Great Barrington makes crosswalks more visible, repainted red

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Less than a week after a motorist plowed into four pedestrians trying to cross Main Street, the town has repainted the crosswalks a bright red color.

In addition, a white painted message that reads "stop, look, wave" at each side of the crosswalks urges pedestrians to be more aware of oncoming traffic.

Town manager Jennifer Tabakin credited the Great Barrington Police Department with advocating for more visible crosswalks for several years.

"This is something that's been in the works for a while," she said.

On Friday morning, an 87-year-old Canaan, Conn., woman driving a black car struck two women, a 3-year-old girl and an 11-month old girl in a stroller as they cross walk at the Main Street-Railroad Street intercession.

The victims were transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where they were treated for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. Police have not released the names of the victims or the driver, who police said would be will be charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Great Barrington Police Chief William R. Walsh also said his department has applied to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to immediately revoke the woman's license.

A witness, local businessman Luke Germain, said the driver did not appear to slow down when she drove through the pedestrians. One of the women was reportedly carried on the hood of the vehicle for about 50 feet until the driver finally stopped.

The crosswalks at Main and Railroad and at Rotary Way a little farther north are two of the more dangerous crosswalks in town and in the county overall. Although fatalities have been few over the past several decades, pedestrians concede they cross Main Street with considerable trepidation.

Tabakin said town officials plan to bring several other proposals for crosswalk safety to the Select Board.

"We've been concerned about pedestrian safety since I've been here," she said. "This is a priority for the community."

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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