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3 times cars ended up in her front yard

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POSTED September 18, 2013 2:08 a.m.

Three times in 29 years out-of-control cars have ended up in Vicky Martin’s front yard taking out brickwork around a lamppost near the sidewalk.

Her home in the 900 block of East Alameda is just two doors away from North Powers Avenue. It is where Alameda Street intersects Powers in two separate locations as de facto T-intersections. Martin lives on the Alameda Street segment that T-intersects Powers on a curve. It is apparent speeding vehicles turning eastbound onto Alameda Street from southbound Powers are the cause.Two of the three times the drivers did not have insurance. As a result, the Martin family has seen a jump in their homeowner’s insurance. That is why the last time their property was damaged they paid for the repairs themselves.

Martin has been in contact with city staff but hasn’t seen any solution proposed. So on Tuesday she took her concerns to the Manteca City Council.

Mayor Willie Weatherford agreed that the city should see if something can be done to improve the situation.

The mayor — who is also a retired Manteca Police chief — noted that the design of Powers Avenue has posed problems for 50 years when it comes to traffic.

Built in the early 1960s, the conventional wisdom at the time viewed curvy streets as a way of slowing down traffic. At the time it was constructed, Powers Avenue dead-ended short of what is now Edison Street. The first year that Shasta School was opened, students had to walk along a dirt extension road until Powers Avenue was extended north.

The city at the time did not view Powers Avenue as a collector street that would have a significantly higher traffic count than on other neighborhood streets.

Over the years, residents on Powers Avenue have complained about their vehicles parked on the street getting hit as well as cars sometimes going into yards.

The result about 10 years ago was the placement of a series of zigzag lines in the middle of travel lanes at the most severe curve on Powers between Alameda Street and Aldwina Lane. That minor pavement marking appears to have improved the situation although cars can still be seen driving close to the curb on the inside of the curves when there aren’t cars parked there.

Staff is expected to look at the situation and determine if there are any ways to reduce the likelihood of traffic from taking the turn from southbound Powers to eastbound Alameda too fast.

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