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Cars exiting from Henderson Road can't see vehicles heading north on Route 8 until almost the last moment.

Clarksburg Calls For Safety Measures At Risky Intersection

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
10:37PM / Wednesday, April 25, 2012
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Police Chief Michael Williams met with the Selectmen and interim Town Administrator Deborah Choquette on Wednesday morning.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The Selectman Chairman Carl McKinney wants something done about the dangerous traffic conditions at the intersection of Henderson Road and River Road.

McKinney "respectfully" asked Police Chief Michael Williams at Wednesday morning's meeting to take point on the issue to see what the state would do.

"I don't care if they drop the road 10 feet or if they put up some signage and reduce the speed limit to 30," he said. "It's a dangerous intersection."

River Road is a state highway, Route 8, which has a 45 mph speed limit from the North Adams Country Club north. The highway continues past the border as Main Road in Stamford, Vt. Directly across from Henderson is Middle Road, creating a four-corner intersection.

Motorists exiting Henderson Road have to be careful because northbound vehicles can't be seen until they're almost on top of them because of an incline. The same holds true of vehicles trying to cross from Middle Road to Henderson.

"We've had deaths, we've had repeated, repeated, repeated car crashes at that four-corner intersection because of the blind angle and because people are driving north at 50 miles an hour," said McKinney. "Something has got to be done."

The latest incident occurred last Thursday morning when three people were hurt in a two-car accident. Williams said he would look into it.

Williams also asked about scheduling Lyndsey Errichetto from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to speak to the board about hazard mitigation planning. Errichetto had appeared two weeks ago in open forum.

The chief said he had expressed his concerns over town liability in identifying hazards.

"If things are identified, do we have to fix it?" he asked. "And if we don't, are we going to lose funding because it was identified and nothing done?"

He said Errichetto was bringing his concerns back to the commission. McKinney and Selectwoman Lily Kuzia had mentioned the same worries to Errichetto at the last meeting. Both selectmen said they would prefer taking up the issue after the town election and meeting when things had settled down.

The board also reviewed the warrant articles and McKinney recommended the board place an article to ask voters to name the Selectmen's meeting room in honor of one the town's earliest families.

"If you know a little bit about the history of Clarksburg, the town of Clarksburg could actually be Ketchumville," he said. Since the Selectmen's Meeting Room is used by all the boards, he suggested it be renamed the Ketchum Memorial Meeting Room.

Capt. Matthew Ketchum was among the first settlers with Nicholas Clark in 1764. McKinney said when it came time to charter the town the families were equal — until another baby Clark arrived.

Kuzia said she had no preference; McKinney said he wanted to put it to voters because of the historical aspect. He thought the Historical Commission could put up a plaque explaining the name at some point.

In other business:

• The Selectmen will set up interviews for the town administrator and town accountant finalists at a meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. Williams said background checks will be completed by that time.

•  Kuzia asked when the security system alarm that's been beeping at the Senior Center since March 6 might be fixed. Both McKinney and Williams expressed frustration with the security system vendor's inability to reset or repair the device while still billing for repair calls. McKinney said if the town couldn't get satisfaction it would look into a more local company.

• A joint meeting scheduled with the Finance Committee on Wednesday night was canceled because the town is still waiting for the state to certify its free cash before setting the fiscal 2013 budget.

• Williams submitted a resignation letter from one of his officers. He said he had a number of resumes on file that he would look through before considering posting the job.

Tags: accident,   historical,   intersection,   roads,   town meeting,   warrant article,   

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