I spent #BikeMonth 2018 tweeting about NHDOT #41754. This is a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) project intended to reduce emissions through the intersection of NH3AS and onto the Sagamore Bridge in Hudson NH. The chosen solution is to add a second turning lane, but there are no provisions for pedestrians or bicycles to cross safely.
I commute through this intersection on a bicycle every day. There is no alternate route. I am asking for a single cross walk or a bike lane, some way to get safely across the ramp. I'm not the only bicyclist.
Before I turned to Twitter, I contacted the town engineer, requested to speak with the town planning board (minutes), NHDOT, the NH Governor's office, NH FHWA and sent several emails to FHWA offices in DC. I got nowhere.
The stated reason my request for consideration of pedestrians and bicycles was refused was that the calculated reduction in emissions which was approved for the CMAQ funding did not include bicycles and pedestrians and because the approval was based on computations without bikes and people, the plan could not be changed without losing the funding.
The town engineer and planning board recommended I ride my bike on the sidewalk or against traffic on the other side of the road. Both are against the law.
Let's think about this. The intent of CMAQ is to reduce emissions. Why weren't pedestrians and bicyclists included in the calculations to begin with? They are zero emissions. The addition of a second turning lane means that bicycles will have to take the lane ahead of the motorists and impede traffic for about 200 yards from Flagstone Drive past the on-ramp. It seems to me that impeding traffic will have more of an effect on emissions than allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to cross safely with a cross walk. There aren't that many non-motorists because the intersection is already dangerous.
I can't imagine why the town of Hudson NH is so opposed to providing safe passage through a very busy intersection for the few pedestrians and bicyclists. This does not even address people with impaired mobility who may need a little extra time. The southern end of this intersection is another huge intersection which lacks sidewalks, crosswalks and walk lights. In short, when the second turning lane is added, this section of NH3A will be extremely dangerous for non-motorists.
Someone suggested that I try to use social media to gather support and I decided to use Twitter, since I had a Twitter account but not facebook.
I had fun making images and my GIMP skills improved greatly.
I have no idea whether my tweets had any impact.
But I'm posting the images here because I had a lot of fun with them.
The first image is what I want - for pedestrians a sidewalk up Flagstone Drive and a full crosswalk, across all four junctions at the intersection between Walmart and Sam's Club. For bicyclists, a single, signaled crosswalk across the southbound on ramp to the Sagamore bridge. Although there are four crossings through this intersection, it is only the south bound on ramp that is difficult to cross.
Some of the images are silly, some are hijacked from FHWA bike month propaganda (I found this very ironic since they would not help me with my request for a bike lane), and there is the CMAQ calculator which I had a lot of fun making.
My favorite image is the 'green rectangle/citizen edit' and my favorite tweet is the chicken tweet. I learned a lot.
I'm done tweeting about this issue. I'm not done working for the safety of people and bikes through the intersection.
Safe travels all!