View Mobile Site

Detractors say $30K crosswalk not warranted

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED November 25, 2013 11:55 p.m.

Not everyone thinks spending $30,000 for a “high visibility” crosswalk on Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive is a wise move.

Three people went on the record against the crosswalk at last week’s Manteca City Council meeting. Each noted traffic studies conducted by a consultant based on state standards made it clear the crosswalk wasn’t justified.

Richard Hanson questioned why the council bothered to spend the $7,000 on a consultant if they weren’t going to follow the conclusions he reached by applying state standards needed to warrant a crosswalk. Those standards — once they are met — reduce a jurisdiction’s liability in the event a mishap happens because of the crosswalk.

Increasing the city’s exposure by moving forward with “an unwarranted” crosswalk was also a concern of Leonard Smith.

The council, which gave its tentative blessing to a crosswalk some 30 months ago when pressed by a group of nearby residents who signed a petition, voted 4-1 to finally put the crosswalk in place. Mayor Willie Weatherford dissented.

The consultant noted during two-hour periods less than  40 pedestrians crossed 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.

There also have been no accidents at the crossing. In addition the just completed city speed survey needed under state law for radar enforcement indicated people were sticking close to the posted speed limit.

Back in 2011 nearly 90 parents concerned about their children’s safety going to and from school as well as generally accessing the park signed a petition asking for a crosswalk. 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 current budget includes $150,000 set aside for the Woodward Avenue crosswalk and a second one on Atherton Drive at Wellington Avenue. The council last month rejected a suggestion to place a crosswalk at Atherton and Wellington.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...