Wednesday May 22, 2013

People have been writing to The Eagle in a panic over the driveway to the new Hilton hotel going in on the hill next to Guido’s Marketplace on South St. near the Pittsfield/
Lenox line. A recent letter claimed a Hilton guest would die, yes die, because of the driveway. Why didn’t customers of Dr. Lahey’s Garden Center, the previous occupant of that site which used an unpaved version of that driveway, die?

The irony is that right across the street from the Hilton site, the Comfort Inn sits atop an even higher hill behind the Dakota Steakhouse, and uses a similar driveway arrangement. The Comfort Inn’s presence and driveway have been so unremarkable that the people afraid of the Hilton’s driveway seem to be unaware of it. Why then the fear of the Hilton? Are Hilton guests less competent drivers, are the firemen who would respond to the Hilton less competent than the firemen who would respond to the Comfort Inn?

Regarding the Hilton/Guido’s driveway interplay, the best way to help reach the regional planning goal of fewer driveways in this area (I’m a former delegate on the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission) would be to close the Guido’s exit that’s next to the Hilton site. Guido’s already has another driveway. Or if the two businesses will cooperate, close both Guido’s driveways and have both share the Hilton driveway.

I don’t have any connection to the Hilton, but don’t put this all on them, there is already an existing commercial driveway there, unpaved. It will be an improvement for the Hilton to widen and pave it.

VINCENT LEE

Lenox