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Helping commuters circumvent 120 Bypass via local street is wrong reason

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POSTED June 14, 2017 1:38 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I have to disagree with the facts of your story (“Road mess called shocking: Manteca council exploring reserve loan to build Atherton” — June 9, 2017) and ask if you indeed do a fact check before publishing? I am and have been a Woodward resident for years now. I agree traffic on 120 is horrible. But routing traffic on to an arterial bypass is not the solution.
So first, Councilwoman Debby Morehead states that traffic on Woodward is a mess between Airport & Union. Not true. Living on this side of town, I seldom see more that 2 to 3 cars traveling east at the 4 way stop at Union and Woodward. I can’t see commuters getting off at Airport and dropping down to Woodward to travel a one lane through a residential area where homes face up to the road and traverse two roundabouts and more single lane to get to S. Main street where it widens to a four lane street. Coming home from Costco, I occasionally select this route when I am relaxed and in no hurry. True the Bulletin should investigate who on the council received money from those developers to allow these developments to go in with the homes facing Woodward. I can only imagine the developers telling those in charge that it would allow for a greater tax base with the 10,000-square-foot additional properties? Why the planning commission didn’t stay with the same plan we have from S. Main Street east I don’t know. But that would be a good story to publish.
In essence, what she is stating is let’s build this road (Atherton extension) so travelers can get off the freeway and circumvent their route on a side street?
For the record, I would eventually like to see this extension built. However, for now Atherton goes from Union to Woodward just short of Austin Road and there are ample vacant properties for retail to expand. Let the developers down the road pay for any improvements when that time comes.
Commuters do get off at S. Main Street and detour east on Atherton to the 99 south onramp. This already causes a delay at that intersection during commute hours. But not the congestion stated by Moorhead on Woodward. The only real benefit I see for the Atherton extension is for the residents just west of Airport to have a direct shot to the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.
 
William Helpley
Manteca
Editor’s note: The developers along Woodward — Raymus Homes, etc. — originally asked to build their subdivision, and got city approval, just like the rest of Woodward Avenue with a sound wall backing up to Woodward. City staff came back, however, at the direction of a previous council to abandon plans to make Woodward Avenue from Main Street to McKinley Avenue four lanes just like Woodward Avenue is from Main Street east to Bridewell Avenue. The reasons the council at the time gave to keep that section of Woodward two lanes were threefold: 1)  It would require taking wide swaths of 72 existing homes and bring the roadway almost up to front doors. 2) Since the original plan was adopted, the four-lane Atherton Drive route was adopted a quarter of a mile to the north. 3) A four-lane road would entice speeding through residential neighborhoods.
Staff then came back with the current plan that’s being implemented along Woodward west of Main Street using new homes facing the street, roundabouts and tree-lined medians to slow traffic. The developers agreed to alter their maps at their expense to accommodate the city’s wishes.

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