With its active business district, views of Mt. Monadnock, and historic architecture, Jaffrey represents much of what it means to live in New Hampshire. The problem, however, is the “dog-leg” configuration of the two closely spaced traffic signal-controlled intersections at US Route 202 (Main Street) that causes needless congestion, hampers truck turns, and makes pedestrian and bicycle mobility difficult and potentially hazardous. To mitigate these problems, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), in partnership with the Town of Jaffrey, worked with VHB to address the traffic congestion and safety-related deficiencies, while enhancing pedestrian mobility and supporting the quality of life and economic vitality of Jaffrey’s downtown.
Following the evaluation of several alternative solutions, working closely with town staff, area residents, and downtown business leaders, VHB recommended a plan that called for the construction of two modern roundabouts and a bridge crossing of the Contoocook River south of Main Street. VHB’s Unmanned Aerial System team collected origin/destination data electronically using drone technology and orchestrated an innovative roundabout demonstration, attesting to the success of the new design. The configuration improves the continuity of the regional highway system by eliminating the US Route 202 “dog-leg” intersections while enhancing pedestrian safety by widening sidewalks, reducing the length of crosswalks, improving pedestrian connectivity to the river, and by calming traffic with the placement of two roundabouts that will serve as gateways to the downtown.