Panhandling has been quite the topic of conversation in Pittsfield as of late.

I've lived in Pittsfield for 18 years and while panhandling doesn't bother me nearly as much as it does some other people, it's something that was basically nonexistent here two years ago.

On a regular basis, I see panhandlers at Park Square, the intersection in Allendale, the exit of the Berkshire Crossing shopping plaza, and the exit of the Center at Lenox. This is something that has definitely become more prevalent in recent years.

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The actual act of panhandling doesn't really bother me (sorry, unpopular opinion, I know) but this isn't a debate about the morality of panhandling, it's tackling it happening in locations that are dangerous to them and others. I do get nervous at busy intersections, like Allendale for example, for these safety reasons. It seems like an accident waiting to happen that could cause serious injury if not worse.

So is there a solution to this problem? Take a look at what the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts did to try and curb panhandling in their area.


Michael Rock/Townsquare Media
Michael Rock/Townsquare Media


In 2018 "spiked" cobblestones were installed at a busy intersection with the purpose of discouraging panhandlers, however, the original cobblestones were installed in a way that folks were still able to stand on them. Earlier this week the cobblestones were removed and reinstalled with the tall side sticking up, spaced further apart, making it far more difficult to stand or walk on them.

Would this type of median modification work in Pittsfield? Obviously, this would not be an option at Park Square as that is a sidewalk where people walk all the time, but I think this could be a viable option on the medians in Allendale at least, if not at the entrances to the shopping plazas.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.


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