Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby noreason » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:13 am

I am having a hard time understanding why the bike pit should be shut down. If a kid got hit crossing DW coming from Kids Cove would there be an uproar to close Kids cove and move it to a place with less traffic. Parents should use this unfortunate event as an opportunity to teach/reteach there children road safety. Looking both ways, walking across the street etc...
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:17 am

Mort, whenever possible, I do slow down when I see a bicyclist or jogger, that is a given but with our curvy and hilly roads, you simply have them sprung upon you and you need to react to avoid them and I like to give them a large space so as to avoid a scared kid moving INTO traffic. In a dream world, we should have wider town roads with a bike lane at the shoulder or better yet, a sidewalk but I have seen many joggers and bikers avoid the sidewalks so the bike lane idea is properly better.

Rick, As you know, the town did have the option to move the TS to the waste water treatment area. I believe David started that idea and like the Business Expo, it was one of his better ideas for which he did not get much credit. I liked the idea because of the large road system and the fact it was remote and away from any homes. Unfortunately, it was defeated and the TS was put on the site of the old town dump where our town has taken its trash for decades. I do miss the turkey vultures but the smell and the rats and other vermin were surely a nuisance to the locals; at least they are gone.

As a parent, I know there are certain roads my kids were not allowed to go on. I am not blaming these parents for the accident but I am saying I would never allow my kids to go on Joppa road which is similar to Lawrence road. They had a friend who lived across the street, I would walk them to the corner and make sure they crossed safety until they were about 15 or so and then they were allowed to bike to the Mobil station but they had to cross Joppa and then take all the back roads until they were by the Indian Commons and could use the sidewalks.

Every September, I would have the police put up the speed sign at the bus stop down the road. It was just a reminder that the kids would be waiting for the bus an to slow down a bit. The police were always happy to do so and it did help, maybe that could be a help here.

My heart goes out to this boy and his family, the best thing now is to learn from this accident and see what can be done to fix it. Maybe like the skateboard park, we need posted hours and adult supervision, perhaps the parents can organize this. Eleven is a bit young to have the common sense to walk further up the road before crossing so as to give a driver more time to react. This comes from experience and also teaching from others, I do hope this lesson can be taught and our police resource officers in the schools are a perfect teacher for these lessons. Maybe twice a year they can do a bicycle safety course for the kids, especially in the elementary and middle schools.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:39 pm

I caught some of that Zoning meeting this morning and it struck me that the Chairman of that board had his mind set against it. It appeared to be personal.

If all kids need to be accompanied by their parents than how is it more dangerous to go there than it would be to go to the Pheasant Lane Mall or the Mall of NH?

It was a terrible decision made by the old coots on the Zoning Board. Let's get some new blood on that board for heaven's sakes.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RBarnes » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:36 pm

noreason wrote:I am having a hard time understanding why the bike pit should be shut down. If a kid got hit crossing DW coming from Kids Cove would there be an uproar to close Kids cove and move it to a place with less traffic.


Unlike kids cove, the bike pit has no real parking lot for people to get their kids safe to and from the site.

The pit was opened as a place locals can show up and ride bikes, RVs, dirt bikes etc around on trails.

Kids Cove is set back a safe distance from the road, has fencing around it so kids do not wander out with only one way in and out so parents can keep track of their kids. Safety was a HUGE consideration and is still a huge consideration with the redesign. There was no discussion of safety, no thought... just trails with the bike pit. Just a wooded area for people to zip around.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby noreason » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:24 pm

There is always a difference right. So where would these neighborhood kids be riding there bikes if not at the bike pit? Maybe they would be spending more time in the street. If it is so unsafe, why would any parent allow there child to go there? Truth is this could have happened if the two kids were riding from one house to another, in any neighborhood, TS or no TS. Just for the record, I pay for trash pick up. The transfer station is of little use to me.

The call to close the bike pit does remind me of another recent news story.

After a parent complained about an elementary school student stumbling across "oral sex" in a classroom dictionary, Menifee Union School District officials decided to pull Merriam Webster's 10th edition from all school shelves earlier this week.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Norman Phillips » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:32 pm

According to the following item. http://cbs2.com/local/menifee.dictionary.ban.2.1452021.html

this dictionary is back on the library shelf.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RBarnes » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:51 am

noreason wrote:There is always a difference right. So where would these neighborhood kids be riding there bikes if not at the bike pit?


Perhaps in their yards, perhaps no where at all or perhaps as you suggest on the streets themselves.

One addition point I think is important to bring up here is that the town pushed MORE traffic to Lawrence Rd increasing the danger because the locals near Horse Hill didn't want to deal with the noise from ATVs or dirt bikes. So they thrust them up near the transfer station creating a dangerous situation.

Horse Hill has parking and is a much larger plot of land not to mention has multiple access points allowing safer traffic to and from the site. That really should have been the location picked but since you bring up NIMBY's, the NIMBY's in that case didn't want the noise but were fine with the same thing located elsewhere in town despite the very same arguments they used to block it from being at horse hill still existing in other locations. I don't have a problem with the noise, I have a problem with the safety of it being located directly next to the transfer station and having only one single access point at the end of a winding country road.

noreason wrote:The call to close the bike pit does remind me of another recent news story.


Move the transfer station to a commercial part of town that can safely handle the traffic and I'd be more then happy with the bike bit in its current location.

Problem is it's not safe where it is now and there's already one child in the hospital as a direct result. Look at the number of accidents listed in the telegraph print addition in connection to this story. It's not safe.

Are you going to say oh well they should have known better if someone ends up dead or even more seriously hurt? How dangerous does a situation have to be before it is no longer looked at as a NIMBY argument and others begin to agree something needs to be done?

Just this morning I heard two national news stories in which the government is being questioned about situations that have lead to people dying in which things could have been done but weren't. I'd prefer not waiting until Merrimack hits that level before we actually do things to make sure we're not putting our neighbors in danger.

noreason wrote:After a parent complained about an elementary school student stumbling across "oral sex" in a classroom dictionary, Menifee Union School District officials decided to pull Merriam Webster's 10th edition from all school shelves earlier this week.


Are you seriously comparing someone who had a fit over their kid reading about oral sex to a situation that put a child in the hospital?

Perhaps you'd be thinking differently if you were sitting in my kitchen with my kids watching when it happened. You know what it's like seeing your six year old daughter shaking in fear because she sees someone she knows laying unmoving in the street after being slammed into by a pick up truck? Maybe when you do you'll understand why I'm so passionate here about wanting to see something done, but personally I hope you never do need to understand that feeling. And I certainly hope you never have to go through what his mother went through either.
Last edited by RBarnes on Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Debra Huffman » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:05 am

RBarnes wrote:...the locals near Horse Hill didn't want to deal with the noise from ATVs or dirt bikes. So they thrust them up near the transfer station creating a dangerous situation.

Rick, I know how passionately you feel about this incident so I don't mean to criticize, but I think it's important to keep the record straight. You are correct that the abutters were vehement in their opposition to ATVs on Horse Hill, but despite their opposition and despite the considerable heat the HHNP committee took for its decision, the HHNP Master Plan DOES ALLOW for an ATV trail on HH if the ATV folks can find a route that does not break DES regulations. So far, they have not found that route.

(And for the record, I support townwide curbside pickup and never supported keeping the transfer station on Lawrence Rd.)

After thinking this over for a minute, let me add this: The area off Lawrence Rd was approved for ATV use back in the 90's. Its use expands each time a large tract of land is converted to houses. And yes, when ATV use was stopped on Horse Hill some of those riders did probably move their riding to Lawrence Rd. So Rick's comment is not totally correct, but in essence I see his point.

But ATVs are not the issue here. They don't ride on the road. They get trucked in, the parking lot for ATVs is WAY off the road, at least 500 feet into the woods I'd say. The bicycles on the road are a completely different issue. I've never seen bicyclists on Lawrence Rd. I didn't know it was a problem. Is it really or was this a very unfortunate isolated incident?
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Dennis King » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:52 am

Debra Huffman wrote:[
(And for the record, I support townwide curbside pickup and never supported keeping the transfer station on Lawrence Rd.)


Just a small correction Deb,
The transfer station was not KEPT on Lawrence road, the taxpayers VOTED to put it there and at the same time, rejected the alternative location near the waste water treatment facility. This issue has been explored and debated like no other. Indeed, it is its own topic on this site and HHNP never rose to that. The curbside people lost and that is that but like so many things in government, the issue keeps coming up such as the PAYT debate which really is designed to make throwing away your trash such a burden that more people will elect curbside (which interesting enough is NOT covered by PAYT) and then a simple warrant article can throw away all the money we spent on the TS and the NIMBYS will then be satisfied.

Just look how fast Rick was able to shut down the ATM Park, now that is a real shame. In nearly 25 years of driving down that road, I can not recall ever seeing a kid on a bicycle. I am with Deb on this, it was an isolated incident and I wish this boy and his family all the best. I wonder how this young man feels that his accident is being used as an excuse to close an area he and his friends enjoy. Think of the burden that must put on him. We adults react reflexively sometimes and NIMBY agendas to remove the TS should not enter into this. I suggested the right riders look into training and supervision along with improved line of sight. The town master plan has given every group a place to enjoy their recreation. It would be wrong to take it away based upon an accident that I am sure could have happened on many of the similar roads in town.

BTW, at kids kove, there used to be a Pizza Place across the street (Pizza Man) and kids would constantly walk across the street to get there. I never heard of an accident but while it has a lot of traffic, there is a light near by and a crosswalk. Maybe a flashing yellow light at that curve or at least some signs could warn motorist. I am disappointed that common sense was not in play here and options not even explored. I am reminded of what Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar", well accidents do happen, that is why they are called accidents, if this is the first incident in 25 years or perhaps ever, why not explore all the ideas I brought forth as I am sure we have had far more accidents on DWH, Baboosic Lake Road, Joppa Road, etc.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RBarnes » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:51 pm

Dennis King wrote:The transfer station was not KEPT on Lawrence road, the taxpayers VOTED to put it there and at the same time


After voting not to consider Lawrence Rd where exactly did the voters have other options for?

They were given TWO options and TWO options only... curbside or a transfer station on Lawrence Rd. Other locations were not options so this claim is factually incorrect.

And to top it off you and others lead voters to believe there was a million in savings in the transfer station over curbside which we now know is completely untrue.

rejected the alternative location near the waste water treatment facility.


And where is the result of such a town vote Dennis?

Carr and company never gave voters that option. Carr took that off the table and never followed the will of the people.

Dennis King wrote:The curbside people lost and that is that but like so many things in government, the issue keeps coming up such as the PAYT debate which really is designed to make throwing away your trash such a burden that more people will elect curbside (which interesting enough is NOT covered by PAYT) and then a simple warrant article can throw away all the money we spent on the TS and the NIMBYS will then be satisfied.


Dennis, PAYT is a totally different debate yet you continue to fuse the two together. The Solid Waste Committee said even before the transfer station was put to a vote that for it to be successful it needed to use a PAYT model. It was always the plan, yet now once again you attempt to rewrite history.

Dennis King wrote:I am reminded of what Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar", well accidents do happen, that is why they are called accidents, if this is the first incident in 25 years or perhaps ever, why not explore all the ideas I brought forth as I am sure we have had far more accidents on DWH, Baboosic Lake Road, Joppa Road, etc.


Actually according to the telegraph since the transfer station was opened there have been 18 accidents on the road. If that's on par with the rest of our town then we really need to look at town wide safety because we have a real problem with our roads... if not then my point stands.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RBarnes » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:58 pm

Debra Huffman wrote:
RBarnes wrote:...the locals near Horse Hill didn't want to deal with the noise from ATVs or dirt bikes. So they thrust them up near the transfer station creating a dangerous situation.

Rick, I know how passionately you feel about this incident so I don't mean to criticize, but I think it's important to keep the record straight. You are correct that the abutters were vehement in their opposition to ATVs on Horse Hill, but despite their opposition and despite the considerable heat the HHNP committee took for its decision, the HHNP Master Plan DOES ALLOW for an ATV trail on HH if the ATV folks can find a route that does not break DES regulations. So far, they have not found that route.

(And for the record, I support townwide curbside pickup and never supported keeping the transfer station on Lawrence Rd.)

After thinking this over for a minute, let me add this: The area off Lawrence Rd was approved for ATV use back in the 90's. Its use expands each time a large tract of land is converted to houses. And yes, when ATV use was stopped on Horse Hill some of those riders did probably move their riding to Lawrence Rd. So Rick's comment is not totally correct, but in essence I see his point.

But ATVs are not the issue here. They don't ride on the road. They get trucked in, the parking lot for ATVs is WAY off the road, at least 500 feet into the woods I'd say. The bicycles on the road are a completely different issue. I've never seen bicyclists on Lawrence Rd. I didn't know it was a problem. Is it really or was this a very unfortunate isolated incident?


Deb, were the same considerations that prevented Horse Hill from being used for ATV trails considered when Lawrence Rd became an option? To my knowledge they were not. Lawrence Rd was the bone thrown to the right riders at the expense of Lawrence Rd locals.

Also most people along the road do not bike on the road exactly for this reason. It's unsafe. I wont let my kids ride on the road.

Where exactly is the parking for the trails? I've been down there and walked them and I've never seen any parking area marked off as such. Most people I see using them park along the road making it even more narrow and dangerous. Also there are a bunch of people in the summer who drive down the road on their ATVs or dirt bikes from nearby homes but usually that's when the dump is closed and the trailed are supposed to be closed.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Debra Huffman » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:24 pm

Rick, I'm sorry that you feel that way, especially since your wife was on the committee and voted on this issue.

The Lawrence Rd bike park has been in existence since the 90's, long before Horse Hill existed. The site was essentially a sand pit with no streams or other wetland impacts. If ATVs were allowed on the existing Horse Hill trails the town would be subject to fines from DES for wetland violations. I agree with you that the Lawrence Rd bike park got increased use after Horse Hill and other large tracts became inaccessible to ATVers and the Right Riders were given permission to fix up the site to make it more fun for the kids. (This is all done with volunteer labor and to my knowledge does not cost the taxpayers anything, by the way, just to stop THAT discussion before it starts.)

If you say cars are parking on the side of Lawrence Rd I believe you because you've always been honest, and I agree that would create a traffic hazard. It's been several years since I was at the ATV park, so apparently things have changed. As of a few years ago, parents drove down the dirt road about 500 feet from Lawrence Rd, unloaded the ATV/dirt bike, and the parent either drove away or sat there and watched their kids ride. I can't speak to more recent times. I can't imagine why they would have eliminated their parking area. I'll drive down there and take a look, because it just doesn't seem logical.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby RBarnes » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:58 pm

Debra Huffman wrote:I can't imagine why they would have eliminated their parking area. I'll drive down there and take a look, because it just doesn't seem logical.


I've only been down to the trails once and I walked so maybe I didn't walk far enough back into the woods but I saw no place marked out for parking. If there is a place then I'm definitely not the only one unaware of it because as I said you see cars pulled off the road all the time down there with flatbeds for their ATVs that they are off riding.

What gets me most here is the lack of compassion from people, Dennis being just one example.

Let's say for instance that some of the fears over the mall hold true and crime in the neighborhoods around it increase tenfold. Wouldn't the rest of us want to do whatever we can to fix problems created by the mall regardless of whether we supported it or not?

If the new court house creates problems should we just say screw you to the people living in that area because there was a court house there before this new one was built?

Dennis and others (there have been some rude comments blaming Chris's parents on the telegraph site for letting their son leave the yard) haven't offered any suggests for improvements or even been willing to entertain dialog on how to make Lawrence Rd a safer place for those living there. Instead it's the shut up and just deal with it approach. Just shut your mouth and stay in your yard.

Is that the type of town you want to live in?

I'm not opposed to the bike pit. Personally I think it's a nice idea but it's not a good location for it because there isn't a safe way to access it during it's operational hours.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby Debra Huffman » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:22 pm

... Sigh. I've written and erased several responses. I WANT to say:

"Rick, as you know, many people feel free to post things they would not normally say in face-to-face communication. The people I deal with around town are very compassionate. The people who post on this forum and on the Telegraph site are not representative of the people I interact with. I think when voters are given accurate information they make a decent balance between compassion for their neighbors and economic benefits."

I WANT to say that. But in my heart I know that's not the whole story. I can't explain the Transfer Station vote. It still baffles me. Sure, Carr and crew provided inaccurate economic info, but Norm Phillips and many others (including you) provided accurate economic info. People could have listened. They chose not to. I'll never understand it.

Sigh.
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Re: Little Boy Hit By Transfer Station Traffic

Postby andysinnh » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:33 pm

A problem that's existed in Merrimack from even back in the days when I was a kid in the 60's is this - if you can't get there by car, it's not easy to get where you need to go. I remember riding from my house on Hartwood drive down to Twin Bridges ballfield (aka Bise Field at Kids's Cove) every day for a pickup game,and then stopping by Kestlinger's store for something after we got done. I can't tell you how many times I nearly got hit while either crossing the road or riding on the side of the road because, overall, the rural roads weren't designed for non-automobile travel. Today, it's a bit better on Baboosic Lake road than it used to be - but even the crosswalks can be a challenge depending on the time of the day. But beyond that area of sidewalks and a wider road - most other roads in town are a place that you really don't want your younger kids riding on. So any time you have a location where kids might bike to get there, it's sort of "at your own risk".

That being said - I do agree that if there is this bike pit off of West Road on Lawrence road, the town should do something to create some off-street parking if possible, just for safety's sake. But that won't do much to help the kids that want to bike there on their own - and aside from creating bike access paths either on the street or in trails, I'm not sure what the solution is. And I contend that it's no different if this bike pit was on my street (woodward road) or if you could use HorseHill off of Amherst road - there's an inherent danger. So I don't have a full solution here, except to say it's a risk.

As I sit here typing this, I'm watching cars drive close to Mach-2 down Woodward Road - and I'm sure it's similar to what Lawrence road sees on a daily basis. And to be frank, it's not the commercial trucks that are the issue, but the smaller vehicles that think that they can stop on a dime and defy the laws of physics. I take an almost daily walk down my street and try to time it so I don't do it during the "commuting" times of the day. If I try to do it after school gets out, I'll get run over by a HS kid getting home to do whatever he/she does - or a bit later and a commuter is coming at me wanting to get home to bring his/her kid to soccer or whatever appt there might be. So while in the Lawrence Rd case the TS traffic does mean more cars - the behavior of the drivers is likely the same - meaning ANY car driving by can be a high-risk for our kids.

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