Thanks to one of our Newsletter subscribers, here is a link to a website that provides more information about Roundabouts:
Archives for April 2016
For years now, there has been talk in Hampton about re-configuring the way drivers transition between Route 101 and Route 1 North or South. At a recent Public Hearing in Hampton (4/11/16), the Rockingham Planning Commission referenced a planning option that includes creating a “roundabout”. The presenters made a point of distinguishing the configuration from a “rotary”. What’s the difference, and why the big deal? The following is from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):
A roundabout is a type of circular intersection, but is quite unlike a rotary. Roundabouts have been proven safer and more efficient than other types of circular intersections.
Successful roundabouts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are shaped like ovals, teardrops, peanuts or dog bones. Some have as few as three legs and others as many as six. There are small, simple mini-roundabouts, and larger, more complex roundabouts. However, regardless of size, shape, or number of legs, the fundamental and essential characteristics of all roundabouts include:
Counterclockwise Flow. Traffic travels counterclockwise around a center island.
Entry Yield Control. Vehicles entering the roundabout yield to traffic already circulating.
Low Speed. Curvature that results in lower vehicle speeds, generally 15-25 MPH, throughout the roundabout.
Roundabouts are often safer, more efficient, less costly and more aesthetically appealing than conventional intersection designs. The FHWA Office of Safety identified roundabouts as a Proven Safety Countermeasure because of their ability to substantially reduce the types of crashes that result in injury or loss of life. Roundabouts are designed to improve safety for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
Source: Federal Highway Administration http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/
Several discussions about the Collective Bargaining Agreements for the Town and also for the School Districts have mentioned a slightly higher rate of pay increase to make up for the fact that the Unions have agreed to “give backs” on health insurance to avoid the “cadillac tax”. We’ve all heard the term, but what does it mean?
The tax will require employers to pay a 40 percent levy, starting in 2020*, on the amount by which the total costs of health plans exceeds an annual limit of $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family. Although it is not effective for several years, the Town gave the negotiating teams a mandate to reduce the Health Insurance plans to avoid the penalty in the out years.
The Town is far from alone. A survey of Fortune 1000 companies by a top benefits consulting firm, found that the majority of companies indicated that the looming excise tax is having a “moderate” or “significant” influence on benefits decisions.
The Unions represented in Articles 14, 15 and 16 as well as the Teachers’ Union on the School District ballots have agreed to the give-backs and their contracts are for three years. The Fire Unions (Articles 12 and 13) have not yet come to terms with the issue. That’s why they have a one-year agreement, to give everyone time to sort out the health insurance terms.
* Thanks to a commenter for flagging that we had outdated information. The implementation date was changed from 2018 to 2020 last December. This post reflected the new information as of 3/4/16.