A perilous intersection on West Street

Friday February 8, 2013

I live on a street off West Street in Pittsfield near the Salvation Army and Western Mass Electric. The right of way is currently the straightaway, i.e. east/west corridor. I use this intersection several times a day at different times of the day. I see people turning right (east) at the Salvation Army just to swing up Dewey Avenue and head back down to go up West Street to avoid the long line there at certain times of the day. I see people pushing out to turn left (west) as the people with the right of way going west try to execute a left hand turn. People coming from the direction of BCC and turning right onto West Street often don’t use directional signals or stay in their own lane, impeding the left hand turn of those coming from the east.

Are you confused? I doubt you’re alone. Everyone is in such a hurry and tries to push whatever advantage they can, myself included.

The other day I was amongst those coming from the east attempting to turn left. I found a break in the traffic and went to go through it and found myself almost hitting a pedestrian. I was watching automobile traffic coming at me, not pedestrian traffic coming from my left (before I was in the turn the pedestrian was to my left rear). My brakes worked as well as the brakes on the car coming from the direction of BCC who could have hit me so tragedy was averted. Scared the daylights out of myself and the pedestrian though, and thus pushed me to write this letter.

It is time for a traffic light there now before there is a real tragedy. The light at the intersection of East St. and Junction Bridge has taken care of what had been a similar situation.

Oh, by the way, there is a lot of pedestrian traffic that depends on being seen or having the law obeyed as they cross at two crosswalks in this area.




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