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Decision on 2 crosswalks delayed again; may cost $150K
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Councilman Vince Hernandez is seen as the elected leader with the most weight when it comes to whether Manteca will finally proceed with a crosswalk the council first promised to Woodward Park area neighborhood residents 26 months ago.

The City Council last week delayed a decision on whether to finally proceed with a crosswalk across Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive and a second crosswalk across Atherton Drive at Wellington Avenue.  That’s because Hernandez who Mayor Willie Weatherford described as the “point man” on the crosswalk request wasn’t able to attend the meeting. They will take it up at the Tuesday, July 16, council meeting.

A traffic consultant retained by the city indicated conditions do not warrant a crosswalks at either location. That is based on standards established by various government agencies and pedestrian volume as well as accident reports.

Staff, though, has developed a $150,000 improvement option if the council opts to proceed with the crosswalks.

The cost is high as it is designed to maximize safety by placing a pedestrian refuge —  a raised median — in the center of Woodward Avenue in addition to the striping of the crosswalk.

The traffic consultant’s report also shows that the preliminary speed data required for the city to continue using radar shows speeds on Woodward Avenue will not be increased beyond the posted 45 mph from Van Ryn Road to South Main Street. However, if the city wants to continue using radar for traffic enforcement on Atherton Drive between Moffat Boulevard to South Main Street it will have to raise the speed limit from  the posted 35 mph to 45 mph. That stretch includes the bike path crossing at Wellington Avenue.

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. Parents circulated a petition and presented it to the council.

The council in April 2011 voted for a crosswalk for Woodward at Buena Vista.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail