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Thread: PSA from the DOT

  1. #1
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    PSA from the DOT

    2021-2022 Message to Outdoor Enthusiasts
    NHDOT is reminding hikers, ice climbers, skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers and other backcountry users about leaving vehicles on the side of road.

    The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) reminds those planning to explore and enjoy NH this winter to be careful when and where they park their vehicles.

    During the winter the primary objective of the NHDOT maintenance crews is to clear the roadway as quickly and efficiently as possible so that the highway is made passable and safe for all travelers. The NHDOT and contract plow drivers work in all weather conditions and visibility is often low which can create the potential for a collision with roadside objects. Parking on the roadside puts motorists and our operator’s safety at risk. It also creates delays in our snow removal operations due to needed repairs or replacement of the plow equipment.

    Anyone leaving a vehicle unattended on the side of the road, runs the risk of breaking the law and having their vehicle towed away by law enforcement.

    Motorists traveling to the backcountry are encouraged plan ahead and to park in clearly marked and designated parking areas, typically found at the summit of mountain passes and at some trail heads. However, many parking areas available during the spring, summer and fall are not plowed for winter use. Those that are plowed, particularly those maintained by NHDOT, are not plowed during storms. These lots may have a single lane plowed if the lot is used as a plow route turnaround or used as a plow driver rest stop, these lots are plowed as part of storm cleanup during regular work hours, Monday thru Friday.

    NHDOT’S Winter message is OBEY THE LAW:

    NH State law (RSA 262:32) allows for the towing of any vehicle that is "obstructing snow removal or highway maintenance operations." Additionally, residents and visitors are reminded there is no parking at any time along any Interstate highway, including I-93 (Franconia Notch Parkway) in Franconia Notch.

    In the past this issue has arisen in the White Mountain Region where some hikers heading for recreation in the mountains have hindered winter maintenance operations by parking on the side of state roads. With the increase in recreational use, the NHDOT wants to avoid conflicts between parked vehicles and maintenance operations which may adversely impact the recreational experience in the state.

    If a vehicle is encountered which impacts snow removal activities, it is NHDOT’s long-standing policy to call department dispatchers to summon police to the location to check on it. It is at the discretion of police on what action is taken, which may include a ticket or the vehicle being towed.

    I got this as an in house memo, thought I would share here.

  2. #2
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    I wonder how often it occurs that a car is mostly buried by snowfall, then gets demolished by a plow?
    Steve H.
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    Quote Originally Posted by srhigham View Post
    I wonder how often it occurs that a car is mostly buried by snowfall, then gets demolished by a plow?
    Let’s do a group buy of some old minis and park them in strategic spots where they will get buried.

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Wow, someone needs to check their writing before posting. And 'summit of mountain passes' ?

    Aside from that, I've seen cars almost totally buried in snow, usually in 'funny' videos.

    There is also an 'urban legend' that a drunk college student at RPI was struck and killed by a plow one dark and stormy night, and his body was only found when the snow plow pile finally melted out in spring!
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    Wow, someone needs to check their writing before posting. And 'summit of mountain passes' ?
    I don't see anything wrong with this. Many highways that traverse mountain passes have pull outs and information kiosks (and sometimes trailheads) at the highest point of the pass...the summit. See Donner Summit. Teton Pass also has a large parking area at it's summit. I think you see this more so out west, but Kancamagus Pass and it's associated pull out view area comes to mind in the Whites. Of course, we usually call our passes "notches" in the east.

    Sierra, thanks for posting.
    Last edited by maineguy; 12-05-2021 at 01:29 PM.

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    passes. notches. gaps. cols. All names for similar features. If traversed by a road its pretty common to have some sort of infrastructure at the summit. If you've ever ridden a bicycle up one of the big 1,000m+ climbs to a col in the alps you will very much think you have arrived at a summit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    I don't see anything wrong with this. Many highways that traverse mountain passes have pull outs and information kiosks (and sometimes trailheads) at the highest point of the pass...the summit. See Donner Summit. Teton Pass also has a large parking area at it's summit. I think you see this more so out west, but Kancamagus Pass and it's associated pull out view area comes to mind in the Whites. Of course, we usually call our passes "notches" in the east.

    Sierra, thanks for posting.
    Or to use an example that Tom is familiar with, Summit Rock on the South side of Indian Pass.

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    Or to use an example that Tom is familiar with, Summit Rock on the South side of Indian Pass.
    Yeah, but we laugh at that! At best we put it in air quotes.
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Since we "usually" know better, the main idea is to make sure you have a shovel in your car. If a few inches fall during your day hike or a foot or more on your overnight, what is more likely is that you will have a wall of snow between where you are parked and the open road. If on a route they travel fast on & it's a heavy wet snow, (like on the major routes in the whites), windows may break leaving you a snow filled ride home when you did it out.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    One thing that annoys me are the folks who think they can launch/plow their car over a snowbank into an unplowed parking lot and end up high centering the car in the middle of the entrance. NH DOT does plow some lots usually on a clean up run post storm but if there is a car blocking the entrance they cannot do much. Appalachia seems to have this issue on years when we have heavy snow storms.

    Another pet peeve is that many folks are clueless on tow points for their cars. Many new cars and SUVs are all crumple zone for the first foot or so especially out front. There is nothing to attach a rope or tow hook to. My previous Ford fiesta was like that. Many European and Japanese cars have access covers in the body work that will accept a specialized screw in tow adaptor that started out as a way of securing it when it was shipped. These adaptors tend to get lost. A lot of north country folks carry tow ropes and will give someone in trouble a tug but it is not their responsibility to figure out where to tie to. Spend the 5 or 10 minutes in advance of winter adventures reading the owner's manual on tow points and figure out if you need an adaptor.

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    Has anyone got their car towed from the Kanc?

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    One thing that annoys me are the folks who think they can launch/plow their car over a snowbank into an unplowed parking lot and end up high centering the car in the middle of the entrance. NH DOT does plow some lots usually on a clean up run post storm but if there is a car blocking the entrance they cannot do much. Appalachia seems to have this issue on years when we have heavy snow storms.

    Another pet peeve is that many folks are clueless on tow points for their cars. Many new cars and SUVs are all crumple zone for the first foot or so especially out front. There is nothing to attach a rope or tow hook to. My previous Ford fiesta was like that. Many European and Japanese cars have access covers in the body work that will accept a specialized screw in tow adaptor that started out as a way of securing it when it was shipped. These adaptors tend to get lost. A lot of north country folks carry tow ropes and will give someone in trouble a tug but it is not their responsibility to figure out where to tie to. Spend the 5 or 10 minutes in advance of winter adventures reading the owner's manual on tow points and figure out if you need an adaptor.

    Amen. I have a Superduty Ford and carry a tow chain /snap line for myself mostly and or to use on another pickup. I will not attempt to pull out cars stuck due to possible damage. The old days there was plenty of strong tow points. No more.

  13. #13
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remix View Post
    Has anyone got their car towed from the Kanc?
    Only a few times back in the 70’s and 80’s after getting ripped off and a dead battery and one time stolen snow tires.. The poaching rings ran intermittently then and one would have to take their chances. The most memorable as far as the Kanc was after a multi day trip into the Hancocks and Hitchcocks coming out to the hairpin curve and finding my buddy’s station wagon up on blocks.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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