LACONIA — The City Council will consider a proposal to to erect signage designating Court Street and Union Avenue, from one end of the city to the other, as Business U.S. Rte. 3 when it meets Monday night.
Earlier this year Charlie St. Clair, who has sought to add the signage since the 1990s, renewed his effort by reminding the council that prior to the construction of the U.S. Rte. 3 and N.H. Rte. 11 Bypass this stretch of roadway was designated as Route 3 but since has been designated as N.H. Route 11-A and N.H. Route 107. He contends that visitors unfamiliar with the area would be more likely to travel into the city knowing that they would ultimately be routed back to U.S. Rte. 3. Motorists are directed to business route in other parts of the country and the state, he said, particularly where bypasses circumventing downtowns have been constructed.
St. Clair and others have noted that Google Maps still refers to Court Street and Union Ave. as Business Rte. 3.
Authority over signage within the so-called "urban compact zone", the area where the city maintains, manages and polices state highways, rests with the city. However, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) has jurisdiction at the beginning of the bypass on Rte. 3 in Belmont and at the junction of Rte. 3 and Rte. 107.
The signs would be erected at seven locations along the corridor defined by Court Street and Union Avenue between the Belmont town line near the entrance to the bypass to the east and McInyre Circle, where Union Avenue, Lake Street and Lakeshore Road intersect at the Gilford town line, to the north. Signs would be erected at the east end of Court Street, the Court Street Main Street intersection, the intersections of Union Avenue with Church Street, Gilford Avenue, Messer Street and Elm Street and at McIntyre Circle.
Paul Moynihan, director of public works, has recommended that 13 Business Rte 3 signs, 13 black and white arrows, 12 north-south signs and 13 sign posts will be required to mark the route at an estimated cost of $3,315. In addition, Moynihan estimated the cost of erecting the signs at $1,200, bringing the total cost of the project to $4,515.
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