Complete Streets Public Hearing Minutes – 11/2/17

TOWN OF WALPOLE

PUBLIC HEARING

ACCEPTANCE OF COMPLETE STREETS RECOMMENDATIONS

NOVEMBER 2, 2017

Selectboard Present:     Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Cheryl Mayberry

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Public Hearing regarding the Acceptance of Complete Streets Recommendations to order at 6:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  She advised this Public Hearing is being recorded and asked anyone wishing to speak to state their name and address for the record.  There were four people from the public in attendance.

The Planning Board made these recommendations after nine months of meetings and input with representatives of Southwest Regional Planning Commission and Walpole Police Chief Mike Paquette.

 

Following are the Recommendations:

Speeds:  The speed limit, which is 25 mph, should be clearly marked and enforced in the Village.  Consider installing a speed limit sign on South Street as drivers enter the village and another sign on Main Street near Costume Ladies or before Edward Jones.

Walkway/sidewalk near Jakes and Mascoma Bank:  The painted walkway on the northwest corner of the Westminster St/Main St. intersections should be restored into a sidewalk.  When the gas station and convenience store changes hands in the near future might be a good time to do this.

Shared Bicycle Lane Markings (i.e. “sharrows):  Consider adding sharrows to Main Street and other roads in the village to indicate that motorists should share the road with bicyclists.  For roads with parallel parking, sharrows should be placed outside the “door zone” of parked cars.  For roads with diagonal parking, sharrows should be placed in the middle of the travel lane (closer to the yellow line) to direct bicyclists away from cars backing out of single parking spaces.

Fountain on Westminster St.:  Consider continuing adding roadway markings and signage to clarify how motorists should navigate around the fountain in the intersection of Westminster St. and Main St.

Main St. connection from school to Walpole Village:  Consider traffic calming by adding sharrows and/or a bike lane for students who bicycle to school, and education to raise awareness among students and drivers about how to safely share the road and decrease incidents of students walking in the travel lane.  Keep overhanging brush cut.

Main St. connection from school to Mill Pond:  Consider widening and improving the surface condition of the shoulders along this stretch of road where space allows.  In addition consider placing signage that says “Pedestrian Crossing Ahead” to alert motorists to likely pedestrian crossing location.  While this may be a large expense, consider in the future making a sidewalk from the school up to where the neighborhoods are.

Library Crosswalk:  Add yield signs on the pavement before the crosswalk on both sides of the road.

 

NORTH WALPOLE VILLAGE:

Crosswalk on Killeen St./Route 12.  Consider working with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) to install a pedestrian crosswalk near Stateline Grocery where the sidewalk ends on one side of the road and continues on the other side of the road.

Informal pedestrian railroad crossing from Church St. to Center St.:  According to Chief Paquette, some students cross the railroad tracks to get from the bus stop on Church St. to Center St. as a shortcut to get home. Consider working with School Bus company to change the location of the bus stop, improve the fence to block children from crossing at this location, or working with the police dept. to identify other strategies to address the situation.

 

DREWSVILLE VILLAGE:

Check with state to keep a 35 mph speed consistent from the cemetery through the village.

 

Public Comment:

Mr. Ray Boas attended the last Planning Board meeting.  His concern was the one-way traffic on Elm Street.

Mrs. Pschirrer began the discussion with the “Speeds”.  The Selectboard has already put some of those 25 mph signs up but maybe more could be put in other places.  Mr. Ray Boas of 44 Elm Street noted a lot of places have radar signs; some have come down in size.  Mrs. Pschirrer advised there will be a Warrant Article on this year’s Annual Meeting to buy a radar sign that can be moved around the Village.  It will have the speed limit and a camera on it that will record information on the vehicle speeding through.  Mr. Dalessio was not sure the Police Department could issue a ticket but could issue a warning.  Prior to the Town Meeting Mr. Boas would like to have an article from the Selectboard that he could print in the Clarion.  Mr. Dalessio will talk to Lt. Justin Sanctuary about writing the article.  Ms. Sarah Lynch lives at 58 South Street.  She has no objections to having a sign at the end of her property as vehicles come into the Village.  Vehicles also zoom out of the Village.  People walk out from River Road; it is a safety issue.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the newly paved road adds to the speed.  Mr. Peter Burchstead lives at 13 Fire House Road.  The signs do not say “Strictly Enforced”.  If people see that they might pay more attention to the speed limits.  In NH there is an implied 5mph over the posted speed limit.  Mr. Dalessio will check on this with the Police Department.  Mrs. Pschirrer will find out if they can buy these signs that Mr. Burchstead mentioned.  The Town quite often has to buy signs.  Parking spaces were put along Main Street particularly on the right hand side because it is impossible to come out of Middle Street.  Suddenly people have started to park in the last space.  They have ordered signage to take care of that and will paint “No Parking”.  Unfortunately there are not enough parking spaces in the Village downtown.

Walkway/sidewalk near Jakes and Mascoma Bank.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked how they felt about the painting that was there this past summer.  Mr. Boas felt it looked good but remembers it being white.  Mr. Burchstead feels people will still park in the crosswalk by Jakes.  By State law the pedestrian has the right-of-way in the crosswalks.  Mrs. Pschirrer said the question is should they put in a sidewalk near Jakes and Mascoma Bank.  Maybe they should do this to mark off the area.  Mrs. Pschirrer said there was a rumor that the gas station and convenience store changed hands but, in fact, the current owner still leases the property from the Walpole Foundation.  When he leased that property there was a long lease with Sunoco for gas however he is now changing to Irving gas.  It is not changing hands except for the change in gas companies.  The Selectboard can do something about the sidewalk.

Shared Bicycle Lane Markings.  Mrs. Pschirrer advised this is a narrow road as one travels down Main Street to the school.  You finally hit the sidewalk at Elm Street.  There is a sidewalk on the left but still not a lot of room.  Mr. Burchstead said the markings are useful.  Could signs be put up by Malnati’s Farm and on South Street.  Claremont has large signs that state you are required by law in NH to give pedestrians and runners (actually it is a foot for every ten miles an hour you are going).  A sign should be by Kimball’s office. Mrs. Pschirrer noted they have to be sure they were on Main Street and not Route 12.

Mr. Dalessio does not have a problem on the main drags but they could avoid markings on streets where there is parking, etc.  Current thinking in urban development is not to put up too many signs because the less signage you have you pay more attention to the details.  Mrs. Christine Burchstead said when she is walking vehicles go through the two stop signs on North Main Street.  Some vehicles do not come to a complete stop.

Fountain: Mr. Burchstead likes the markings on the road; it used to be confusing.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned there are markings on both sides of the fountain.  They could re-enforce what is already there.

Main St. connection from school to Walpole Village. Mrs. Pschirrer said the sharrows will help.  She would encourage children to stay on the sidewalk.  Mr. Dalessio noted the sidewalk is in deplorable condition.  Mrs. Pschirrer said they will have to start putting more money in the budget for sidewalks. The Highway Department did cut some of brush.  Mrs. Burchstead mentioned the crosswalk in front of the Library; a lot of people do not stop there or even slow down and school children cross to go into the Library.  Mrs. Pschirrer felt there should be a sign there to indicate vehicles have to stop for crosswalks.  It is heavily used.  Another recommendation was to widen the shoulders where space allows but there is not much space on that road.  They wanted this done from the school to the neighborhoods.  Mr. Burchstead said from the school to Hubbard’s it is cracked and falling in.  When he runs he has to stay on the road.  Mrs. Pschirrer said there is a need to address both sides of the street.  Mr. Dalessio stated there are a few recommendations to consider repairing the shoulders and sidewalk.   They can have the Police Department go into the school to talk about safety.

Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned in North Walpole a recommendation was to have the NH Department of Transportation install a pedestrian crosswalk near Stateline Grocery.  Mr. Dalessio said the NH DOT did have the lines painted.  This information will be sent to the Commissioners in North Walpole.

Drewsville Village:  It states to check with the state to keep a 35 mph speed consistent from the cemetery through the village. Mr. Dalessio pointed out this is a State problem; there are three different speed limits.

Mr. Burchstead would like to see the signs for “Share the Road” plus putting up signs similar to the orange ones in Claremont giving pedestrians/runners their rights in accordance with RSA 245.  Walpole has a lot of walkers, bikers and runners.  Mrs. Pschirrer said they will check on those signs.  Mrs. Burchstead added the signs need to be enforced.  Mrs. Pschirrer agreed enforcement is a problem as the Police Department is stretched.  Recruiting officers is difficult.

Mr. Boas asked if there is an implementation plan.  Mrs. Pschirrer replied the Selectboard will have to make decisions on what to accept and make sure there are funds because that becomes a budget issue.  The signs are not very expensive; they regularly replace signs.  Painting signs and crosswalks takes time and money.

Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Walpole, New Hampshire Complete Streets Recommendations to install 25 mph speed limit signs at various places in the Town, to restore or repaint  walkway/sidewalks near Jakes and Mascoma Bank, to add sharrows to Main Street and other roads but not in the congested areas in Town, to have roadway markings for shared bicycle lanes, have roadway markings and signage around the fountain, to approve the sidewalk and shoulders on Main Street from the school to Walpole Village and also do the education with students,  the Main Street connection from the school to Mill Pond needs added signage before the crosswalk on both sides of the road, to add signs on both sides of the road by the Library crosswalk.  For the Selectboard liaison to the NH DOT, Cheryl Mayberry, to contact them about installing a pedestrian crosswalk near the Stateline Grocery where the sidewalk ends on one side of the road and continues on the other side of the road plus other issues involving crosswalks on NH State property.   Check with the state to keep a 35 mph speed consistent from the cemetery through the Drewsville village and to provide the necessary budget to accomplish these recommendations.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Public Hearing.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Public Hearing was adjourned at 6:40 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

 

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