We Need to Talk About Driving on Route 7 in Lenox
Pittsfield has been implementing a Speed Enforcement Campaign to ensure safer driving on the city's busy streets and across the board.
No system is perfect, but after listening to Officer Maddalena of the PPD on Slater & Marjo, I feel like Pittsfield is heading in the right direction. Traffic officers are not out to write tickets and fine residents tons of money. There's no quota to meet. There is simply a mission to slow down speeds.
Although I work, and spend a lot of time, in Pittsfield, my family and I live in Lenox. Just to be clear, we are very aware that we live on a busy street in the town. Getting our 5-year-old to school on time in the morning can be tough with all of the folks heading to where they need to go in the morning. That is not my issue, whatsoever.
On Friday morning, my wife told me that the following evening as she was getting ready to pull onto the property, she, along with our child, was nearly T-Boned by an SUV driving "probably 80 MPH on Route 7." When we are close to the property, we hit our blinkers very early in the process to let the traffic behind us know that we are going to be turning and, unless they want to sit behind us, they may want to change to the other lane. No one is stopping short, hitting the breaks and turning on a dime.
Our well being is one thing, but when a child is involved, it changes the story altogether. I'm not perfect, and from time to time, I have been known to push the limits of requested speeds. Not to the point of going 80 in a 45 though. When you are on Route 7 going through Lenox, once the road starts to get a little hilly, chances are -- if you're in the left lane -- when you get to the top of the hill, someone is going to be getting ready to turn left.
What got my wife freaked out was that if there wasn't a slight opening to fly into the right lane by said SUV, there is absolutely no way the vehicle would've been able to stop in time. The story would've had a different outcome, and quite frankly -- when thinking about it -- it gets me extremely fired up.
Before anyone draws the wrong conclusion, I am in no way trying to be the Traffic Police. People need to get where they need to go, get there in a timely manner and I have zero issues with that. Just don't be that person who thinks they are trying to claim a spot in the Daytona 500. If you drive 80 MPH on Route 7, no one is going to get out of their cars to applaud your amazing driving skills. In fact, they are probably thinking you're an idiot.
A lot of times, we see the Lenox Police in that area controlling the flow of traffic. When they are there, these things don't happen -- or they do less frequently. They can't be on Route 7 all day and all night. Maybe, just maybe, while were driving on that busy road, we can drive like they are. I know I don't want a ticket, and even more so, I don't want to see anyone getting hurt -- especially my wife or our son.
The 4th of July is upon us, and this area is going to be very busy -- with some of us trying to get out of The Berkshires and a whole host of others coming in. There is a high probability that traffic enforcement will be at a very high level. Don't be that person who is angry that the blue lights are behind them because you drove like a maniac. At the end of the day, I just want everyone to be safe. If you want to go 50, 55 in a 45 -- go for it. Going 70, 75, 80 or more is something totally different. Let's be safe, happy and healthy during the holiday week.