Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

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Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RBarnes » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:02 pm

http://www.wmur.com/news/22255417/detail.html

A little boy who lives two doors down from me was struck by a pickup this Saturday. I've argued since the transfer station was built that a residential neighborhood is not the location for a facility like that, now the town has a little boy in the hospital.

The current top two comments to the story are the ones that tell the most details...

My son was with the boy that was hit by the truck. The children were coming back from the pit that Merrimack has for the children to ride their bikes - located by the dump. The boys were riding with traffic. With their helmets on. My son did not make it all the way up the hill so was off his bike walking. The other boy (my son's best friend) looked for traffic and seeing there was none crossed the road unknowing that the truck driver darted around my son in the other lane where he hit the other child. The boy was almost in the driveway! There is no excuse. So as a result of someone in a rush to dart around a child one child is severely hurt and another child is traumatized by watching his best friend get hit by a car! Slow down people. There should be more signs posted in Merrimack and there should be more people respectful of the fact that people are biking or jogging on nice days. Everyone is in such a rush...life is too short. Let this be a lesson to all.


What a bright idea put a bike pit for kids off the busiest road in town. I can honestly say I have not and would never let my children (or even myself)ride a bike or walk on this road due to the maniacs I have seen driving on it!! Anyone who lives in area knows how the people drive here. I hope both the injured child and the witness will fully recover form this tragedy. One mistake was a child on each side at any point on this road even for a few seconds (especially at this blind curve)bad idea. PLease except our prayers for all involved.


That part in bold I think is a very key point. Not only did our town choose to plop the transfer station in the middle of a residential area but it then added to it's own stupidity by putting an area for bikers, snow mobilers, dirt bikers etc directly next to it so now the people who want to use the "bike pit" have to weave in and out of the dangerous traffic created by the transfer station.

I've contacted a member of the council and requested a discussion open up about the safety issues on Lawrence Rd. I've spoken to selectmen, councilors and police in this town about the unsafe conditions and how people fly down the road. My wife has even had to have police details when weeding along the road because both she and I have almost been hit ourselves.

Hopefully it wont take someone dying for this town to do the right thing and correct the dangerous situation it created because the lawsuits will make our current budget issues look like peanuts. Maybe it's time to consider curbside.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Linda Nickerson » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:16 pm

Maybe it's time to consider curbside.


As you know, Rick, you and I rarely agree but on this point we are in synch! When I lived in town I voted for Curbside...locating the Transfer Station on Lawrence Road was a terrible decision. This is MORE than "NIMBY". That road is a country road that should NEVER have been subjected to the type of traffic it has.....

I hope the boy that was hit will be ok and his friend will recover from this trauma.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby andysinnh » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:24 pm

I certainly feel for the boy who was hit and his friend who witnessed it, and hope everyone recovers quickly and successfully. But I think the situation is not so much an issue with traffc on Saturdays (and the location of the biking/activity area) as much as it is to the carelessness of drivers on our roads. Living on Woodward Road, I've found shocking and dangerous driving that can bee seen any day of the week, any time of the day. Some of it is the pass-thru traffic from Bedford, and the belief that any road with a double-yellow line is an automatic OK for driving well over the limit and the behavior to not treat pedistrians or bikers as anything but an annoyance. I've had the police put a speed sign in front of our house more than once just to make folks aware of just how fast they're going - and while it slows them down for a day or two, after the sign is gone the speed picks up. And watching the lack of care for anyone walking or riding a bike, it scares me quite a bit. I've lived on this road for almost 28 years, and the change over the last few years is pretty dramatic. We need to all remember (and tell others we see driving too fast) that these are all residential areas and even if the houses are spread out just a bit, there are still adults and kids who walk and ride - and we have to share the road between drivers and others.

And during the winter - the biggest offenders? Private plowing contractors - not the ones who drive the town trucks - but the ones who plow driveways and are in a hurry to go from one client to another. Heaven forbid you're trying to clear out your mailbox or the end of your driveway when one of these folks drive by. Beyond fearing for your life, you also get a nice slush bath if you're anywhere near something on the road that could get kicked up. :?

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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Concerned » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:19 pm

Good points by all and I certainly hope both boys are doing well.

Good reason to keep in mind that you need to alert the police department of these dangerous streets/intersections/etc. so they can possibly beef up patrols in the area, be more visible, and convince drivers to be more careful and alert. They will help when they are informed. Rarely due people pay attention to signs.

I know that when a see a police cruiser in a certain area of town on a consistent basis, it helps to remind me about the 30 MPH limit which is too easy to forget sometimes. I am thankful for them doing that. I have had occasion to alert the PD of speeding trraffic in my neighborhood and a few nights of patrols solved the issue.

The presence of the ever watchful police and fire departments can never be truly appreciated. I have been there and they have been there for me when it counted with life threatining medical issues.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Concerned » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:28 pm

So,

Before we called it a transfer station how long was it the town dump on the same road?

The accident is certainly a tragedy but exactly how many accidents have occurred on that road during the entire life span of the dump/transfer station?
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Ken Coleman » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:01 pm

The road is substandard for the amount of traffic on it.

The town requires new roads to be much wider, straighter and better designed, many of these new roads will not see 10% of the traffic this road does, let alone huge trucks.

If there have not been many accidents (I don't know the answer to this) it is because we have been lucky.

And I believe that the town dump was on this road when Merrimack was much smaller. In addition the dump did not require the truck traffic that is now required with the transfer station.

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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Concerned » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:36 pm

The accident did not involve a "truck" related to the transfer station. It was a normal citizen in a pickup truck.

Again, a terrible tragedy and thank goodness the boys are OK.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Shannon Barnes » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:01 pm

The reason we have not had more accidents is because many families--mine included--WILL NOT use our road for activities. My kids still can't ride bikes well because we need to load them in car to take them somewhere to practice. We spoke to the BOS and the DPW on deaf ears and in my opinion were treated with less respect than that given to others in town (count the number of retaining walls built since our request was denied. The wall at the Ward house on the corner of Bedford & Joppa is exactly what we asked for and weren't given the time of day.).

In addition to the PAYT talk to offset expenses we should look at curbside. What problem would be created if we developed an RFP for curbside? If the costs are disproportionate at least we can say WE DID OUR HOMEWORK!

So Concerned, I ask you, what is the quoota of children that need to be hurt before you consider it enough to warrant concern. I remind you that we choose to limit our freedoms in our home for the safety of our kids. We didn't sign up for this but we love our home and will be stuck living with the decisions of others as long as the TS is operational.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby spnorm » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:40 pm

Our prayers are with the boys. I didn't even know there was a bike pit around there. I agree that's just plain dumb. However, even if the transfer station were not there, I would consider that road too narrow and dangerous for kids to be riding bikes on. Would you really let your kids ride on Lawrence road if we changed to curbside? Sometimes less traffic means people fly around curves with even less attention. I don't want to go off too much on the curbside issue. I voted for it, and I know your comments in these posts are a heartfelt effort to prevent future tragedies

As for the retaining wall, that certainly would have been considerate. I was amazed after the road work was done, that the curve really isn't much better anyway. They could have left that property alone and made a much gentler curve by sweeping further into the empty property on the opposite side, beyond the Barnes' property, and gradually blending it back in. And at the very least, that curve should have been widened with larger shoulders on each side. A lot of money and grief for homeowners for minimal benefit.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Dennis King » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:13 am

Shannon Barnes wrote:The reason we have not had more accidents is because many families--mine included--WILL NOT use our road for activities. My kids still can't ride bikes well because we need to load them in car to take them somewhere to practice.


Sorry Shannon but you moved there knowing the town dump was on that road and you were aware of the traffic. People who live on Baboosic Lake Road, Joppa Road, Bedford Road, etc all would not let their kids ride their bikes in the road. You live on a high traffic road and this was your choice. Frankly, I do not like to see anyone on bikes on any of these roads since they are way too narrow and the driver is forced to cross the yellow line to avoid them (and risk death with oncoming traffic). This has happened several times on Joppa for me as it have many small hills and curves and if a person rides a bike there, you are forced to move and pray no one is on the other side. This is a problem in many parts of town. I also have a problem with joggers on the road, why is it necessary to jog with all the traffic, go on a side road and be safe but sometimes I think it is all about being seen.

I am pleased that the boys are OK. Maybe something can be done about the motorcycle area that could make it more safe. I think the group was the "right riders". Given this tragedy, maybe they can come up with a better entrance and even a side path or loading area. I have never been there so I do not know the details but I bought my house because it is off the main road but even so, when my kids were out on their bikes or big wheels, it was all near the home and I was outside watching them and often riding with them.

One thing for sure, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TS, this could happen on any of the main roads in town. I hope the entrance to this park can be opened up and the line of sight improved. The group that petitioned for this use of town land should be the ones to volunteer their time and expense to make the area safer.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Shannon Barnes » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:41 am

Dennis,

Look back on our first posts. You will KNOW that when we put in the offer on the house the dump had a closure date and the talk of the property was to use it for soccer fields, etc. It was 3 weeks after we closed that the first meeting to consider a transfer station was publicized. We NEVER, NEVER, NEVER saw this coming. So do NOT say to me what I knew because it only shows was little you know.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RBarnes » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:19 am

A major point is being missed here... this town created an area for people to bike, motor bike, snow mobile etc right next to the transfer station. The "bike pit" was where this little boy was coming from. If we all acknowledge Lawrence Rd is a dangerous rd then this town needs to either close the bike pit so little likes like Chris do not try to go there or they need to close the transfer station. Have things like this side by side is the ultimate stupidity and asking for trouble.

Think about this, as has been pointed out here many people fly at unsafe rates along the back roads of our town, not just Lawrence Rd but all roads. True. But now add to that by creating an industrial facility in the middle of the country roads that cannot handle the traffic. Then add to that by putting a "bike pit" directly next door to it to attract people on dirt bikes and regular bikes to try to compete with the same traffic along the road. I'm putting it to our council to do something to fix this situation that our town has created and I hope they resolve it before something worse happens. This week a boy was sent to the hospital, tomorrow a child or even an adult attempting to using the trails next to the transfer station may end up dead.

And Dennis, since this bike trail is directly next to the transfer station it has EVERYTHING to do with the transfer station.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby TonyRichardson » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:28 am

Rick and Shannon,

I agree with you its a crappy situation that you and the other residents in that area find yourself in.
I didnt want a transfer station either, but frankly I didn't think any of our options we were given at time were good choices.

However the likely quick fix for this would be to close the bike pit.
A far faster and easier solution that doing something about the traffic and road conditions.

That is what I would expect to see for an outcome here.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RD » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:05 am

I think a great solution is what we have here in Goffstown. We have a transfer station for special items, but there is very little traffic, and it's not located in a residential area. We also have curbside pickup for solid waste and mixed recycling. The totes for each are big enough to support a typical household's needs. It works very well and maybe Merrimack should look into it. I also understand PAYT is working quite well for Concord, and recycling has increased a great deal up there. Good ideas to consider...
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby munkyMcgee » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:50 pm

Here's something I don't get: a bike pit and recreation area is permitted within the transfer station zone, yet an indoor recreation area for kids was denied at the old Good Time's roller rink development(?) The more I think about things like this happenning, the less I want to think about anything. Geez
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