Pelham - Windham News April 29, 2011 - 7
Study Committee Recommends Changes to Route 111 Corridor by Barbara O’Brien
After spending nearly a year and a half studying options for dealing with the ever-increasing traffic along Windham’s portion of Route 111, feasibility study committee members are recommending several improvements to that corridor. As there is no money currently in place to improve the East-West state-owned highway, it is likely that the alterations will be long-term. Out of the four possible options considered by members who participated in the NH 111 Corridor and Wall Street Connector Feasibility Study, only the one involving changes to the Route 111 corridor is being recommended at the current time. The study was funded by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) and done in conjunction with the Rockingham Planning Commission and Gene McCarthy of the McFarland and Johnson Engineering firm. The final recommendation was presented to the Windham Board of Selectmen on April 18. The four options originally considered include doing absolutely nothing, building an extension to Wall Street up to North Lowell/ Londonderry Roads, constructing a Route 111 by-pass running parallel to the existing Route 111, or making changes to the existing Route 111. One of the major goals of any future project undertaken is to mitigate traffic through the center of Windham, without destroying the character of the town. According to Cliff Sinott of the Rockingham Planning Commission, the feasibility study was born out of the I-93 project and the effect the widening of the interstate is likely to have on Route 111. Sinott said that one of the issues is that Windham “lacks a vibrant town center” and is also plagued by a high volume of traffic, a problem that will only worsen as the I-93 stretch is completed from the Massachusetts State Line to Manchester. Another drawback is that Windham lacks public water and sewer, as well as a lack of connectivity between existing commercial properties, further complicated by a lack of public transportation. “There is a high volume of truck traffic along this stretch, as well as a trend toward vehicle dependency by residents,” Sinott said. Other problems mentioned during the April 18 presentation
include Windham’s Town Center having no sidewalks, no cross- walks, being susceptible to fast-moving traffic, and disconnected
commercial and retail areas along the entire stretch of Route 111. As for the possibility of building an extension to Wall Street, committee members determined that this answer doesn’t warrant going through with it at this time. As for the future, however, McCarthy noted, it might be wise to preserve this area as a right-of- way for possible construction somewhere down the road. There are also numerous natural resource constraints in this vicinity, mainly extensive wetlands. The cost of extending Wall Street to North Lowell Road would run between $6 million and $6.5 million dollars based on today’s values, McCarthy added, and would likely not even reduce the traffic flow along Route 111 substantially. In regard to “doing nothing” to improve the traffic flow through the center of Windham, the problem will only worsen, McCarthy said. Not to make any changes would leave Windham open to unbridled traffic increase for the foreseeable future, he added. To construct a Route 111 by-pass would divert a lot of traffic from Route 111, but, as a result, would have a major impact on area businesses. There are also a lot of wetlands in this area, McCarthy explained. “The committee rejected this option early in the study,” he said. “There are just too many negatives.” As to what committee members are recommending, all pertaining to in-corridor improvements to the existing Route 111, included are a four-lane roadway with a divided median strip and a speed limit of 30 to 35 mph, plus three or four two-lane roundabouts. No left turns would be permitted along Route 111. The roundabouts would be used, instead, to make a U-turn for making direction reversals. The roundabouts would also reduce the speed of traffic, making for a smoother flow and far less accidents. Roundabouts built in other parts of the country have proven that increased safety does result from their existence. Travel time for motorists is also decreased substantially, due to the smoother flow of traffic, as opposed to the stop and go of traditional traffic signals. “There’s nothing here that’s a fatal flaw,” McCarthy said of the Route 111 in-corridor changes being recommended.
Roundabouts are conceptually being considered at the intersections of Route 111 with Wall Street, the Village Green Shopping Plaza, North Lowell and Fellows Road, and South Lowell and Hardwood Road. The cost of the Route 111 in-corridor
Two Arrested at Raymond Park with Stolen Vehicle As Officer Page was searching the area, he observed
submitted by Pelham Police Department On Wednesday, April 20, at approximately 1:17 a.m., Officer Brian Barbato was conducting a grounds check of Raymond Park, 35 Keyes Hill Road, when he observed a vehicle in the park in an area under construction. Officer Barbato approached the vehicle, found no one with the vehicle, and observed that the vehicle was covered in mud and appeared to have been “off-roading.” Officer Barbato was able to learn that the vehicle belonged to a Hudson resident and requested that dispatch contact the registered owner to find out why the vehicle had been abandoned in the park. It was learned from the registered owner that the vehicle had been recently stolen from Hudson and had not been reported stolen yet.
Based on the information gathered and the officers’ belief that the responsible party(ies) may still be in the area, officers set up a perimeter around the park and requested a police K-9 from the Salem Police Department.
two individuals in the wood line in the area of the park entrance. Officer Page approached these individuals and was able to determine that these individuals had been occupants of the vehicle in question. Both individuals were identified and taken into
custody: Cody Brown, 17, of Hudson, charged with Receiving Stolen Property – Motor Vehicle (felony), Criminal Trespass (misdemeanor), Resisting Arrest (misdemeanor); and Jessica Allen, 18, also of Hudson, charged with Receiving Stolen Property – Motor Vehicle (felony) and Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor). Once at the police station, Brown became uncooperative with officers and physically struggled with the officers during the booking procedures. Brown was restrained and placed in a cell until such time as he cooperated with the booking process. Both individuals were later released on personal recognizance bail and ordered to appear before the Salem District Court on May 9.
Anytime Fitness Announces Grand Opening 24-Hour Co-Ed Fitness Club Offers Convenience and Affordability
Anytime Fitness, the world largest and fastest growing 24-hour co-ed fitness franchise, is pleased to announce it is open for business in Windham at 32 Indian Rock Road behind the Dunkin’ Donuts. With 24/7 access, Anytime Fitness offers convenient and affordable exercise. At Anytime Fitness, members can work out any time of the day or night, every day of the year. They use a security-access key to enter the club, even when it is not staffed. Once inside, members have full use of state-of-the-art strength training and cardiovascular equipment. Anytime Fitness also offers membership reciprocity among its clubs, which allows members to use any of the 1000+ clubs that are currently open in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The layout of each club is designed for quick and effective
exercise. The equipment options at Anytime Fitness include state-of-the-art functional circuit training and the latest in high- tech cardio equipment with embedded televisions plus iPod connection. A free weight area, cable functioning machines, and the all-new Fitness on Request group exercise room is also offered at this facility. Private showers and dressing areas are also available at the club. The owner of Anytime Fitness, Robert Scaccia, is very enthusiastic about opening this new club in Windham. “The convenience and affordability of Anytime Fitness can’t be beat,” said Scaccia. “Choosing this club makes it easy for members to stay committed to their fitness goals.” “Anytime Fitness clubs are pared down to the essentials necessary for a great workout,” said Scaccia. “Where we don’t cut corners is in our personal service and commitment to our members. We are excited to be in Windham, and it’s our goal to become an active member of the community,” continued Scaccia. Club tours and membership information is available at the club
by calling 475-8069 or by visiting www.anytimefitness.com
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Speed May be Cause of Fatal Easter Morning Crash
submitted by Pelham Police Department On Sunday, April 24, at approximately 12:26 a.m., the Pelham
Police Department and Fire Department responded to a motor vehicle rollover in the area of 14 Balcom Road. Officers arriving on scene observed a 2004 Nissan Maxima on its roof with a male and female outside of the vehicle, and it appeared as though they had been ejected. Both male and female subjects were transported to local hospitals, where they were pronounced dead. The victims were identified as Daniel Quintiliani, 31, of
Pelham, and Kristen Lindt, 26, of Derry. The Pelham Police Traffic Accident Reconstruction team is currently investigating the cause of the crash. It appears that speed may be a contributing factor.
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improvements is in the range of $9.5 million to $10.5 million dollars, plus another $400,000 to $600,000 for land acquisition. Those costs are based on today’s pricing. According to McCarthy, the existing intersection of Wall Street and Route 111 is already slated for traffic signal improvements as a segment of the ongoing construction along Route 93. Could a roundabout be built now instead of upgrading the traffic signals at that location? While the possibility hasn’t been totally ruled out by the State DOT, McCarthy said that building a roundabout at that site without widening Route 111 to four lanes would likely cause too much of a traffic backup.
Selectman Roger Hohenberger said that he has concerns that
improvements to Route 111 will draw even more commuter traffic to the area. “It’s better to keep traffic out of the neighborhoods and on the main highway,” Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia responded. Selectman Phil LoChiatto said he believes town officials need to think more regionally, rather than in “isolated chunks.” Selectmen’s Vice Chairman Bruce Breton said, simply, “The State will do what’s best for the State.”
Historic District Commission member Carol Pynn said she’s concerned that Windham’s original historic district is going to wind up buried underneath asphalt if Route 111 is widened to four lanes. “I’m not sure that’s what the community wants,” she said. Pynn said she feels the plans for Route 111 place more emphasis on the convenience of commuters through the area than on the desires of those who live in Windham. LoChiatto said he believes the proposal will enhance the convenience for those who do call Windham home as well. The next step in the study process will be a workshop scheduled
for Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m., entitled “Making Windham Walkable.” Two scenarios will be discussed during that session, including “Urban Village” and “Rural Oasis.” This work session will be open to the public. Selectmen will take a vote on whether or not to endorse the study committee’s recommendations for improvements along Route 111, following that workshop. Sinott said an endorsement by selectmen is important, as it will give the Route 111 improvement proposal credibility to the State DOT.
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