, Derry, New Hampshire

September 5, 2013

Neighbors at odds over trailhead parking

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — Parking near a popular trail head in town is causing concern for some residents living nearby.

People living near the Tanager Landing Trail are telling Conservation Commission members it’s often tough living close to the trail when many people are out in force enjoying nature.

That trail leads into the Musquash Conservation Area.

Conservation officials have heard from both sides. Some say there are parking issues with cars parking all over the street near their homes. Others say there is no problem.

Troy Brown lives on nearby Whippoorwill Circle and said he never sees a problem with trail head parking near his home.

“I use the trails three or four times a week,” he told officials. “I’m not aware of any problems. I personally don’t think there is a parking issue at all.”

Conservation Commission member Mike Considine said he spends most of his life on Londonderry’s trails. He said most people are respectful of the properties and trails, and don’t ever cause a problem.

With the Tanager Way concerns, officials are considering making a more specific parking area at the trail head between two new posts that will be installed.

“There will be two signposts (placed) on the town-owned property,” Considine said. “We will ask people to park between the signs, off the street, on the grass.”

That may solve some parking issues, he said, although he would rather keep the trail head the way it is now.

“I’m in there all the time,” Considine said. “I really haven’t observed a problem.”

Neither has Tanager Way resident Kathleen Gagnon, another frequent trail visitor.

“We enjoy it; we’re out there all the time,” she said. “Our front porch looks right at the trail head. We never see a problem.”

She said some people may just have a general dislike of the trail itself and the people it attracts.

Kate Cutting lives on Tanager Way and said parking is a problem when it comes to school buses and emergency vehicles trying to navigate the streets.

With a lot of children living in the area, it’s also a safety concern.

“There are issues,” she said. “I also pick up trash and bottles. I’m telling you what I see.”

She said if the town puts up posts to designate a defined parking area and signs, it might encourage more traffic.

Considine said the town would try to minimize any signs denoting parking or the beginning of the trail.