Transportation Committee (TC) Meeting Minutes, December 12, 2022 

Present: Mary Day Mordecai (chair), Barbara Watkins, Earl Horn, Erin Hammerstedt, Ned Hulbert, Alison Weber. 

Next Meeting:  TBD, January, 2023, HHI office 

1) School Radar Update:

Ned reported that we have not heard from Eversource on AC radar hookup north of Wells Memorial School.  We have now gotten a new Eversource contact who will see that the hookup occurs asap and contact us when it is done.  Earl reports that we must schedule the radar training with the a police staff member in order to program the school radar timing for school zone times twice a day.  We need a Town police contact to do this with TC volunteers in order for the Town to assume appropriate liability.

Mary Day reported on the cost overruns, as added costs were incurred for mounting the two radars.  This is the second overrun.  The Select Board said that the Town may be able to cover the overruns, but will ask TC to write a note requesting some contribution from MAST, if it determines that some financial aid is needed. 

2) Immediate updates 

Mary Day discussed two weeks ago with Bill Lambert of NHDOT the possibility of doing a speed study in Town to check on developing consistent, slower speed limits on Chesham Rd near the school.  After discussion, the TC agreed that a speed study should not be a priority at this time. 

3) A Review of TC work since 2016 – as preparation for future TC project planning. 

The TC came into being when the Planning Board endorsed Complete Streets training by SWRPC in 2016-17.  A Complete Streets design guide was developed during the training which makes various proposals for Complete Streets improvements across Town.   These recommended improvements are still opportunities, if the TC develops a larger multi-modal plan for the Town.

The Trails group has been working on trail improvements since the early 2000s.  Complete Streets recognized the importance of trails to multi-modal connectivity.  The Trails group working with the TC has enhanced our collective understanding of the benefits of integrating trails and roads.

Achieving a school zone to slow down Wells Memorial School traffic has been worked on since 2011 (or earlier).  A School Zone speed limit at that time was proposed to the Town but not supported by the Select Board or by the Police.  Alison remembers that the Safe Routes to School program managed to get School Zone speed limit signs installed.  School Zone speed limit signs having been present since 2017-18.  It is a long-term achievement that the School Zone signs were installed and even more so – that school radars will be operating soon to further calm traffic at WMS.

TC in 2018 talked with neighbors and SB to quash a plan to paint center and road edge lines on Skatutakee Rd.  The intervention to kill the striping was supported by NHDOT’s Larry Keniston.  It was a good decision!

TC has looked at getting cross-walks put in in Town and embarked on a study in 2018-19. The Town and others (i.e., HHI, Community Fund) funded work to review a cross-walk at the General Store.  Ultimately, we were unable to put in a cross-walk due to extensive work that would have been required on private land.

The TC also worked with the road crew and Mason Road residents to request this road be narrowed to accommodate multi-modal traffic more safely.  SB agreed to cut pavement width to 20 ft. from 22 ft., also saving money for the Town.

TC is getting consistent feedback that Main St is dangerous for pedestrians.  How to resolve this long-term issue?  A sidewalk on Main St may not be feasible.  More likely prospects are: including Church St as one pathway into Town, plus a pathway up on the other side of Main St. through the parking lots on the east side of Main St. through HHI property. This situation needs further analysis by qualified professionals.

We need local controls to keep speed rates down with advent of google maps/gps to get NH State support and enforcement.  We also need plans that examine the larger Town transportation picture.

The question of moving people about Town safely may be coming up again with current Church Street storm water issues.  The TC agreed that due to the Complete Streets Resolution signed by the Select Board, TC needs to approach SB and request it be involved.