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Controversial Main Street concrete planters could be ripped out this year
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Its been a year since the Manteca City Council voted to remove the planter bulbs in the 100 block of North Main Street. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

This month marks the one-year anniversary of a Manteca City Council directive to remove the planter bulbs in the 100 block of North Main Street.
On Tuesday, Mayor Steve DeBrum and Councilman Richard Silverman inquired about the status of the bulb removal project.
They were told by staff that the plans may be done to allow the work to go to bid possibly this summer.
Public Works Director Mark Houghton had advised the council last year when they decided to have the bulbs removed that doing it in conjunction with the major re-pavement project on Main Street from Atherton Drive to Yosemite  Avenue would produce the best results. By doing both projects at once it would minimize traffic disruptions and assure smooth paving from Center Street to Atherton Drive. If they were done separately there would be an obvious overlap in the pavement at the Yosemite Avenue and Main Street intersection.
Sometime after the Main Street work is done, the city expects to move forward with a similar pavement upgrade on Yosemite Avenue from Main Street to Cottage Avenue.
The two paving projects are costing $3.3 million. Manteca has been able to secure a combined $2.4 million in federal funds toward the improvement of Main Street between Yosemite Avenue and Atherton Drive as well as Yosemite Avenue between Main Street and Cottage Avenue. The balance of the tab will be covered by Measure K sales tax and gas tax revenue.
By comparison the work in the 100 block of North Main Street where the bulbs are being removed could cost as much as $1 million. That’s the cost estimate staff gave the council last year. The rest of Main Street from Yosemite Avenue to Atherton Drive will cost $1.8 million.
The council last July hired BKF Engineers to do the necessary design work for the 100 block of North Main for $145,543.
 Funding for the 100 block of North Main is coming from the city’s share of state gas tax that is used to maintain streets. A federal grant is covering the rest of the work on Main Street from Yosemite to Atherton.
The bulb removal is part of a plan to essentially double the capacity of the block to handle southbound traffic by adding a second lane.
When done the block will have:
uNo landscaping bulb-outs left. Originally there were eight but two had been removed since they were all installed in 2005 due to them being struck by numerous motorists turning into the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot and pulling out of the alley next to Manteca Bedquarters.
uNarrower travel lanes at 10 feet wide compared to the current 12 feet. There will be two southbound lanes and one northbound lane.
uMedians will be relocated and made narrower to allow for more vehicles in left turn pockets onto Center Street and East Yosemite Avenue.
uBike lanes on both sides of the street.
uNo on-street parking.
The addition of the bike lanes allows the project to comply with state law that mandates inclusion of non-motorized uses in all street designs.
 The proposed lane configuration and loss of on street parking exceeds what would be considered maintenance activities that are excluded under CEQA because they would result in substantial changes to traffic patterns. That is why an environmental review is required.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email