Selectmen right about that road

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Milford selectmen agree: There’s at least a stretch of the Route 101 Bypass, between Route 13 and Route 101A, that is horrendous.

How dangerous? Former Milford Police Chief Fred Douglas didn’t want family members driving it.

How dangerous? Last week, there was another fatal accident, the third in the last four years.

How many is too many?

Selectman Mark Fougere has suggested that the town ask the Nashua Regional Planning Commission to consider putting road widening in the state’s 10-year highway plan and build a median as a temporary measure. That’s a good idea but we don’t have a lot of hope for either of those options happening anytime soon.

Douglas, when he was Milford’s chief, tried to get a jersey barrier installed and had no luck. The state didn’t think the road was dangerous enough to warrant it.

Ah, but the state Department of Transportation did put up temporary electronic signs asking motorists to turn on their headlights, as if that would ward off an approaching tractor trailer. Perhaps headlights are some form of magic.

Widening the road to accommodate a center median is the best solution. Having cars come toward one another at 60 mph is inherently dangerous and leaves too little margin for error.

But the state seems to have other priorities, and, as Selectmen’s Chairman Gary Daniels said last week “we may never see it in our lifetime.”

It’s interesting that the state seems so eager to widen Route 93 which of course has been the scene of several accidents, but it seems to us that our stretch of Route 101 is far more dangerous.

First of all, we’re talking about far fewer cars, yet we’ve had three fatal accidents in the past four years. In percentage of traffic-to-fatalities, we’re willing to bet that our Route 101 Bypass stretch has far more than Route 93.

Well, we’re glad the selectmen are moving on this, even if they don’t get very far. They have to try and if the state refuses to act, then the onus is upon the state.

Of course, that won’t be any comfort to the family of the next victim.

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