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Ivy covered sound walls on Louise?

Council says no to eliminating left turns

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Ivy covered sound walls on Louise?

Sound walls along a two-mile stretch could have segments covered with ivy.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED August 22, 2013 1:51 a.m.

The Manteca City Council would prefer a two-mile stretch of Louise Avenue become as creepy as possible by allowing ivy to spread across sound walls.

To accomplish that municipal staff will trim back plans to create tree-line medians between Airport Way and Main Street. That will allow them to funnel some of the $900,000 in federal roadway beautification grant funds into breaking up the existing sidewalk with landscaping.

That would mean taking out concrete along sections of sound walls, installing irrigation and planting ivy. Staff also was given direction to work on a design that adds more trees along the curb. They could even take out large swaths of sidewalk to create curbside planting strips for shrubs in a bid to soften the harsh look of the Louise Avenue corridor.

Several council members noted ivy would also reduce the spread of sound wall graffiti.

The council made it clear they didn’t want medians impeding left turn movements whether it is at intersections, commercial property yet to be developed or entrances to a church or the East Union Cemetery. Instead of having 3,100 linear feet of tree-lined medians added representing about 60 percent of the two-mile stretch, the project will be designed with 1,350 linear feet of medians. That is equivalent of about a quarter of the corridor.

The money not spent on the medians would then be directed toward making landscape improvements between the sound walls and the curb.

Neighbors made a strong case against medians blocking left turns noting it would force traffic down other streets to reach intersections where they could make left turns. Also it was noted the banishing of left turns would send commercial truck traffic trying to reach retail concerns down residential streets.

Once a design is developed, staff will provide the council with an annual maintenance cost estimate. It will then be brought back to the City Council to decide whether to proceed or to scrap the landscaping project.

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