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Pelham - Windham News February 4, 2011 - 9


Thumbs Up? Thumbs Down?


Comments expressed in this column are the sole views of those callers and do not reflect the views of the Pelham~Windham News or its advertisers. Town and school officials encourage readers to seek out assistance directly to resolve any problems or issues. The Pelham~Windham News editorial staff holds the right to refuse any comment deemed inappropriate.


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“Thumbs up! To a great neighbor, I returned home today to find my neighbor (Dave) snow blowing my driveway after he worked all day. Thank you is not enough. I hope I can return your generosity and friendship.”


“Thumbs up, Way Up!!! Sunday January 30th


the Pelham Border Riders Snowmobile Club held their annual cookout on Harris Pond in Pelham. Great turn out by club members and hopefully new. All the guys did a great job and it was a perfect day...Way to go Border Riders.”


“Thumbs down. Every time I see the Dog officer in her truck she is on her cell phone. I’m not talking once or twice but all the time. Hang up and be careful please.”


“Thumbs down to the comment about the fire station and ‘not wanting to be hit with this again 10 years from now or when I’m getting ready for my retirement years.’ Well that’s why us retirees feel the way we do. We have lived here a long time and have already paid for one new high school and a fire station.


Have some compassion for us. Just received notice my federal taxes went up $50 a month. We don’t have the money.”


“Thumbs up to Pelham’s school board. Mr.


Ducharme nominates school moderator Mr. Dunn, and *poof*, our new school board member is signed, sealed and delivered, all in about 10 minutes. Mr. Hardy, Mr. Ducharme and most importantly Deb Ryan, goes to show all of us how you 3 work as a team. Before we realized it, your dreams have come true. I just hope you 3 never need replacing. At this rate you might think it’s almost impossible.”


“Thumbs up to Representative Bettencourt Route 111- continued from from page


If Wall Street were to be extended to North Lowell Road/Londonderry Road, it would cost a projected $6 million to $6.5 million to build, McCarthy said. “There doesn’t seem to be a substantive enough benefit to warrant spending this amount of money,” he added, stating that there are extensive wetlands in that area that would need to be mitigated to compensate for road construction. He said that committee members recommend keeping this concept on the Town’s Master Plan, but are not recommending it as a resolution for this particular study.


Constructing a Route 111 By-Pass from South Lowell Road to Wall Street, south of the existing Route 111, would work well from a traffic perspective, McCarthy explained, as it would shift about 75 percent of traffic away from Route 111. He said the idea fell out of favor early on in the discussion process, however, as it would have a detrimental impact on neighborhoods and businesses alike. A cost estimate was not done on building a by-pass, he told town officials.


After ruling out the other three alternatives, making improvements to the existing Route 111 corridor is “the best solution,” McCarthy noted. Alternations being bandied about by committee members include additional travel lanes, additional traffic signals, sidewalks, a bike path, and a median strip and/or the possibility of constructing a series of roundabouts, which are considered safer and more efficient when handling traffic flow. “This provides for a slower, steadier stream of traffic,” he said. This type of configuration is “meant to bring back that village feel,” he said. “It encourages pedestrian usage,” one of the goals of creating a village district in this section of Windham.


During the public input portion of the presentation, Selectman Roger Hohenberger said that he feels not enough effort was put into studying the Wall Street Extension concept. “It was dismissed too quickly,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense right now,” Sinott said. “It may someday, but not today.” Selectman Ross McLeod said he completely agrees with not building a Route 111 By-Pass mainly for economic reasons, he said. As for the construction of roundabouts along the Route 111 corridor, he said he is “completely sold” on the concept, after witnessing their benefits firsthand while traveling in New York State. Selectmen’s Chairman Charles McMahon said Route 111 is one of the major arteries in this section of the State. “Windham is the


crossroads of Southern New Hampshire,” he said, noting that it is a State highway. Any improvements to the corridor will have to be done in conjunction with the NHDOT, he stated. “We will have to collaborate with the State,” he said. “We can’t afford to do it alone.” McMahon, also a State Representative, said, “We need to get in line” if Windham wants to be considered for highway construction funding in the not too distant future. “This is a State highway,” Sinott said. “Windham would have to get on the State’s priority list.”


Resident Carl Griffin asked if there would


be any “land-taking” from properties fronting Route 111, should the roadway be widened and sidewalks, etc. were constructed. “There would be some frontage-taking along 111,” Sinott said, referring to it as a “sliver impact.” The largest impact could be on some of the historical houses along that stretch that are built close to the existing road. “There might even need to be full acquisition,” he said, meaning the houses would need to be demolished or relocated to make way for the wider highway. Several people expressed concern over the idea of impacting these historical properties, especially in an area that is supposed to be the Village District. “Please don’t destroy our old historic village center,” Historic Commission member Carol Pynn pleaded. Resident and Planning Board member Kristi St. Laurent said she didn’t think having a by-pass was such a bad idea. Residents would be able to use Route 111 to access businesses, while commuters from other towns could use the by-pass and avoid the traffic delays associated with Route 111. Planning Board Chairman Phil Lochiatto said he was disappointed to see that the by-pass idea was taken off the table so early in discussions and feels it deserves additional study.


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Selectman Bruce Breton said that Route 111 is New Hampshire’s most traveled east/west highway, with an average of 28,000 vehicles per day using it to come and go. That traffic flow will only get worse


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and worse, he warned. Resident Robert Windmill said his concern with building circular roundabouts is that large vehicles, such as tractor-trailer trucks, would not be able to negotiate the curves. McCarthy said that has not proven to be a problem with existing roundabouts, either for tractor-trailers or the largest fire trucks. Roundabouts are becoming increasingly common in many parts of the United States, he said, becoming much preferred over traditional intersections with traffic signals. There are no left turns with roundabouts, which greatly lowers the possibility of accidents, particularly the T-bone variety. On a vote of 3 to 1, selectmen decided to support the conceptual plan developed by the advisory committee. Voting in favor were Selectmen McMahon, Breton, and McLeod. Voting in opposition was Selectman Hohenberger, who said he felt the vote was premature and that more information is needed. Selectman Galen Stearns did not attend the presentation. The next public meeting on the committee’s recommendations and findings will be held on Wednesday, February 23, at 7 p.m. at Windham High School. Subjects yet to tackle include short-term recommendations for reducing traffic congestion on Route 111, cost estimates for all alternatives, possible financing of projects, community endorsement of recommended alternatives, and a presentation to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.


because he is addressing important issues for the state, such as budget education and jobs, as opposed to trying to appeal the gay marriage law. I think they should focus on the important issues and I congratulate Representative Bettencourt for doing that.”


“Thumbs down to the trash littered on Economou Avenue; broken liquor bottles, smashed beer cans. Neighbors, pick up after your parties, don’t trash the neighborhood.”


“Thumbs down to the mom who thinks it’s okay


to invite every boy in class except for one. All I can say is you are setting a fine example, but don’t worry, karma is a you-know-what.”


“Thumbs up to Krystin Demers for presenting the color purple as New Hampshire’s state color. The color purple is a great choice as the state bird is a purple finch, also the state’s flower is the purple lilac. The color purple has a royal history as the Queen wears her purple robe when officiating on her throne. The Queen of talk Oprah Winfrey starred in the Color Purple which launched her successful career. The color purple


seems to be the color of royalty, beauty, and exceptional accomplishments. Thank you Kristyn for presenting the color purple to New Hampshire’s legislature.”


Tank you for your submissions. All comments, thumbs up or down, are anonymous and not written by the Pelham~Windham News staff. Tumbs comments can be sent via telephone, 880-1516 or emailed to us at thumbs@areanewsgroup.com. When submitting a Tumbs comment, please specify that you would like it printed in the Pelham~Windham News. No names are necessary. Please keep negative comments to the issue. Comments should be kept to 100 words or less.


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