WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Selectmen are inviting Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials to meet with them to discuss local concerns about the effectiveness of the Taconic Trail's runaway truck ramp.
At the Selectmen's meeting Monday night, Tree Warden Robert McCarthy Jr. said he continues to be concerned about the entrance to the ramp not being accessible to out-of-control tractor-trailers coming down the Taconic Trail (Route 2) toward the intersection with Cold Spring Road (Route 7).
"My problem isn't with the ramp. It's with the ability for a truck to get into the ramp," he said.
With the Taconic Trail curving to the left after Torrey Woods Road, there is no way that an out-of-control tractor-trail could turn into the ramp to its right, he said. He also understands the ramp wasn't designed right from the beginning, he said.
"We have to demand urgency from the state to fix this. I don't want it to be on my conscience, and I don't think you want it to be on your conscience," he said.
McCarthy, a long-time resident of the town, has been a strong advocate for improving the safety of the intersection of the Taconic Trail and Cold Spring Road, which has been the scene of fatal accidents over the years, often involving tractor-trailers.
On June 29, 2011, a tractor-trailer traveling east on the Taconic Trail was unable to stop as it approached the intersection of Cold Spring Road. It missed the
Following that accident, the Selectmen sent a letter to Mass DOT asking the agency to improve visibility of the runaway truck ramp and to add more signs informing drivers of the ramp. Both requests were addressed by Mass DOT, by adding a sign, removing nearby earthen berms and clearing brush above the entrance of the ramp.
McCarthy said his biggest fear remains that a tractor-trailer coming down the Taconic Trail will take out a school bus full of students traveling to or from Mount Greylock Regional High School. He called the intersection a "ticking time bomb."
In other business, the Selectmen unanimously agreed to send a letter of reprimand to the Taconic Golf Club after it failed an alcohol compliance check Aug. 9.
Stephen Pagnotta, president of the Taconic Golf Club's board of directors, said the club clearly had warning that the compliance checks were taking place, and there is no excuse for the failure.
"We are embarrassed by this. I have 500 members I have to answer to who are not happy," he said.
He said the employee who served the underage person was suspended for 10 days.
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