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Flagger Ron Jacques from New England Traffic Control Service on duty directing traffic on a rural road in Lyndeborough to ensure the safety of residents as well as workers for tree cutting above power lines. (KATHLEEN BAGLIO HUMPHREYS/Union Leader Correspondent)

Lyndeborough selectmen order traffic regulations to be enforced


LYNDEBOROUGH — The Board of Selectmen looked at the town’s traffic control policy at its June 25 meeting and instructed the police chief to enforce it.

The goal is to ensure the safety of the public and work crews as well as to provide proper notification to dispatch and emergency services personnel, who may be affected when traffic is redirected.

A letter sent to companies such as Public Service of New Hampshire, TDS and Asplundh Tree Experts instructed them to notify police at least 48 hours in advance of beginning work. Detours that would require additional time. Also, the detours must be approved by the chief. All work requires adequate signage and flaggers.

“The time of day, traffic volume, speed limits and width of the road will determine if a police officer is needed at the scene or not,” said police Chief Rance Deware.

At previous meetings, Deware reported he had received text messages from residents with complaints that roads were barely passable or to report no flaggers were present while work was being done.

“I’ve been checking in with them since last Thursday, and they have been complying, but I had to shut down one crew on Mountain Road that didn’t have a flagger,” said Deware.

Safety is also the goal of the crews working along the roadways,.

“It can be dangerous. We do a lot of training,” said flagger Ronald Jacques, who was working on Crooked S Road, a narrow Class 5 road.

Travis Johnson, who was cutting overhanging branches from the bucket truck for Asplundh, said, “Safety is our priority. Everyone is properly trained, from the workers in the bucket to ones on the ground, and some people go through years of training before getting in the bucket. I’m always looking out from the bucket for problems.”

“We want people to drive slow through the work zones,” said Johnson. Jacques added, “Drivers can be inpatient and speed, and we just ask they obey the signs and slow down.” PSNH appeared before the planning board recently with a request to cut on scenic roads, which was granted. Lyndeborough is about 60 percent dirt roads, and many are narrow and winding, adding to the challenges for work crews and travelers.

PSNH hires Asplundh to cut trees above their power lines and trained flaggers from New England Traffic Control Services.

According to Johnson, storm damage resulting in power outtages to this area have decreased over the last five years because of cutting overhanging limbs above power lines.

khumphreys@newstote.com

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