Transportation Committee Minutes of 10-10-2023
Transportation Committee (TC) Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Present: Mary Day Mordecai (chair), Barbara Watkins, Earl Horn, Ned Hulbert, Steve LaMears (Police Chief), Erin Hammerstedt, Don Scott, Alison Weber.
Next meeting: 8:00 am October 30, 2023
- Police Chief update on Hancock Road in August (summertime hours):
- Radar update: average high speeds were 29 mph in one direction and 30 mph in other direction. There were a few high speeds in the low 40s. Chief LaMear’s judgement: There is not a speed issue on Hancock Road that can be enforced effectively, since if tickets are given to drivers going under 35, the tickets will not hold up in court. Speeding issues on other roads are much worse; therefore, police cannot spend much of their limited time enforcing on Hancock Road.
- The Chief believes that summer car volume is the main issue for Hancock Rd. Based on the data he collected from the radars, the TC estimates that the traffic volume for 20 days was approximately 14,000 cars, making a daily average of about 700 cars. The radar studies were done during a time when construction was being done on Hwy. 101, which may have added to the normal volume. There is no obvious way to decrease traffic volume along this road.
- Mary Day noted that the road design makes it unsafe for cars to go much over 25 if there is any other traffic on the road, including pedestrians and bicyclists. Therefore, it is important to find additional ways to get traffic to honor the speed limit.
- Update on traffic calming options:
- Earl, Steve and Alison identified five potentially dangerous curves on Hancock Rd. The TC had previously discussed the possibility of painting a center line in the middle of the road on these curves. Earl obtained a bid from a contractor who does painting on roads to put yellow mid-line at these five curves. The estimate was $3800.
- Earl also noted places on Hancock Rd that need vegetation trimming for pedestrian walking safety and to improve sight lines for all road users. We will recommend that the SB request that the Road Agent or a contractor keep vegetation clear in growing season – clearing to approximately three feet off the road edge. This issue pertains to other roads in town; TC will discuss the broader issue in a subsequent meeting.
- The TC had previously agreed that additional signage is needed to ensure safety on the road. Total signage should be: three speed limit signs in each direction (one in each direction should include a pedestrian picture); signs indicating boat ramp ahead in each direction; one sign indicating “No parking on this side of the road” at the boat launch area. Earl obtained an estimate from the NH Prison Sign Shop for these signs, totaling $1580.00. The committee decided that the pedestrian sign should be different, possibly indicating “Congestion Ahead” or “Share the Road.” Earl agreed to do further research on this option.
- Draft recommendations to PB and SB:
- TC plans to make the following ranked proposals to PB-SB for implementation by spring 2023:
- Cut Hancock Rd vegetation back per proposed map for cutting locations
- Purchase signs per proposed memo ($1600 est.)
- Stripe five dangerous curves per proposed memo ($3800 est.)
- Mary Day reported on Hancock Rd Lake Assn items: She continues to be in touch with Jeff Grosner, President of the Skatutakee Lake Association. They recently discussed adding a page on safety guidelines for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to the association’s website. They also agreed that a card with these guidelines would be printed and made available to people who rent out their houses on Hancock Road.
- Education of the general public: The TC feels that ongoing education is an essential part of addressing the safety issue along this and other roads in town. We will submit an article to Common Threads for its spring issue. We need to consider other educational opportunities.
- Don Scott reported on Church Street, Church Alley and School Street situation
Tentatively TC does not see a major issue with the Town’s giving up its interest in Church Alley as long as: there is adequate parking for the General Store and the Post Office, adequate turn-around space, and an allowance for pedestrian traffic. However, we reserve a final opinion until we get further information from two sources: 1) the road survey, which has not yet been completed; 2) residents whom we understand will be invited to a discussion with the SB. Earl is our representative on the Church Street project and he will report on our view at the committee meeting next week.