Letter: More hospital signage needed
To the editor:
I had the unfortunate need to drive someone to the Berkshire Medical Center emergency room recently. I left from Lee and took Route 7/20 north toward Pittsfield. While I knew the general location of the hospital, I was planning to rely on road signs along the way. Big surprise! I saw no road signs directing traffic to the hospital.
There are loads of signs for the major and minor tourist attractions along Route 7/20 north — even for places I have never heard of nor knew about. But I saw no signs with directions to the hospital. As I approached Pittsfield, there was a big "H" sign just south of Housatonic Street on the right side of North Street — the first sign that a hospital was nearby. At the Park Square intersection, there was no indication as to whether to continue straight on North Street or proceed around the square to follow Route 7 north. I took the latter.
As I drove north, I did not see another hospital sign anywhere. After driving a bit and thinking I had taken the wrong fork, I luckily made a left turn onto Tyler Street. I saw no signs on the corner of Tyler Street and Route 7 north directing traffic to make a left turn for the hospital. After making the lucky left, I observed a hospital billboard directing traffic to the emergency room and various other services. I have no experience approaching the hospital from the north, east or west, so I cannot comment on the abundance or lack of roadside hospital signs from those directions.
One of the main sources of income for the area is tourism — the attraction of visitors from other areas who are unfamiliar with the location of the local hospital. In addition, some travelers may exit Interstate 90 at Exit 2 in Lee in search of a hospital. While the various tourist venues have sufficient directional signs along the road, there is clearly a need for roadside directions to our local hospital and other vital services.
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