafts fairs in Lilac Park. Despite requests for parking bans on Sunset Avenue, and a vote by Selectmen -- which passed -- that it be banned, parking is now apparently allowed on Sunset Avenue from top to bottom, on the side that begins at the border of the park.

This is what that looks like for me, a usually happy Sunset Avenue resident, on day two of the fair. When I returned from grocery shopping, my driveway was almost completely blocked by cars and I had to park at the bottom of my street, hauling groceries up a long hill, or letting fresh foods spoil in my car. When a space in front of my house freed up, it was snatched up by a man in a Prius who threw a burning cigarette onto the street in front of my sidewalk. A man stood on my lawn and had a 10 minute conversation on his mobile phone that was audible in every room of my house. A family parked their van and a young mother got out on my lawn, bending over and pulling her underwear down from her short shorts, leaving nothing to the imagination.

People on the opposite side of the street have driveways that are used both days of the craft fair from very early when exhibitors arrive to very late when they leave, and all hours between, as turn-around venues.

This on a street regularly burdened by the near impossible egress resulting from parking spaces on Main Street that, when occupied, make it impossible to see oncoming traffic and burdened further by speeding and littering employees of Kimball Farms, racing to or from their jobs.

Approaches to the town manager have been met by deaf ears and hostility and the Selectmen seem to have overturned their own rule about parking on Sunset, despite significant inconvenience to residents.

I could go on, but a child just fell on my lawn and dropped ice cream.

ELLEN C. MARSHALL

Lenox