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August 04. 2014 9:19PM

City official questions addition of traffic light

MANCHESTER — A senior city public works official on Monday expressed doubts about whether a new traffic signal was warranted at an intersection where a fatal motorcycle accident occurred last month.

Todd Connors, the engineering manager for the Department of Public Works, told the committee on Public Safety that the intersection of Goffstown Road and Montgomery Street was not on the list of roughly 115 city intersections the state Department of Transportation determined had the highest accident rates.“With respect to this intersection, any fatality is a concern, and you’ll want to take a look at it. But Manchester has quite a few other intersections that are priorities,” said Connors, who specializes in roadway matters.

The intersection was ranked 206 on a list of the 229 high-accident intersections compiled by the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission.

However, Connors said his agency paid more attention to the state list, which was weighted based on traffic volume.Connors added that there are situations where “a signal or sign will do more harm than good.”The request to add a signal at the intersection was made by Alderman Keith Hirschmann, who represents Ward 12, where the junction is located.

Hirschmann insisted that the intersection needed a signal, even if it was the last on the waiting list to get one.“I tried to get this done in ’98, and another alderman blocked me,” he said. “Maybe if something was done, these people would not have perished ... I think I’m a pretty good driver, and I have a hard time (at the intersection).”

Following the comments from Hirschmann, Connors said he would inquire whether the motorcycle accident would place the intersection higher on the state’s priority list and would report back to the committee.

The accident occurred on July 12, when a Ford sedan collided with a motorcycle being driven by Richard Frink, who died of his injuries later that day. His passenger, Debra Smith, died five days later. The crash remains under investigation by the Manchester police.

tsiefer@unionleader.com


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