Belmont mailbox post has become all-to-common target for out-of-control drivers

BELMONT — A man whose granite mailbox post and split-rail fence have been frequently damaged by out-of-control drivers has asked Belmont selectmen to come up with a better way to mark a curve on Union Road so that drivers will slow down when they approach the Horne Road intersection near his home.
Jeff Bowser of 2 Horne Road says that he's lived at the intersection for 27 years and that on an average of once a year his property has been damaged by drivers who were traveling too fast to negotiate the curve in front of his home.
In a letter which selectmen discussed at their Monday meeting, Bowser said that the incidents have increased ever since the town changed the dynamics of the Horne Road-Union Road intersection by removing an island.
''I have suffered four incidents in that timeframe, twice where my granite post mailbox and rock garden were destroyed ($2,800 each), including my lawn being torn up. I have lost three sections of fence which I have paid for in two other separate incidents,'' wrote Bowser.
He said that it appears to him that speeding has increased since the island was removed and has ''only made my property a better target for drunks coming from the local bar rooms.''
Bowser says that he assumes that the drivers of the vehicles were intoxicated as no one has ever stopped after an accident and that in one incident a driver's car ended up on a boulder located some distance from his driveway on a corner lot ''but was kind enough to leave his front plate which the Belmont P.D. was able to use to locate him.''
He noted the police reports of the three most recent incidents, one on Nov. 11, 2012 in which someone drove into his granite post mailbox, snapping it in half, another on June 12, 2013 in which his granite post mailbox was hit and the car went through his fence and into a field before exiting his property on Beane Hill Road and another on December 15, 2013 in which two fence rails were broken when a driver failed to negotiate the turn.
Bowser says that he would like to see an illuminated curve arrow sign or a large reflective sign installed on Union Road that would slow down traffic at the intersection, which he said is simply a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Selectmen discussed the problems at the intersection and plan to try and fund a workable solution which will make drivers more aware of the dangerous curve.

CAPTION: photos slugged mailbox, mailbox 2
The mailbox post at Jeff Bowser's home at the intersection of Union Road and Horne Road in Belmont has twice been destroyed in recent years by drivers who lost control on a sharp curve at the intersection. (Roger Amsden/for the Laconia Daily Sun)