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Look up, Great Barrington, and smile. You’re on candid camera. See that bracket on the rooftop ledge of the Drucker family’s Barrington Outfitters building? See the cameras, pointing north and south? Soon you will spot them on top of Barrington House, too, and TD North Bank.
Convinced that traffic flow will be the crucial factor in mitigating disruption from the Main Street Reconstruction Project, businessman Richard Stanley wants to make sure the two lanes that are to be kept open at all times during the construction keep cars moving. Traffic flow will be particularly critical, he predicts, during the most intense phase of the reconstruction – digging up the street and sidewalks – wall to wall – between Bridge and Elm streets. And he wants to make sure the cops directing traffic do their job, once the work really gets going next spring.
So he’s purchased video cameras to keep an eye on things. The cameras are similar to the ones that he has observing the Taconic Parking Lot from the vantage of his Triplex Theatre complex. He intends to install them on his Barrington House, and he’s been joined by the Druckers who have put cameras on their building across the street.
“The big issue is traffic flow. So the business community is teaming up,” Stanley told us. “We’ve talked to the police chief about training and assignments for the officers, but the question is will they be in communication with each other, will they be directing traffic.”
Betsy Andrus, executive director of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce confirmed the plan to install electronic surveillance on the traffic during construction.
“Richard wanted the video to be broadcast on the town web site, but I told him it’s never going to work,” Andrus said. ‘We can’t have everyone and their grandfather tuning in. The police details are being paid for by the state, though they’re hired by the general contractor, Maxymillian. We have weekly meetings with the state DOT, Maxymillian, Public Works Superintendent Joe Sokul, Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin, Police Chief Walsh – to make sure things are going smoothly.”
But who will be getting the video feed of Main Street?
One thing’s for sure: Video monitoring of traffic flow and police officers won’t be on the town web site.
“I am confident that our Great Barrington police officers can monitor traffic best by being out on the street,” commented Town Manager Tabakin. “There won’t be any video on the town site.”
Still, someone will be watching. Somewhere. But will the surveillance keep things moving?
It’s 1984 in Great Barrington.
So, when you’re on Main Street, look up. Smile. Wave. Be sure to smile.
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Speaking of the Main Street Reconstruction, the homepage of The Berkshire Edge now has a direct link to the construction updates and work schedules assembled by the Chamber. It’s on the right-hand column. Check it out when you need to know where
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“Infinite Measure.” Sounds Shakespearean, doesn’t it. Actually, it’s a book by Rachel Fletcher, author and geometer, and the title of her extraordinary exhibit in the Hillman-Jackson Gallery at the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. We’ve known Rachel for her work on W.E.B. Du Bois and for creating the River Walk along the Housatonic. But as a writer and artist, she explores what she calls “harmonious proportions in art and architecture” and in such creations as Stonehenge, a Stradavari violin, snow crystals, and shells. “What is there in common between beauty here and beauty There?” she asks. The exhibit is up until September 19. Take a look.
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The concept of beauty, it appears, is in the air. At the Geoffrey Young Gallery on Railroad Street, Sue and Phil Knoll have put together a show titled, “The Reason for Beauty,” with the work of 14 artists from California, Brooklyn and Provincetown.