Legal Q&A: Contracting and Competitive Bidding for Summer Road Maintenance

Now is the time of year for local governing bodies to begin implementation of the summer road maintenance program. Every municipality faces the issue each year, since RSA 231:3, I mandates "All Class V highways shall be constructed, reconstructed, and maintained by the city or town in which they are located... ." It is a very difficult program to administer, as there are many types of tasks to be performed the tasks are expensive and they often require the use of outside contractors.

Pay Attention: Traffic Work Zone Safety for Employees

Safe and efficient movement of traffic through a work zone is a primary concern for municipal public works agencies. As traffic continues to increase across New Hampshire, worker safety during road improvement projects is a top priority. The need for standardized control is especially critical when the abnormal conditions of a temporary traffic control zone make travel hazardous for the motoring public and pedestrians.

Follow the Money: New Hampshire’s Transportation Infrastructure in Decline

Whatever transportation infrastructure a municipality may own, the challenges are generally the same. A growing population and increasing demand put mounting stress on publicly maintained assets. The infrastructure that exists is aging and has not been consistently maintained. This reduces its useful life and its ability to handle the increased demands. Although the need for capital investment is clear, state and federal funding sources that municipalities have historically depended upon to finance these capital improvements are flat funded or shrinking.

A Granite State Future Depends on Working Together

In New Hampshire, every town receives technical support for making decisions about land use from one of nine Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs). The RPCs were formed by the Legislature to aid and advise municipalities and prepare a coordinated plan for the development of the region. The planning support is used by municipalities for local decisions and to address the many issues that cross municipal borders. With a new three-year, $3.37 million grant from the U.S.

What is the Mountain of Demonstrations?

Looking for new ways to improve your public works department operational efficiency? Take a trip to Gunstock Mountain on May 23, 2013 to attend the Mountain of Demonstrations, hosted by the New Hampshire Road Agents Association.

Municipal Highways and Bridges: “How Bad Is It?”

In this second article in the transportation infrastructure series (see "Follow the Money, NH Transportation Infrastructure in Decline, Jan/Feb 2013 issue), we will move beyond a description of how transportation infrastructure is funded to try to identify for local officials where they might learn more about the condition of municipal highways and bridges in our state, and their role in operating and maintaining the system. I emphasize the word "try", because one of the current realities is that there is no single or convenient location where information about these issues is compiled.

The Commute Green New Hampshire Challenge: Reduce 50,000 Vehicle Miles

Commute Green New Hampshire is a statewide initiative designed to encourage individuals to consider green commuting options like walking, biking, carpooling and public transportation during the week of Monday, May 16—Friday, May 20. New Hampshire's eight regional planning commissions are working with citizens, businesses, local governments and organizations to promote the initiative, which coincides with National Bike-Walk to Work Day on Friday, May 20.

Alternative Transportation: For Personal Health, Savings and the Environment

We are fortunate to live in New Hampshire, a state with many beautiful features and a relatively low population density. The downside is fewer transit options and residents frequently needing to drive significant distances to get to work and other places.

As many as 70 percent of us drive to work alone. A person who carpools can save money and reduce their carbon footprint as well. By walking or bicycling to work or wherever we need to go, we receive health benefits from the exercise, save money and benefit the environment.

SAU #20 Acquires Cleaner School Buses with Federal Stimulus Program Funding

The 2009-10 school season recessed on an upbeat note for the Gorham, Randolph and Shelburne Cooperative School District (SAU #20) with the arrival and use of two new environmentally-friendly school buses. The district replaced two older buses with state-of-the-art model year 2010 buses—the first in New England that meet emission standards up to 25 times more stringent than the buses they replace.

Transportation: Are We Moving in the Right Direction?

Transportation affects all of our lives in myriad ways. Former Transportation Commissioner Carol Murray liked to refer to transportation as the “game board" upon which all other aspects of life are played. She made that observation because transportation affects our overall economy, our tourist industry and our education, recreation and health care systems. Without an ability to be mobile, our quality of life can diminish as our options to participate in events or to satisfy the basic needs of everyday life become limited.