Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
May 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Bike route from DHMC to Hanover proposed

A bicycle route from Hanover to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center may soon be under construction if the town's legislature accepts a committee's proposal early next week.

The committee, charged in 1997 with developing a plan to promote an alternative to automobiles, will finalize the proposal today and present it to the town on Monday.

The bike route will start at the corner of the Dartmouth Food Co-Op, and end at the DHMC, according to Dr. William Young, the Recreation Department representative to the committee. It will follow Route 120, as the brake-down lane of the highway will be transformed into a bicycle lane.

Upon reaching the DHMC, commuters will have two choices: either to go directly to the medical center, or to go to David's House, where the bicycle lane would merge with another bike lane being constructed by the city of Lebanon.

The committee is also considering a proposal to construct a bicycle shelter near David's House, Young said.

Young said that he expects construction-related problems to be minimal. "There's work needed in some areas, such as re-painting the lines or reconstructing parts of the road, but I really don't expect any traffic jams," he said.

The effect on the environment will also be minimal, as there will not be a need for constructing a road through the undeveloped areas surrounding Hanover, Young said.

Young is also optimistic about the number of people who would use the lane.

"There's already a modest amount of traffic between the DHMC and the town of Hanover. We're hoping that the combination of increased safety and the installation of bicycle carriers in Advanced Transit buses will encourage more people to use the bicycle route," he said.

The proposal to construct a bicycle lane came under much controversy when it was first introduced more than two years ago.

The town of Hanover and the State received a grant of $290,000 from the Federal Government to construct from scratch a road between the town of Hanover and the DHMC. The original plan, however, was abandoned because it cut through too much of the surrounding wilderness, and because the terrain was too steep for the road to be of use.

Town Manager Julia Griffin asked that a committee of about 12 people be formed to discuss the ways a bicycle lane could be created without impacting the environment.

Young also indicated that although the route is primarily for bicyclists, skateboarders, inline skaters and casual walkers will not be prohibited from using it.