North Street To Become One Lane On Both Sides In Phase 2 Study
The Shared Streets and Spaces program that first launched in the summer of 2020 was intended to be sort of experimental, according to Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer. Tyer, who is a monthly guest on "Slater and Marjo In The Morning", went on to explain what will change and what will stay the same regarding the reorganization of North St.
"What we've learned from it is that there are elements that we want to change, for example, we put our bike lanes between the curb and the parking lane. We're gonna reverse that. We're gonna go back to what most people would expect and what people are used to, which is parking next to the curb with a bike lane between the travel lane and the parked car", said Tyer. "We're gonna implement that this summer, on both sides of North Street, and we are gonna go down to one travel lane on both sides of North Street as part of phase 2 of this study. Because...North St. is to be a destination, not a pass-thru. If you want to get somewhere quickly, you can use First St. or Center St., Seymour, as well, but the purpose of the "Shared Streets" program is to make sure that pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, people who need accessibility, besides just a car, have access to our downtown in an enjoyable way."
The reorganization of North St. last year affected North St. from Park Square to Maplewood; however, this new phase of study will extend the changes from Park Square to Wahconah St.
Slater caught up with Pittsfield Department of Public Services & Utilities Commissioner, Ricardo Morales, who mentioned that some businesses were unhappy with the diagonal parking, so that will be going away. Expect fresh paint and new markings on the roadway this summer as well.
"This project incorporates changes to the pilot installed last fall that address concerns brought forward by the public and businesses like having one consistent treatment throughout the corridor and having adequate signage and road markings that eliminate the confusion. One lane of travel in each direction, one bike lane in each direction from Park Square to Wahconah.", said Morales.