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Plaistow improving school safety for walkers

Union Leader Correspondent

June 28. 2018 8:58PM
Safety improvements near Pollard Elementary School will be made to Main and Elm streets in Plaistow. (Courtesy)

PLAISTOW — The town is taking steps to improve sidewalks and crosswalks to make the walk to Pollard Elementary School safer.

With school now out and Old Home Day now over, crews are moving ahead with a project that’s been eight years in the making.

The improvements are being made through the state’s “Safe Routes to School” program and will include new crosswalks on Main and Elm streets along with new sidewalks.

Better lighting and pedestrian signs will also be installed, said Dee Voss, the town’s planning coordinator.

“We have a lot of walkers and we just want to improve the conditions,” she said.

The town received $280,000 in federal and state grant funds for the construction work. The contractor hired for the job is J. Parker & Daughters Construction Inc. of Pittsfield.

Most of the work is expected to be finished by Aug. 29 — one day before school starts. The rest should be finished a couple of weeks later, according to Voss.

Police Chief Kathleen Jones said the project will greatly improve pedestrian safety.

“Pollard is one of those schools where we have a lot of parents walking their kids to school and a lot of kids walking or biking there on their own. Because it is located on the main thoroughfare of the community, there is always heavier traffic and the risks that go along with heavier traffic volumes include speeding, accidents, reckless operation, distracted drivers, and drivers not familiar with the area trying to find a destination,” Jones said.

Dr. Earl Metzler, superintendent of the Timberlane Regional School District, said the town has been an “outstanding” partner in education and that he is appreciative of its support and forward thinking.

“The installation of sidewalks and better defined crosswalks will vastly improve our safe routes to school and improve student safety,” he said.

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