"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gilford Minimum Road Standards

A reader sent me this link to the Gilford Minimum Road Standards , which I think lays out a good template for other towns, including our own. It is a fairly comprehensive policy, 16 pages long and begins with this introduction: ( bold is mine)

"These standards are established to encourage safe and efficient roads in Gilford while promoting smooth traffic flow and optimum sight distances. They are designed to ensure wise use of municipal revenues for road construction and maintenance and to provide suitable travel for intracommunity and intertown commerce. They are intended to minimize conflict with pedestrians and assist in maintaining quiet residential neighborhoods consistent with Gilford’s rural character.
These standards shall apply to all new street and road construction as well as the upgrading of private ways when same are proposed for acceptance as a public way by the Town. Any road(s) accepted by the Selectmen shall meet or exceed the Gilford Minimum Road Standards in effect at the time of Gilford subdivision approval. If the physical condition of the road(s) has deteriorated before acceptance by the Town, the road(s) must be reconstructed to meet the Gilford Minimum Road Standards in effect at the time of subdivision approval (added 10/3/74 by Board of Selectmen)."

Enforceable and reasonable and I think addresses many of the concerns of the Town as well as citizens.


Anonymous said...

Excellent! Clearly states "new" which is the main sticking point to many of us. Is the board going to adopt a new policy?

Eric Taussig said...

I just looked at the Gilford web site and from what I can glean, first of all this is an ordinance, approved after a public hearing. Second, and most importantly ,it is for public roads Third, it is not retroactive.

Please keep in mind that Moultonborough is unique in the number or roads and mileage that has not been designated as Town accepted roads. Even our Select Board has accepted this fact.

In my view, looking at this Gilford Ordinance and the private road dilemma of Moultonborough is mixing apples and oranges and is not helpful to the many individuals who reside on or own property on what Moultonborough defines as "private roads".

Note, I have not researched whether Gilford has an elected Planning Board and what the structure and division of authority between their Select Board and Planning Boards are, nor what sort of Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations Gilford may have, all relevant issues.

In my view, the Moultonborough private road issues are quite unique and not solved by broad brush comparisons with Town Ordinances such as Gilford's

Moultonboro Blogger said...

I don't see it that way Eric. There are very useful pieces of the Gilford standards that could be incorporated into a new BoS policy that would not be retroactive and not impact private road plowing. I did not mean to suggest it was a word for word copy and paste, but I strongly suspect the board will want to revisit this in the very near future. It is always useful to see how other towns handle similar issues.
You may recall last year that the road next to Aubuchon was in question as to whether it was a private road or town road and there was no documentation to be found. It was one of probably many that were anecdotally passed down over the years.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

To the hater out there: you are a coward. Please feel free to tell me to my face what you wrote " anonymously."

Anonymous said...

If the town is going to continue illegally plowing private roads, shouldn't there be some minimum standards for those roads. The planning board has jurisdiction over proposed roads, but could someone tell me since Policy 2 was abolished, does the town have an recommendations or standards for EXISTING PRIVATE roads or can they now be cow paths? (The really old ones like RO. Brown Road) It amazes me that this knowingly illegal practice has gone on for so long and the town still does it, especially for the communities that have signs telling non members to stay out. Everyone wants to look the other way because it benefits them, but there is complete disregard for the towns liability. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen, either from a citizen who feels their taxes are being used illegally, someone who gets hurt maintaining a private road, or someone hurt on a road that was illegally and improperly maintained. Moultonborough seems to have a ridiculous habit of clinging to the past. Maybe we should really put the town in jeopardy and go back to plowing driveways too.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how the expectation of having your road plowed is clinging to the past? Liability was mentioned. What do you think the liability would be if there was a death because an emergency vehicle couldn't reach the victim due to an unplowed road. What is the exact total of town versus private roads? Anywhere from 167 miles in a NHSC case to 200 miles has been mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:56. I don't think there is any question that all the roads should be plowed. The questions are who should be paying for plowing private roads and is it legal for the town to do so with taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer by any means but have read in several Supreme Cuurt cases, both State and Federal, the judges question the intent of the law. Do you think our legislators intent was to deny the residents of some roads plowing services by the town? The town is not maintaining the roads. It is simply providing access for emergency services if needed. Why does the town plow the Neck Road when it is State property. I am sure there are other State Roads plowed by the town. Perhaps that should stop, as well.