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New 'roundabout' a typical DPW fiscal and engineering disaster
Grasmere General Store hurt the most
December 8, 2006

Anyone who has driven through the DPW's most recent engineering marvel in Grasmere over the last few days must certainly be scratching their heads. 

The center of this disastrous effort consists of a raised and bordered section that any vehicle larger than a Volkswagen cannot traverse without riding up on top of.  DPW's plans call for digging up this middle section again next spring (and spending more of our money) to "beautify" the center of the circle.  And the asphalt curbs installed a few days ago are also apparently temporary, and also to be replaced in the spring (also at additional cost to the taxpayers).

But the most asinine aspect of this entire farce were the temporary curbs that were installed a few days ago that all but completely blocked access to the Grasmere General Store.

On Wednesday, we entered the new circle from the west.  As we 'rounded' our way 'about' the "roundabout" and attempted to access the store's parking lot, we spied a single, narrow opening in the new curbing - the ONLY INLET available to the store.  In order to enter, we were forced to come to a complete stop (prompting the vehicle behind us that had just entered the circle behind us from the east to slam on their brakes) to make a 90-degree turn, with our right-rear wheel climbing over the new, temporary asphalt curbing to get into the store's parking lot.

It was only after owners Imtiaz & Fizza Saeed complained to the DPW yesterday that a portion of the newly-installed curbing was removed and the entrance to the store was widened.  Great planning, and more wasted taxpayer money.

It gets better.

The Grasmere General Store, a family-owned business, has already suffered huge losses over the weeks during construction of the circle - business was off by over 70% during that time according to one spokesman for the store.  Worse, the Saeeds said they were originally promised by DPW that the curbs in front of their store would only be an inch or two tall, allowing patrons - as well as delivery vehicles - easy access to their store.

As it was first installed, the only access to the Saeed's store was by negotiating a 90-degree turn in the middle of the circle and climbing over the asphalt curbing.  How delivery vehicles would have gained access is a total mystery.  

And exiting the store?  There is no safe way to pull out at the end of the parking lot and turn left to re-enter the circle.  When leaving, patrons must negotiate their way around any other vehicles in the lot and head west down Center Street.  If their original destination was to head east, or down Henry Bridge Drive, they would now have to continue west on Center Street until they find a driveway or road in which to pull in, stop, turn around and head back east on Center Street to traverse the circle again.

Let's hope they're not towing a boat or snowmobile trailer.

Kudos to DPW head Carl Quiram for another magnificent design - and waste of taxpayer money.  This, of course, is the same Carl Quiram who is insisting that the reclamation of Snook Road be outsourced at a cost of $1.2M rather than save taxpayers $800,000 - that's right, $800,000 - by doing the work in-house, because he doesn't want to put the project off a year.  One year = $800,000 savings.  Sounds like a no-brainer to us ...

But then again, it's not Carl's money.

Goffstown taxpayers are used to taking it in the shorts from DPW.  But in this case, wasting $400K+ of our money for a useless, bungled "roundabout" project is nothing compared to the financial burden this brilliant plan has slapped on the Grasmere General Store and the Saeed family.

Goffstown's taxpayers should be screaming over this one ...



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Copyrightę 2006 Goffstown Residents Association.  All Rights Reserved.


Copyrightę 2006, Goffstown Residents Association.  All Rights Reserved.