Barnestown Road residents request safety upgrades
Hope — A handful of residents who live on Barnestown Road have asked the town to put pressure on the state to address safety issues in a busy section of the street.
Five residents attended the Hope Board of Selectmen meeting Aug. 28 to ask the town to contact the Department of Transportation to see about changing the section of road between Hatchet Mountain Road and Loon Lane to a no passing area and possibly to look at the speed limit in that section of the road. The speed limit is currently 40 mph, but neighbors indicated many people travel much faster than the limit.
"It's a real neighborhood now with lots of children between 2 and 14 [years old]," said Julie Jones. In addition, a lot of people use the boat landing to swim, adding to the amount of children and traffic in the area.
The neighbors said 12 children are let off the bus at the corner at Hatchet Mountain Road and walk home in the afternoon.
Chairman Tim Pearse said this is not the first the town has heard of this issue and about two years ago the town contacted the DOT to see about getting a yellow recommended speed sign or a children's playing sign put up, but nothing ever happened.
Rick Bagnall said he has lived in his Barnestown Road home for about 11 years and the swimming area was a "quaint swimming hole" until the last several years. He said it's advertised in local publications as a public swimming area.
"It's opening it up as a beach kind of setting and its a swimming hole/boat ramp," Bagnall said.
This is the first summer of a new floating dock at the Hobbs Pond boat launch that was installed by the town's recreation department after swimmers kept piling up rocks as a place to jump from and were causing issues for boaters.
Alford Lake Camp has yellow signs that are removed at the season's end and a resident questioned if that was something that could be done on Barnestown Road.
Pearse said Alford Lake Road is a town road and Barnestown is a state road, so the town does not have the authority to put up signs.
Board member Brian Powers Jr. questioned if the town could go ahead and put up signs anyway; Pearse said he thinks the town should go through the proper channels.
Town Administrator Jon Duke said he would contact DOT again and indicate the issue was brought forth two years ago with no results and tell state officials the town will be following up monthly until something is done.