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March 20, 2014

N.H. House OKs video upgrade for park-and-ride lots

Lawmakers also uphold funding status for I-93

CONCORD — The New Hampshire House on a voice vote yesterday passed a bill providing for high-resolution video surveillance at highway park-and-ride lots.

Rep. John Graham, R-Bedford, in a written report to the House from the Public Works and Highways Committee, said House Bill 1250 affects nine state park-and-ride lots with regular transit service, which includes those along Interstate 93.

“This is to safeguard our citizens and their property while on state property,” Graham wrote. “It will afford them the same security we enjoy while parking at the Storrs Street garage.”

The state Department of Transportation supported the bill.

DOT spokesman William Boynton said last month that most lots have video surveillance now, but at low resolution that doesn’t capture perfect images of faces or license plates.

Salem selectmen, in discussing the proposal last month, expressed reservations because of privacy concerns, though Selectman Everett McBride said it should be done to protect people from crime.

Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith also said he supported the bill for the same reason.

Under the amended version of the bill approved by the House, images would only be stored for 24 days.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

The House, meanwhile, passed on a voice vote an amended version of HB 1374, which would study repealing the priority status of widening I-93 under the state’s 10-year transportation plan.

Sponsors wanted repeal now, saying there are other highway funding needs and not enough money to finish I-93 today.

But Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua, chairman of Public Works and Highways, told the House in a written report that repeal was opposed during a public hearing on the bill.

“The committee received overwhelming testimony from the business and tourism industries that I-93 is the ‘main artery’ to New Hampshire’s economy transporting commerce, goods, commuters and tourists to and from the Granite State,” Campbell said.

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