DOT program will replace faded signs on Windham back roads
During Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen, members voted unanimously in favor of participating in the DOT’s High Risk Rural Road Sign Replacement Program, a federal initiative aimed at reducing the number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities.
Oldenberg said the program, which is mandated by the federal government and funded through the federal gas tax, has been active in the Granite State for the past four years.
Since the program’s inception, the state has spent about $900,000 annually to improve signage in a number of communities, focusing mainly on rural, connector and local roadways.
“These new signs are much, much brighter than the older signs,” Oldenberg said. “The idea is to make them much more noticeable, not just at night but during the day as well.”
Particular emphasis is made on replacing curve signs, as well as signs posting speed limits.
“We also take a look at advisory speed,” Oldenberg said. “Sometimes if there’s a curve up ahead, people should be slowing down. The signs all need to be consistent. If it says the speed limit is 35, you shouldn’t be in danger of going off the road doing 35 (miles per hour).”
Oldenberg said six other towns in the region have likewise been identified as potential candidates for the program: Derry, Lee, Raymond, Deerfield, Chester and Nottingham.
Windham ranks 40th out of over 200 Granite State towns in terms of motor vehicle crash frequency, Oldenberg said.
“That’s not good at all,” Selectmen Roger Hohenberger replied. “I like the idea of these signs.”
“These signs really pop out at you,” he said. “You can’t miss them.”
Windham Fire Chief Tom McPherson, who serves on the town’s highway safety committee, said he met with DOT officials earlier this year and supported the project but left final approval on the matter up to the selectmen.
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