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Grimy downtown crosswalks; unsafe Lathrop Road driving

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Grimy downtown crosswalks; unsafe Lathrop Road driving

What the pavers in downtown crosswalks look like today, left photo, and what they looked like 15 years ago when they were installed, right photo, at the same time as crosswalk pavers.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED May 15, 2017 12:34 a.m.

Manteca taxpayers through the redevelopment agency paid in excess of $3 million 15 years ago for downtown upgrades.

Those upgrades included Tidewater-style street lights and traffic signals, street furnishings that include benches and trash cans, trees, two mini-plazas and trees.

Ten years ago when pigeons were splattering the traffic signal arms on Main Street at the Center Street and Yosemite avenue intersections got so bad that they were turning white, merchants nagged the city for months to do something as it looked as disgusting and uninviting as it sounds.

Finally the city power washed the pigeon droppings off of the black signal arms.

Nothing is as uninviting when you’re trying to put the best foot forward in downtown as highly visual pigeon poop unless its grimy pavers in crosswalks and in the sidewalks.

They have never been power washed.

Yes, there has been a drought on for four years but let’s not forget the city allowed Big League Dreams to power wash the municipal-owned sports park during that time because built up grime and things such as gum sets a tone that isn’t exactly inviting for people.

Manteca has never power washed the pavers placed at great cost in the sidewalks and crosswalks and it shows. Now that the drought is over maybe, just maybe, someone in charge of the city will have the pavers power washed once a year. Can you imagine the owners of Orchard Valley or the Stadium Retail Center allowing their retail property to get that grimy?

And while you’re at it since $3 million was a lot of dough, why hasn’t the city replaced street trees that have been destroyed over the course of the years along Yosemite Avenue.

You can talk all you want about big ideas for downtown but first the city needs to maintain what it has already put in place.


Many drivers don’t

stop as law requires

for school buses

along Lathrop Road

 Resident living along — and near Lathrop Road — are getting frustrated.

They have been harping on school bus safety and what they contend are illegal truck movements to the cities of Manteca and Lathrop along with their respective police departments and California Highway Patrol but with little progress.

Last week several volunteers staked out various school bus stops along Lathrop Road armed with smartphone cameras as well as old-fashioned pen and paper to document red flashing light violations on one day.

California law requires motorists to stop if a s school bus is stopped and is displaying flashing and alternating red lights from either direction (approaching from the back or front) until such time as the red lights are turned off.

There were 30 spots monitored in one day. 

The results they came up were as follows:

u33 front and 68 rear violations in the morning

u3 front and 2 rear violations at mid-day that is general kindergarten students

u48 front and 41 rear violations in the afternoon.

u3 front and 6 rear violations in the afternoon when the driver provided an escort to help a child across Lathrop Road.

That’s 204 violations based on the observations the volunteers made.

Volunteers indicated the CHP at one point sent a unit out recently but they reported no violations

Adriana Lopez also snapped photos of a STAA truck making a U-turn on Lathrop Road near Woodfield Park apparently after failing to see the signs the city posted that indicated the only authorized STAA route was on Harlan Road.

Another took pictures of a STAA truck that got into a fender bender on Lathrop Road.

STAA trucks are longer than other trucks that use truck routes in California. They can only be legally used on designated routes that have the proper turn radiuses so trucks don’t go up on sidewalks making right turns or crowd cars making left turns.


Less cops versus

fewer cops

A thank-you goes out to readers Judy Inlow and Wendy Walker L’Herault for catching a big grammatical error in a headline in a front page story of the Manteca Bulletin on May 6 regarding Manteca Police staffing failing to keep up with the city’s population growth.

As they noted the headline should have read:  ‘”More people, fewer cops” and not “More people, less cops.”

Less is used for singular mass nouns while fewer is employed only when comparing things

The story noted Manteca had 73 police officers and 30 support personnel serving a population of 65,076 residents in 2007.

Ten years later in 2016 Manteca had 65 police officers and 29 support personnel serving 73,841 residents in 2016.

That translates into 8,756 more residents and 8 fewer officers.

Police handled 38,753 calls in 2017 compared to 42,717.

The data was gleaned from the Comprehensive Annual Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 that was issued last month by Manteca’s Finance Department.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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