roads

Will Marlow via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/ccwMsS

Aphonia, flop sweat, mic fright. Call it what you will, stage fright can be crippling for some performers. On today’s show: a pianist delves into the history of performance anxiety, and her own struggle to overcome it

Then, between recent spikes in bicycle commuters and bike-friendly infrastructure, arguments over who owns the road are commonplace, but hardly new. We’ll take a look at the bicycle’s fraught history with pedestrians, automobiles and even horse-drawn carriages.  

Travis Estell / Flickr/cc

Recent proposed cuts to New Hampshire's transportation budget caused outrage in the Statehouse, and even a Republican-backed effort to raise the gas tax. Meanwhile, other states are also struggling to keep up with road and bridge repair, with some trying new ways to pay for infrastructure.

Guests:

Stanley Zimny via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/KsGVQ

The idea of building a road is pretty straightforward – you build a path and let vehicles go on the path.

The reality is, of course, is way more complicated. How many lanes does the road need, and in which directions? Which signs are necessary – and which are distracting? Does the road make it too hard for vehicles to get through – or can it actually be too easy?

Flikr Creative Commons / Mortmer

According to a report by the Associate Press, Federal transportation dollars for New Hampshire road maintenance fell by more than %5 between 2008 and 2013. New Hampshire’s department of transportation spending has also fallen by more than 16% over roughly the same period.

This has meant delays to regular maintenance to secondary roads and bridges. And as these roadways deteriorate, the state will have to pay a higher price for reconstruction.

New Hampshire rates more than a third of state roads as in “poor” condition. And another 50 miles get added to the list each year.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

 

A 100-year-old bridge across the Merrimack River in Concord is closing sooner than expected due to safety concerns.

The Concord Monitor reports that the Sewalls Falls Bridge is shutting down Monday.

The bridge was slated to remain open until construction on its replacement began in the spring. But city officials decided to shut it down soon because of its deteriorating condition.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is doing night paving work associated with a reconstruction project at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and the U.S. Route 1 Bypass in Portsmouth.  The work is scheduled for Sunday through Thursday, Aug. 14, from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.  The department says drivers traveling through the work zone during these time periods should anticipate traffic shifts and possible alternating traffic during overnight hours.  Uniformed officers and flaggers will guide motorists through the work zone.

Voters in Bedford will decide next week whether to pass a $30 million bond to pay for a backlog of road improvements.

rob.ewart / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement has long pointed out that when it comes to our infrastructure, we’re not doing too well. Nearly 40% of the state’s roads are considered in poor condition, and almost one hundred and fifty bridges are red listed. Although Clement remains ‘revenue agnostic’ over where the funding comes from, others have a clear idea: raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in New Hampshire in over twenty years.  Supporters say this would be the most comprehensive and fair solution.

Department of Safety Road Toll Bureau

A year after failing to agree on how to pay for a long list of road and bridge improvements, lawmakers will take another shot at bolstering the state’s chronically underfunded infrastructure this session.

Several bills are on the table, including one that would channel proceeds from a casino into the state’s highway fund.

nh.gov/dot

A lot of government officials like to speak up about what they’ve accomplished, but our guest today, Christopher Clement, has been speaking up for what he has not been able to do. For the last two and a half years, Clement has served as New Hampshire’s Transportation commissioner, and during that time he’s expressed his frustration over numbers that he says speak for themselves. The department is paving 200 fewer miles of roads each year, there are 145 “red-listed” bridges and nearly 40% of our roads are considered in poor condition.

NHDOT

As discussed on The Exchange this morning, the state legislature is gearing up once again for a debate about raising the gas tax. One big issue behind the debate is the deteriorating state of New Hampshire's roads.

Here is a look back at some reporting on the issue by Emily Corwin last spring, including this video explainer, and below, five reasons our roads are deteriorating.

    

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses discussion in the Statehouse about expanded gambling and lack of funds for highway projects, as well as Republican Bob Smith, a former U.S. Senator, declaring his candidacy for his old seat.

As lawmakers consider raising the state's gas tax, you may be wondering: are New Hampshire's roads getting worse? Why are they getting harder to pay for? And, does it really matter if we have a few more potholes?

NHPR's newsroom answers those questions in this animation:

Emily Corwin / NHPR

 We want you to send us pictures of the worst roads you have to drive on

Heavy Snow Causing Hazardous Roads

Mar 1, 2012

After a mild winter with little snow, New Hampshire is being hit with a late-season storm.

The National Weather Service says up to a foot of snow is expected in some areas by this evening.    

There are more than 200 closings, although most schools are closed due to winter break.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation says drivers should take extra precautions.

The state commissioner of transportation warns that if the federal government moves ahead with a plan to cut $40 million of New Hampshire’s yearly highway funds—the completion of I-93 will be placed on hold, indefinitely.  One portion that remains unfinished is exit 3 near Windham.

Many businesses there say the uncertainty of I-93’s future is hurting the local economy.