Wal-Mart Gate-gate continues: ‘I guess we’ll just keep the people on Beech Hill in our prayers’

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Aerial view of neighborhood near the Gold Street Wal-Mart.
Aerial view of neighborhood near the Gold Street Wal-Mart.

MANCHESTER, NH – Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting began as it has for the past several months now – heavy on public comment from those who have concerns about the traffic pattern around the new Wal-Mart on Gold Street.

The latest development is that since Aldermen allowed President Road to become one-way, some residents now are asking that all road restrictions be lifted until a proper traffic study can be done to find out just how many cars travel through the south Manchester neighborhood.

They say the result is a “gated community” serving a minority of Wal-Mart neighbors without regard for the “greater good.”

New Hampshire State Rep. Victoria Sullivan was among those who spoke at the Nov. 1 meeting.

View from behind the wheel: State Rep. Victoria Sullivan demonstrates the congestion on Beech Hill Ave. compared to President Road in this screenshot from her Facebook video.
View from behind the wheel: State Rep. Victoria Sullivan demonstrates the congestion on Beech Hill Ave. compared to President Road in this screenshot from her Facebook video.

In this video, one of several posted by Sullivan on her Facebook page, Sullivan compares the size and congestion of Beech Hill Avenue to that of President Road, something she says she did at the request of a constituent. At one point she has to pull over to let a car driving in the opposite direction pass, due to cars parked on both sides of the street. Making President Road one-way funnels traffic to Beech Hill Avenue and other smaller streets, Sullivan said, creating a dangerous situation, particularly during school hours when children and buses abound.

Her final comment during the three-minute video, regarding safety: “I guess we’ll just keep the people of Beech Hill in our prayers.”

Sullivan has also launched a Change.org petition seeking signatures from residents who support removing the one-way traffic restriction on President Road and removing all gates until a new traffic study is completed.

Resident Glenn Ouellette was among those who spoke at the Monday meeting. He reminded the board that heavier traffic due to the upcoming holiday shopping season needed to be considered. He urged the city to begin counting cars now, to get a more comprehensive idea of the volume and impact.

Several other residents spoke about safety issues for children, saying newly erected stop signs are not controlling traffic. Sullivan noted at the beginning of her three-minute comment that a child narrowly escaped injury Monday.

You can see and sign the petition on Change.org here, and read comments below, made by some of those who’ve already signed.


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President Rd is wide enough for a 2 way street

Brian Lanouette, Salem, NH
5 days ago
 

 

If this happens, it will push traffic to a neighborhood with lots of families and children. More time and thought needs to be given to make a permenant solution instead of knee jerk reactions to the complaints of the residents of President’s road.

Desha Davis, Manchester, NH
5 days ago

 

Politics need to but out and leave things as they were originally, Stop having corporations money be the reason on how you vote!!

Normand Bourque, Manchester, NH
22 hours ago
 

 

This change negatively impacts every resident of the city who does not live on that short stretch of road. It will increase the amount of miles driven causing further wear to our streets and increased pollution. It directs the traffic to nearby streets creating greater congestion on far narrower roads and brings no benefit to the city.

Kathryn Hayes, Manchester, NH
2 days ago

 

The approval of Walmart caused this problem and should have been foreseeable. Now you are trying to kick the goalposts as people complain. President Rd has been used for 50 years, is wider and more accessible than the other options. People will avoid South Willows however they have to.

Mike Vigneau, Manchester, NH
2 days ago

 

The traffic is already a problem. My taxes should not be going towards gated off streets. President Rd is built for two way traffic. Stop bowing down to a few at the expense of so many.

Sarah Arndt, Manchester, NH
2 days ago
 

 

The street was built and designed for truck traffic. The road is the connector for many current and past trucking companies and businesses that get frequent tractor trailer deleveries. Trucks are now being forced to use a street with many lights and narrow and tight intersections. Stupid move and idea.

Alan Beauchemin, Manchester, NH
2 days ago

 

President Road is wide enough to handle the two way traffic. It is already bad enough that traffic is sent through narrow streets of Beech Hill.

Richard Stockbridge, Manchester, NH
2 days ago
 

 

If we started turning every street with a friend of an alderman into a private, gated community, traffic and commerce in the city would come to a screeching halt. This is nothing more than dirty, crony politics.

Jon DiPietro, Manchester, NH
2 days ago
 

 

This is important to all people in the area and those who need to use the roads.

Theresa Valeri, Athol, MA
4 days ago

 

Once again the officials in Manchester got it wrong, and I know many people affected by this decision.

Jenn Raspuzzi, Auburn, NH
4 days ago

 

An entire portion of our community was disrupted for a SuperStore! There is something extremely wrong with that. The planning should have included an exit off the highway not through , then disrupting the neighborhoods!

Tom Morrison, Manchester, NH
4 days ago

 

IT WILL HURT US

RICHARD COTE, Manchester, NH
5 days ago

 

I sign because our road traffic will swell by 100% when President Rd is one way away from Walmart … people already Speed in our neighborhoods from few too many speed bumps … The Thomas St/Kenberma St neighbors are not going to take these knee jerk reactive measures from The city fathers lightly endangering our kids/pedestrians and dog walkers. We need immediate relief with four more speed bumps ( two more on Kenberma and one more on Thomas and a mandatory 15 MPH zones with flashing amber lights on them and then police speed traps are in order.

MIke Egan, Manchester, NH
5 days ago

 

Take all the gates down and leave the streets the way they were. All that is happening is traffic is being pushed to another neighborhood. Are we going to gate or change all the streets on the south end?? Enough already.

Hilary Breault, Manchester, NH
5 days ago
 

 

This is ridiculous to put this as a one way , not a good solution to the problem! Many accidents to come be sending traffic towards south Beech ! That is the most dangers road in winter months. I live right above president and am against the one way!

Denise Violette, Portland, ME
5 days ago
 

 

I’m strongly in favor of removing the one way as well as all gates. No more patchwork, band-aid solutions. Mr. Mayor said he will work to find a long term solution. I hope he upholds that commitment.

Darryl Johnston, Manchester, NH
5 days ago

 

I moved to Manchester this summer and taking President from the highway literally takes 1/3 of the distance off of my trip between 293 and my house. President is the widest, flattest road in the whole area, of all the roads to restrict this is the worst possible choice!

Lauren LaMarsh, Denver, CO
5 days ago

 

I’m signing because the few residents of president street are not more important than several thousand other residents, commuters and many businesses

Pam Morin, Manchester, NH
5 days ago

 

We need to open up all areas and resurvey traffic for the holidays.

Mike Ricker, Manchester, NH
5 days ago
About Carol Robidoux 6615 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!