On-Going Mammoth Road Issues Raised at Traffic Safety Meeting

By Chris Paul

The Traffic Safety Committee met for the first of their four yearly meetings on Monday night, April 3, with the most attention on an issue Mammoth Road residents are having with speeding and the intersection at Grenier Field Road.
There has been an ongoing problem with speeding on Mammoth Road, with drivers using that old section of town as a cut-through and about 20 concerned citizens attended the meeting to see what could be done.
Londonderry Police Chief, Kim Bernard, acknowledged the on-going concern and gave a brief overview of past infractions at the intersection.
Bernard explained that he has gone through the reports generated over the past seven years and most of the accidents, since 2016, were due to drivers failing to yield and going through the intersection without stopping. Police responded to between three and four accidents at the intersection in those seven years.
Committee member and Fire Chief, Darren O’Brien, whose lived in the area for over 30-years, said that there has been a few things done over the years to make improvements, which has helped, but the speeding issue is still a major problem.
O’Brien also mentioned that despite the “No Thru Trucking” signs that are posted on the road, trucks travel through there at all hours.
He said he’s seen patrols on the road, but feels that speeding drivers see them, slow down, and as soon as the police leave, the problem persist.
Committee Chairman, Bob Ramsay, acknowledged that during his 30-plus years on the board, that section of “Old” Mammoth Road has been a consistent problem and they’ve tried to address concerns over the years.
John Trotier, the town’s Director of Engineering and Environmental Services, explained that over years, a number of possible solutions have been discussed including making a four-way intersection, installing speed tables (speed bumps) but are not usual installed on rural roads, and painting stripping in the road to keep drivers in their lane.
He also mentioned that. “There’s no pill for stupidity,” If people are doing things to avoid stopping for pedestrians, lines on the road will not help.
Resident Robin Stewart asked if there is a reason why the town couldn’t make that section of Mammoth a dead-end. “You should be able to protect our village, because it’s going to continue to grow,” she said.
Trotier explained that that the town had looked to do that back when they installed a pump station near the beginning of the old section, but found that the trucks from Wallboard Supply wouldn’t be able to maneuver their trucks through Sanborn Road.
Stewart responded, “One business shouldn’t dictate everything else.” They should be able to figure things out by going to the end of the road she added.
Resident Steve Kelly and his son in-law Brian Mead told the committee that they have overwhelming support from the neighborhood for a permanent solution to the problem. Kelly said that he and Mead spent the weekend gathering names on a petition that they are giving to the town in hope that a gate would be installed on Mammoth at Page/Grenier Field. He cited speed, trucks and accidents as their main concern.
Ramsay stated that the town has to be very careful not to favor one areas problems over another, saying that there are other neighborhoods with similar issues and they have to be fair to everyone in the community. Ramsay said, “We’re trying to figure out what to do, but it’s a very difficult balancing act.”
A number of residents cited the fact that this area is different because of the old structure of the neighborhood and the density of housing as well as the proximity to the road. They also brought up the fact that many pedestrians are using the area because of the Rail Trail.
Bernard pointed out that one of the biggest issues with having a gate at the intersection would be the fact that truck drivers wouldn’t see the warning sign and would get stuck at the gate with no way to turn around.
One question raised was whether or not the area fall under a “Historic District” and would be able to establish other rules to protect the area.
Town Manager Mike Malaguti said he wasn’t sure if that were the case and would need to check into it. He also mentioned that he would present this to the Town Council and see what sort of solutions they can come up with. He also mentioned that there are a number of on-going traffic engineering studies taking place in regard to this area.
Mead asked what the time frame of these studies are, saying that this has been going on for 30-years.
Malaguti restated that the town has been working with engineers to improve the area and by the next meeting he hopes to put forward a solution.
Ramsay finished by saying the committee is aware of the problem and they are doing the past they can given all the ramifications.

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