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Tilton to ask state for crosswalk at Riverfront Park

August 11, 2010
TILTON — Town officials are acting on a written request from a Tilton resident to put in a crosswalk at Riverfront Park.

Elaine Grace wrote a letter to the Board of Selectmen after she was almost hit by a car trying to cross Route 3 to get to the park.

The selectmen agreed that crossing the intersection near Winter Street is dangerous, but Selectman David Wadleigh pointed out that the matter has been discussed with the state already. Route 3 is a state-owned road.

"At that time, the state's rep felt that crosswalks give pedestrians a false sense of security," Selectman Katherine Dawson said. "Just because you're in a crosswalk doesn't mean a car is going to stop for you."

Dawson suggested calling the state and asking for permission to paint a sidewalk, since the state had been unwilling to do it themselves.

"I think it's worth exploring, because it is a safety issue," board Chair Pat Consentino said, noting that residents from Winter Street and Cedar Street often cross over to get to Riverfront Park.

Selectman Norm Boudreau said that just the other day he had watched a man trying to cross the street with a toddler next to him and a baby in a stroller.

"You don't want to be risking your lives of your children just because they want to go to the playground," Boudreau said.

Boudreau suggested getting some of the freestanding signs that are used on Main Street in the crosswalks reminding drivers that it's state law to stop for pedestrians.

The selectmen briefly discussed where the crosswalk would go. Boudreau suggested putting it right at the Winter Street intersection, but some of the selectmen disagreed, saying the crest of the hill at that point might inhibit drivers' ability to see pedestrians. Others said that right across from Winter Street is the park drop-off, so having the crosswalk end at that point could be dangerous, with cars pulling in and out.

That brought up another issue, as some people have been using that drop-off area as a parking spot.

"The police should be on that," Dawson said. "We agreed with DOT that it wouldn't be used for parking."

The selectmen agreed to call the state to request permission to paint the crosswalk, and they will also consult the police department to get advice on where the crosswalk should go.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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