iBerkshires.com Columnist SectionSue Bush
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Day 1: Field Park "Trial Run" Runs SmoothlyBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Williamstown - Concrete jersey barriers temporarily erected at the juncture of Routes 2 and 7 [North and Main streets] served their intended purpose during an April 25 "trial run" of a new left-turn prohibition and the presence of new highway markings stationed along the roadway that surrounds Field Park.
|A vehicle navigates changes at the junction of Routes 2 and 7 at Field Park on April 25.|
The barriers were meant as clear evidence that those who traveled south along Route 7 could no longer turn left onto Route 2 but must follow the rotary-style road around, past the David and Joyce Milne Public Library to an intersection at South Street and make a left turn at that intersection followed by an immediate right turn onto Main Street.
Vehicles traveling north along South Street face a Stop sign and are expected to stop before entering the intersection.
"It is going amazingly well," said town police Chief Kyle Johnson during an early afternoon April 25 interview.
Town highway department workers began erecting the barriers and several bright-yellow colored barrel-like objects at about 5:30 a.m. under the direction of town Highway Department Superintendent Scott Park. Traffic control was provided by Johnson, according to information provided by Town Manager Peter Fohlin.
Changes at the site define the circular roadway as a "rotary," and traffic traveling along the circle have the right-of-way, while traffic entering the rotary from Cold Spring Road [Route 7 north], Main Street [Route 2] or North Street [Route 7 south] must yield.
Yielding should not be an issue at the South Street access because of the Stop sign.
Signage, including signs that alert drivers to the upcoming rotary and new yield signs have been erected, and painted roadway markings are in place to guide drivers as they proceed through the rotary.
A decision about making the changes permanent is expected to come from Selectmen this fall.
During a 20-minute period of observation at the rotary just past noontime on April 25, drivers appeared to be approaching the rotary and in particular, the barriers, with caution, and making the required right-hand turn from Route 7 south with little difficulty.
One dump truck driver seemed briefly confused but proceeded around the rotary and turned right onto Route 2 from the appropriate location.
Preparing the rotary for the driving trial has cost about $1,500, according to town officials. Most of the cost was generated by signs and painting the roadway markings.
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or at 802-823-9367.