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Manteca council has opportunity to improve safety

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POSTED March 2, 2009 4:13 a.m.
Are you a daredevil?
Do near misses excite you?
Is it your firm belief the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to make left turns at will across a busy commercial block with 15 driveways to a number of high traffic attractions?
In that case, you want to make sure the pending repaving of East Yosemite Avenue between Commerce Drive and Cottage Avenue goes forward in the coming year without the City Council directing staff to include a few concrete barriers in the design.
The same council that said enough was enough and directed staff to make Maple Avenue one-way street several years ago needs to step up and say the same thing about this stretch of motoring mayhem.
There have been more than a few traffic accidents along this lovely stretch. The bean counters probably say they’re not high enough to justify a bit of concrete here and there but it’s not from want of trying.
Here are a few things the Manteca City Council should consider about this nice little stretch of East Yosemite Avenue:
•The justification to put a raised concrete curb along the left turn pocket for westbound traffic on Yosemite heading to Spreckels Avenue.
Traffic has picked up substantially at peak times turning left onto Spreckels. That creates a problem when there are people blocking the queue who want to turn left into the Chevron station. That aside, there are still too many people ignoring the no left turn signs out of Chevron and the Kentucky Fried Chicken access across the street. It creates all sorts of wonderful problems with Chevron illegally left turners getting surprises by those turning right on a legal green off of Spreckels to Yosemite. It is also fairly common to see people illegally turning left out of KFC to travel a ways against traffic flow in the westbound lanes of Yosemite Avenue to get around traffic sitting while waiting to turn left on to Spreckels.
The city required Walgreens to install such a raised curb near Main Street west on Louise Avenue to block turns into Orchard Supply Hardware and Walgreens to avoid what happens daily on East Yosemite Avenue.
Chevron-bound traffic can turn into the Applebee’s/Jack-n-Box driveway or turn onto Spreckels and then turn at Historic Plaza Way.
•Put an “S” concrete curbing in the center divider to allow left turns into McDonald’s on the north side of the street and left turns into Applebee’s on the south side of the street.
A do-see-do scramble is fine for square dancing but a bit insane when people are steering a ton or so of steel at each other. It also would eliminate the left turn out of McDonald’s conflicting with the left turn into McDonald’s. And while the city is at it, someone might want to have McDonald’s trim the overgrown landscaping on the west side of their property on top of the sidewalk that blocks a driver’s view of pedestrians walking from the west  as they exit and also blocks the pedestrian view of the vehicle exiting. Gee, doesn’t the city have a rule against any fencing or shrubs higher than three feet within six feet of a sidewalk? Just like unimpeded left turn movements, the philosophy must be not to enforce ordinances or use logic unless carnage occurs first.
•Install a raised curbing along the left turn lane from eastbound Yosemite onto Northwoods Avenue to block the entrance to the Beacon (formerly Exxon) station and the first of three access points along Yosemite Avenue to the Big Boy Market shopping center.
Same problems here as at the other end of the stretch except most of the conflicting movements are on the north side of the street.
There are plenty of ways to get in and out of the Big Boy Market and gas station.
Yosemite Avenue is a major entrance to Manteca. Traffic will not get lighter as the years go by.
The median and concrete barrier on Yosemite between Highway 99 and Commerce Drive has eliminated the confusion and accidents – plus the slowing down of traffic – by people trying to get in and out of Best Western as well as the In-n-Out Burger
The council – if they consider smooth traffic movement and safety a priority – could easily instruct staff now to design barrier cubing at strategic locations on East Yosemite Avenue and not slowdown the repaving project when money is available later this year.

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