Pease officials improve traffic safety

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affair s
Officials from the New Hampshire Air National Guard and Pease Development Authority recently met to address traffic safety concerns outside the installation's main entrance.

The four-way intersection at Arboretum Drive, New Hampshire Avenue, Newington Road, and Pease Boulevard is currently a two-way stop with stop signs only on the corners of Pease Boulevard and Newington Road.

Safety officials would like to take proactive steps in making this intersection safer for motorists.

"I was expecting the bureaucracy of multiple agencies collaborating to make it difficult to accomplish this quickly, or even at all," said Master Sgt. Jeremiah A. Neault, 157th Air Refueling Wing safety and occupational health manager.  "The entire team collaborated on this safety issue for our Airmen and those who pass through this intersection."

Following a request by the 157th Civil Engineering Squadron, the Pease Development Authority contracted a consultant to conduct a traffic study.

According to Neault, the DOT routinely studies traffic one year after completion of a road construction project in order for traffic to normalize.

The traffic study was conducted in January. In February the results were released and all stakeholders, including the City of Portsmouth, met to discuss those results.

Based on the study, "the intersection warrants a four-way stop" and is awaiting DOT approval according to the 157 CES.

"This decision will make it a safer intersection," said Neault.

At the request of the base, officials will also repaint the crosswalks for better visibility. In addition, a large "STOP AHEAD" will be painted on the road before the intersection to alert drivers. Electronic signs will also be used initially to alert drivers.

Officials say these changes will happen later this spring.

Neault encourages Airmen to be proactive when it comes to safety.

"Don't sit quietly after seeing something dangerous,'" said Neault. "Talk to your unit safety representative, or come talk to me."

He added, "We can't fix it if we don't know it's a problem."

He explained that it's this type of proactive approach that resulted in the changes made to the intersection.

"Every single person that made a phone call to me, that came up to my office, and voiced a concern, that told me a story about them almost getting in an accident -- all that stuff matters," said Neault. "I'm going to listen and do what I can to make this a safer place for each and every Airmen."