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Manteca ponders $30K crosswalk

Council may deliver on 30-month old promise

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Manteca ponders $30K crosswalk

A girl walking with her younger sibling on the way to school keeps an eye on traffic as she crosses Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED November 15, 2013 11:31 p.m.

How much will a somewhat safer pedestrian crossing of Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive cost?

Try $30,000.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday will decide whether to proceed with a call for a bid for a $30,000 project to “install a high visibility crosswalk and flashing beacon.”

The council directed staff to draft the plans despite spending $7,000 on a consultant who determined standards such as speed and the number of pedestrians along with a non-existent vehicle versus pedestrian accident pattern meant the crosswalk could not be justified.

The consultant noted during two-hour periods less than  40 pedestrians cross Woodward Avenue and most of them were joggers or people who were physically fit who could beat oncoming traffic if necessary. Standards call for at least 40 pedestrians crossing a street within a two-hour period to warrant crosswalks.

The analytic information does not note whether any of those two-hour period involved times when kids were walking to and from Woodward School who have to cross Woodward Avenue. That’s a key point since the petition that included nearly 90 names originally circulated back in 2011 that prompted the council to give its tentative OK for a crosswalk was done so by parents concerned about their children’s safety going to and from school as well as generally accessing the park. Parents first started expressing concerns about the safety of their children crossing Woodward Avenue back in the spring of 2010 when the Manteca Unified School District was forced to drastically cut back on bus service due to the budget crisis. That took Paseo West neighborhood kids off buses and required them to walk to Woodward School.

The Woodward Avenue crosswalk got put on hold after the council said go ahead in April 2011 while the staff looked at traffic and parking as a whole around Woodward Park. Then further staff cutbacks and other more pressing projects requiring action before losing state and federal money took priority. Next the exact design of the crosswalk was delayed until such time the Atherton Drive extension was opened and the city was able to study changes in the traffic patterns.

Then two years after the council said “yes” they made the decision to hire a private traffic consultant to get the ball rolling.

The current budget includes $150,000 set aside for croswalks.

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