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Slowly is the only way you can travel through Vermont and New Hampshire

2012-11-26T12:23:00Z Slowly is the only way you can travel through Vermont and New Hampshire Glens Falls Post-Star
November 26, 2012 12:23 pm

Driving from Glens Falls to Nashua, N.H. and back over the weekend for a hockey tournament gave me further occasion to reflect on the lack of east-west roads in New Hampshire and Vermont, the maddening tendency of the drivers in those states to putter along at well below the speed limit, and the odd state of those states as two separate entities. Essentially a rectangle split into two long triangles, the states seem a natural unit, in geography and temperament. Why isn't it one state? Perhaps if it were, the leaders of the new state (Vershire?) could see their way to building a couple of east-west highways. As it is, if you're going east from Glens Falls into those quaint states, your choices are 1) Drive on winding country roads through charming hamlets behind drivers with nowhere to go and nothing better to do than amble along at 30 mph in a 45 zone; or 2) Shoot up about 100 miles north of your destination, then swoop back down on 89 and 93 (what we did), driving far out of your way just so you can go at a reasonable speed. Each method will get you where you're going in about the same amount of time, although the long highway route is better for your blood pressure than the alternative. If the states' departments of tourism wants to boost business, they should set minimum speed limits for their roads, arresting and tossing in prison anyone found chronically going 10 mph or more too slow. With the slowpokes off the road, the states will seem much more welcoming to visitors who have moved on from horse-and-buggy days.

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(7) Comments

  1. kate
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    kate - November 27, 2012 1:30 pm
    As are the speed limit signs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts merely suggestive (I lived in NH for 18 years before relocating back to this area)...
  2. 4cents
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    4cents - November 27, 2012 8:21 am
    VT's yellow lines, like our yellow road signs here, are merely suggestive.
  3. Paddlerbob
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    Paddlerbob - November 26, 2012 4:13 pm
    Does that mean you wont be coming back? If you do come back, make sure its foliage season so we can follow you as you "brake for colorful leaves and craft fairs" to make our simple commute long and painful.
  4. Will Doolittle Staff
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    Will Doolittle - November 26, 2012 3:22 pm
    I've heard that before about the double yellow. But then why does Vermont have the yellow lines, if the broken yellow doesn't denote a passing zone?
  5. Sceptical Mass
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    Sceptical Mass - November 26, 2012 3:21 pm
    Hockey trips! There's something I haven't thought of in a while. Thank's for the memory jog.

    I take it that it was a tough ride for you over to White River Junction....quiet music and pleasant conversation tends to make it a nice trip compared to the white-knuckle steering wheel gripping exercise in frustration, which I'm guessing culminated in some stressed-out grousing.

    Haven't you figured out yet, after all these years, that uptight parents create uptight hockey players, especially when they fail to budget enough time to get the kids to the rink early enough for the player to mentally prepare for the game?

    Take some extra time and budget a few stops along the way to break the trip into legs. It always worked for us.
  6. brian
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    brian - November 26, 2012 2:58 pm
    The whole appeal of Vermont is precisely that it’s different from the rest of the increasingly homogenized country. I doubt that they are going to re-do their entire infrastructure for the convenience of outsiders who are passing through but not stopping, nor should they.
  7. 4cents
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    4cents - November 26, 2012 2:40 pm
    "...they should set minimum speed limits.." - Ya can't get thar from here! I'm sure they're just itchin' to adopt the everybody's in-a-hurry flatlander lifestyle. Not everyone needs to get there in a New York minute. Who really has the problem? Home court wins that question. But yeah, this New Yawker feels for you and has been known to cringe when I see a green plater in front of me. I know I'm in for a slow ride and won't be seeing any turn signal usage. However, if you must be in a hurry, in Vermont it's legal to pass on a double-yellow line; something New York should adopt seeing how everytime a road is repaved/repainted here, the passing zones disappear (isn't this a case of changing the law without legislation?).

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