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City deploying much maligned bulb-outs in neighborhoods

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POSTED November 3, 2013 11:41 p.m.

Bulb-outs —the much maligned traffic control devices that do double duty in downtown Manteca as planters — are coming to a neighborhood near you.

Three intersections in the proposed Copper Cove neighborhood on the northeast quadrant of the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 interchange will have bulb-outs. They are designed to “squeeze” the street to slow down traffic as well as to make crossing the street safer for pedestrians by reducing the distance from curb to curb.

Unlike the downtown bulb-outs on Main Street and Maple Avenue that are primarily located between intersections to break up parking, the neighborhood bulb-outs will all be located at intersections much like they are on Yosemite Avenue

It is just one of the two new passive speed reduction and pedestrian safety features Manteca is requiring of all new neighborhoods. The other is roundabouts. Copper Cove will contain two roundabouts.

The downtown bulb-outs have been criticized for reducing parking as well as being involved in a number of incidents where vehicles have brushed against or jumped the curbing around the bulb-outs.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday will consider approving the 342-lot neighborhood dubbed Copper Cove planned on 61.7 acres as part of the Yosemite Square project. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Yosemite Square was originally rolled out in 2007 with a large chunk of the project targeted for multiple office buildings. But the changing economy plus market shifts prompted a remake of Yosemite Square. The end result was a switch from office uses to primarily residential uses — from single family homes to apartments — as well as a 30-acre portion right on top of the 120 Bypass to northbound Highway 99 ramp that is designated as a business park.

Two access points from Austin Road – Red Rock Drive and Cactus Street — will serve the new neighborhood.

The neighborhood will be served by the new Austin Road water main just completed connecting the main line from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District surface water system to a water tank now under construction on Atherton Drive at Woodward Avenue.

Bill Filios is the managing partner of Yosemite Square Business Park.

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