DERRY — Town councilors continued hearing updates from town boards and committees during a recent meeting.

That included a recent presentation on the Highway Safety Committee, offered by Public Works Director Mike Fowler at a meeting March 2.

Fowler's update joined others given in past months, with information on the past year and the business done with the highway safety group.

The group meets monthly and is very diverse, Fowler noted, with members including residents, town staff, law enforcement, fire officials and school district representatives.

The main goal is to discuss any issues that come up concerning the community's roadways, stop signs, crosswalks, or other business dealing with concerns from the public.

Fowler said due to the coronavirus and like many other groups, the committee hasn't met live for several months, but the group has still seen a lot of business.

That included 10 cases considered over the past year, Fowler said.

Main issues discussed typically include stop sign requests, additional requests for crosswalks, traffic studies, speeding concerns or areas where parking may need to be studied or even banned.

Fowler said the committee also gave advisory input in major projects over the past several years including the English Range Road/Bypass 28 traffic signal, intersection project and the project at Kilrea/Windham Depot roads.

Fowler said the Highway Safety Committee is an important part of the community and members do a lot of work on various topics.

The Town Council also got its regular COVID-19 update from Derry fire Chief Mike Gagnon. The chief reported that numbers of cases and hospitalizations continue to drop in the community and vaccination efforts are going well with Fire Department staff continuing to assist at the vaccine location at Exit 4. The chief continued to urge the public not to let their guard down even though numbers are trending in a favorable direction.

"We must maintain our due diligence as we move forward," Gagnon said.

Gagnon added that moving forward through this year and in the fall when Derry traditionally hosts several larger community events, like Derryfest and Derry After Dark, it's too soon to make a call as to whether it will be safe to allow large numbers of people to gather. 

"We may be in a better place than we are now," the chief said, "but we need more time before we make a call."

Councilors also considered an effort to move forward with the design of a second culvert on Sunset Avenue, and a transfer of $86,201 from the town's Bridge Fund to pay for the project.

The project is part of the town's systematic review and upgrade of culverts and bridges.




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