2 - March 30, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News The Roundabouts are Coming to Pelham: Part 3
by Diane Chubb This is the final article in a series intended to educate Pelham residents regarding the dual roundabout project coming to the town center. Two separate roundabouts will be constructed in Pelham’s Town Center. One will be located at the intersection of Nashua Road, Main Street, Windham Road and Old Bridge Street (in front of the fire station where there is currently a blinking traffic light). A second roundabout will be placed at the intersection of Old Bridge Street and Marsh Road, in front of the existing Town Hall. As mentioned in the previous articles, the NH Department of Transportation assembled a group of stakeholders comprised of Town Center residents, business owners, emergency responders and municipal officials to consider the various alternatives to address the traffic situation in the Pelham Town Center. The group concluded that a roundabout would be the best solution to all of the traffic issues while taking the least amount of space and preserving the historic sense of the Town Center.
Roundabout Alternative B A roundabout is a circular,
one-way intersection. It is not a traffic circle or rotary. Across the country, roundabouts have been met with a degree of public resistance. This is primarily due to the fact that drivers are unfamiliar with how the roundabout works. However, surveys show that public opinion improves as drivers gain more experience with roundabouts. When driving in a roundabout, vehicles yield to vehicles already in the roundabout. Cars enter when there is a gap and follow the road to their desired exit. All cars must yield to any pedestrian traffic.
A roundabout has the
following advantages: • reduces delays and
congestion, because it does not require a complete stop
• slows speeds and saves lives • can easily accommodate larger trucks and vehicles
• improves the capacity of the intersection to handle more traffic
• reduces pollution and fuel usage because vehicles continue moving
• saves money • allows for U-Turns within the normal flow of traffic
• can be made visually pleasing
Roundabouts are in use
in several towns in New Hampshire, including Nashua, Keene, Hanover, Plymouth, Meredith, Rye and Pembroke. The better known roundabout in Nashua is located near Rivier College and Hayward’s Ice Cream. The Stakeholder committee
studying the traffic situation in the Town Center looked at various alternatives. However, almost all of them required that the existing fire station be relocated. Because the voters in Pelham did not approve the construction of a new fire station until just recently, that left only one real option. The plan was named Roundabout Alternative B. The project will involve acquisition of some narrow strips of private property along some of the roads in the project scope to ensure that the road is wide enough to accommodate the roundabout.
A first roundabout will be created in front of the existing Town Hall and Gibson Drive (renamed Acorn Drive in 2005), the one-way cut-through road from Marsh to Old Bridge Street. The entrance into the Village Green for Town Hall and the Library will be reconfigured to allow entry from the roundabout. A second roundabout will
Tis photo shows the roundabout along Main Street in Nashua, which can easily and safely accommodate wider turning vehicles.
be created in the existing Town Center area. The actual center, with the Butler Memorial and Gazebo, will remain in place. The road will curve around the existing fire station. Anatomy of a roundabout
has several elements not present in a traditional rotary or traffic circle. These ensure that traffic moves along smoothly, and that the road can accommodate pedestrians as well as larger vehicles and trucks. The
roundabout will have landscaped islands and the roadway between the islands will have trees lining new sidewalks. Sidewalks have a typical width of five feet.
Portions of the roundabout itself and all of the new sidewalks will be made of porous concrete that allows water to pass through. Use of this material avoids contributing to flooding already experienced by some center residents. Steve Keach, the Planning Board’s engineering consultant, speaks highly of porous concrete. He says it is very durable and requires no special maintenance.
Dear Windham Wolverines Football and Cheer Sponsors and Fans,
We just concluded our registrations for our upcoming 2012 season and we're looking forward to making our second year even better than last. We're adding two football teams and our cheerleading program numbers are growing.
On behalf of the entire Windham Football and Cheer Program, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done to make our first season a huge success. Our players and cheerleaders are so very grateful for the terrific experience you've helped provide them.
We'd like to give special recognition to two of our major sponsors. First, thank you to Joe Faro from the Tuscan Kitchen for hosting our "meet and greet" with Wolverines' parents and for being a major sponsor for our inaugural golf tournament. We'd also like to recognize the family of Paul Sullivan whose substantial donation helped us pay for all of our football helmets. These two sponsors were amazing examples of contributors who really helped jump-start our program.
We want to say thank you to all our local business sponsors: Aleksa Auto
Atkinson Graphics AGB Electric
Balance Physical Therapy Boyden's Landscaping Chatterbox Cafe
Carl and Carol Giardino Memorial Fund Dave Constant of Coldwell Banker Dress 2 Dance ESI Steel
James L. Pelletier, DDS J. Michaels Sports Pub Kendall Pond Pizza RDB Construction
Santo Insurance and Financial Service Sports Authority
Windham Family Eye Care Windham Orthdontics
Finally, thank you to our fans who purchased calendar raffles and came out to support the kids on game day. You are all terrific examples of what it truly means to "give back" to your community.
Our Sincerest Gratitude, Windham Wolverines Football and Cheer Organization WINDHAM
P.S. Be sure to check for this season's schedule and other Wolverines-sponsored events on our website www.windhamwolverines.org
or visit us on Facebook.
Now Open! SOLUTIONS 50%OFF Selected
Office Star Seating
for the month of April
8 Rockingham Road, Rt.28 Windham, NH
Visit our brand new showroom
Open Monday- Friday 9:00am- 5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm New • Pre-Owned • Refurbished
• idealvalue • idealservice • idealchoice
A roundabout has a central island around which the traffic flows. The island is surrounded by a truck apron, a raised section of pavement around the central island that acts as an extra lane for large vehicles. The back wheels of the oversize vehicle can ride up on the truck apron so the truck can easily complete the turn, while the raised portion of concrete discourages use by smaller vehicles.
Splitter islands are in place at the entrance and exits to the roundabout. These divide the traffic entering and existing, and provide a safe place for pedestrians crossing the road to pause and wait for an opportunity to cross. Finally, there are crosswalks
to allow for pedestrian traffic. All vehicles entering or exiting the roundabout must yield to pedestrians.
All of these features provide for increased safety in traffic and pedestrian flow. Studies have documented an 81
percent reduction in crashes between a regular four-way signalized intersection and a roundabout.
In communities that have had
both traditional traffic circle and roundabouts, roundabouts have been widely favored. The chart with this article lists the differences between a roundabout and traditional traffic circle. How to Drive a Roundabout When entering a roundabout,
drivers must choose a gap to enter the roundabout. Vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way, and drivers entering the roundabout must yield. Pedestrians always have the right of way in the roundabout, and all vehicles entering or existing must yield to them. Here are the key things to remember: 1. As you approach a roundabout, you will see a yellow “roundabout ahead” sign with an advisory speed.
2. Slow down as you approach the roundabout and watch for pedestrians.
3. Continue toward the roundabout and look to your left as you near the roundabout. Yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
4. Once you see a gap in traffic, enter the circle and proceed to your exit. If there is no traffic in the roundabout, you may enter without yielding. 5. Look for pedestrians and use your turn
in this photo of the roundabout along Main Street in Nashua shows the central island, the truck apron, the splitter lanes and the crosswalk.
signal before you exit, and make sure to stay in your lane as you navigate the roundabout. Construction process An invitation to bid on the project will be advertised by the NHDOT on May 22, 2012 and bids will be opened on June 14, 2012 and awarded shortly afterwards. The project is funded entirely by federal dollars.
As the town has approved the construction of a new fire station, it is likely that the existing station will be torn down once the new one has been completed. The demolition costs will be included in the cost of the bid. Town officials hope that the demolition can occur before construction of the second roundabout in the Town Center. Significant construction on the roundabouts will likely not occur until late 2012 or early in the 2013 building season. This is because the utility aspect of the project may take several months. The project will require the relocation of a Pennichuck water main and “splicing” of FairPoint communications lines and rerouting of National Grid power lines. Once the winner of the bid has been announced, and DOT and Pelham officials have met with them, more details regarding the timing of construction will be available. The bidding process for the new fire station is progressing quickly. Town Administrator Tom Gaydos has already invited local contractors or material suppliers who may wish to bid on the fire station project to attend a meeting with representatives of Eckman Construction, the Construction Management firm working on behalf of Pelham. Winning bids on the new fire station will be awarded by early May, and construction is expected to begin at the end of May. If all goes as scheduled, Fire Chief James Midgley has told the Board of Selectmen that he expects to be able to start housing trucks and equipment in the garage-bays section of the new station by January 2013. It is likely that the new fire station will be up and running before significant construction on the first roundabout begins. Again, the timing depends on the utility work that may be required. The construction of the roundabouts is expected to bring some disruptions to drivers. Although efforts will be made to minimize impacts to the Town Center residents, there will be temporary detours and some navigating around the orange cones or barrels familiar to all during road construction projects. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation anticipates that the project will be completed within two years. The work is not expected to have any impact on the 2012 Old Home Day celebrations. Stay tuned for future articles and information about the roundabout project. More information can also be found at http://www.nh.gov/dot/
projects/pelham14491/index. htm. You may also contact Jeff Gowan at the Pelham Planning Department or the Board of Selectmen.
Photo courtesy of NH Department of Transportation
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24