Letter: Three strikes and out for city businesses?

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To the editor:

After living in Pittsfield for many years, I am currently a resident of Hinsdale. However, I still make it a point to visit the fine establishments in downtown Pittsfield whenever it makes sense to do so. What I am finding on a daily basis is that it is becoming more and more difficult to justify driving into the city from a location to the east.

This difficulty stems from the following three sources. The cost of gasoline is significant and rising. The condition of the roads is poor and is causing significant wear and tear on my vehicle. Even the main route to downtown from Allendale (Dalton Avenue westbound and Tyler Street) is a trial. And finally the lack of access to parking on Summer Street and metered parking on North Street is a major turnoff.

I had been assuming that completion of the Summer Street parking lot would return a measure of free parking to the area. Of the three drawbacks I identified, the parking issue is the easiest to remedy and the only one directly under the control of the current Pittsfield administration. After listening to remarks made by the mayor, I was disappointed at the apparent lack empathy for the affected businesses, especially those dependent on daily visits by their clients like Berkshire Nautilus, the YMCA and others.

Hopefully, further review will change current plans and restore free three hour parking at the Summer Street lot. If not, I am concerned that many of the fine businesses in the downtown area will not be able to offer enough extra to offset these three disadvantages, and these "three strikes" will eventually put them out of business.

Richard Roussin,




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