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Pelham - Windham News 8 - October 8, 2010


Cub Scout Pack 266 Went to the Circus!


submitted by Kimber Leuteritz Despite the rain and wind on Friday, October 1, 78 Cub Scouts, families, and friends from Pack 266 went to the Manchester Verizon Center to enjoy the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus! The “Zing Zang Zoom” Greatest Show On Earth hosted a number of amazing acrobatic acts, magic tricks, cannons shooting people, dog shows, and clown skits. There were the traditional elephants, tigers, and horse shows as well. All of the ticket holders got to enjoy additional time on the circus floor with the entertainers, as well as a pre-show special. A great time was had by all!


Options for Dealing with Increased Traffic Presented by Barbara O’Brien


When the expansion of Interstate Route 93 got the go-ahead several years ago, residents were told that one of the results of widening the highway would be an increased traffic flow through the communities that border that section of I-93.


Route 93 is being widened from the Cub Scout Pack 266 enjoying the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus this past weekend


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Massachusetts state border to Manchester. Although there have been repeated delays in the project and it is already significantly behind the original schedule, increased traffic is already beginning to affect the abutting towns, including Windham, which is located just off Exit 3. In order to anticipate the increase in traffic congestion and to try to mitigate the problem, a local advisory committee, working in conjunction with the Rockingham County Planning Commission, was formed and has met 10 times during the past year. The committee studying the issue has dubbed its effort as the NH Route 111 Corridor and Wall Street Connector Study; an area which is expected to see a tremendous increase in daily commuters once I-93 is finished. Route 111 runs east and west almost parallel to sections of Route 93, while Wall Street is located off the existing Park and Ride Lot and continues past the entrance to Shaw’s Supermarket and Sovereign Bank. One of the segments of the study is to ascertain the feasibility of extending Wall Street to Londonderry Road, thereby lessening the amount of vehicles using North Lowell Road; an area known as the Village Center. On September 28, committee members, plus representatives of the Rockingham County Planning Commission, met in the auditorium of the new Windham High School to present their preliminary findings to the public. Approximately three dozen people from the community were in attendance to listen to the presentation. Cliff Sinnott, Executive Director of the


Rockingham County Planning Commission, said that one of the issues discussed by committee members is the fact that “Windham lacks a vibrant town center; one that is pedestrian-friendly.” Undertaking the study was the town’s idea, he said. “The town’s goal is to preserve the town center as a quiet traditional village,” he said. Realizing the concern of Windham residents


and town officials, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) offered to fund the extension study, which would determine the feasibility of creating a Wall Street Connector to allow traffic to go around the town center (North Lowell Road area) via Londonderry Road. “Developing the scope of this study has been a real challenge,” Sinnott said. Gene McCarthy, a transportation engineer with


McFarland Johnson Engineering, said the vision formulated by committee members is to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources, while, at the same time, maintaining safety and mobility. The area foreseen in the vision would include housing, retail, and other commercial enterprises, and provide various modes of transportation, plus gathering places for residents to congregate and enjoy open spaces.


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As a result of the study, which is still considered preliminary, four


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identified: A Route 111 By-Pass; in-corridor


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improvements to the existing Route 111; an extension of Wall Street; or do nothing. According to McCarthy, the construction of a Route 111 By-Pass is not likely to move forward, and any potential designs for such a road are only “very conceptual” at this time. If it were to be built, the by-pass would be located south of the existing Route 111. This idea is not well supported by committee members, McCarthy said, as it would entail crossing wetlands, an intrusion that would be difficult to mitigate, especially in the area of Golden Brook. “There would definitely be some challenges” with this concept, McCarthy said. “Extending Wall Street to Londonderry Road and North Lowell Road is feasible, though,” McCarthy said. With this plan, there would be no improvements made to the existing Route 111. “A Wall Street Connector does fit and provides some benefit,” he said. One drawback, though, would be that the connector street would come close to some existing homes. “A Wall Street Extension works,” Highway Agent Jack McCartney said, “but not to the extent that we hoped.” Another alternative would be to make in- corridor improvements to the existing Route 111. These potential improvements include either making Route 111 a two-lane divided roadway in sections or expanding to a four-lane divided section. Median strips would be landscaped under this proposal and would also include sidewalks and bicycle paths. Speed limits in certain sections would also be lowered if this concept comes to fruition. Other improvements being contemplated include upgrading the traffic signals at North and South Lowell Roads, at the Village Green and Post Office intersection and at Wall Street. Roundabouts at various locations are also being considered as a way to provide a smoother flow of traffic and to lower the speed of traffic. McCarthy explained that roundabouts are not the same as a traffic circle or rotary. They are fairly new in New England, he said, but are in widespread use in other parts of the country. Roundabouts are much smaller than circles or rotaries, and employ much slower speeds, averaging about 15 mph, he explained. As opposed to a traditional traffic light, roundabouts allow a higher capacity of vehicles, a smoother flow, they are safer for motorists, aesthetically more pleasing (more green space and less pavement), cause less pollution from idling vehicles, slows all traffic, and are safer for pedestrians as well. There are currently about 15 roundabouts in operation in New Hampshire at this time.


Selectman Charles McMahon recalled traffic projections that were made in the early 1990s, when talk of widening Route 93 was first discussed. Based on those projections, Route 111 would see a traffic load of about 40,000 vehicles per day, while Route 93 would be the route taken by about 80,000 motorists each day. “We are the east-west corridor of southern New Hampshire,” McMahon said. “We need to protect our natural resources. We need to minimize the amount of impervious surfaces” built in this area. By impervious surfaces, McMahon was referring to paved roadways and parking areas. “Windham is being held hostage by the 93 project until it’s finished,” McMahon said. “Who’s going to pay for all this [road construction]?” Answering his own question, McMahon said, “We’ve been told repeatedly that it ain’t the State that’s going to pay the bill.” Part of the study, according to McCarthy, is looking at the costs and possible funding sources.


continued to page 11- Traffic


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