Traffic pattern on "The Hill" to change during repaving

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GREAT BARRINGTON>> Great Barrington residents in the Castle Hill neighborhood should expect a changed traffic pattern for the next two weeks as the town finishes repaving the roads from the old railway station to Alford.

"This will be the third and final part of the project," town Department of Public Works Superintendent Joseph Sokul told The Eagle.

It's not the only road-repaving project this fall either; Sokul said the town would be repaving Seekonk and Monument Valley roads before winter.

"It's a standard mill and fill," he said. "They're going to take off a couple of inches and replace it."

But Taconic Avenue will have the biggest impact going forward as the repaving is only the first step in changing traffic on the busy road.

All along the road, there are street signs urging motorists to slow down. The speed limit on Taconic Avenue is 25 mph, but cars regularly go much faster on the road connecting Alford and Great Barrington.

Town Hall took the step of putting in speed regulators that show the speed of passing cars, but Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin told The Eagle that's just the first in a series of plans for the road.

"We're going to bring a design consultant in soon," she said.

Tabakin said the town has been taking a proactive approach to the traffic issue already, and cited the speed regulators and greater speed enforcement as contributing to a slower traffic flow on the road.

The town will look at traffic calming options for the road including striping and additional signage. Tabakin described the ongoing process to find a solution as "trial and error" to get the best result.

But the design consultant and the work to find a permanent fix is in the future. The present is the repaving project.

"We're going to look at traffic calming measures," Sokul said. "But not at this present moment."


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