Manteca plans on applying for Measure K sales tax funds to help build what is arguably the most ambitious project ever undertaken in Manteca to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety.
The project involves building a separate bridge crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists across the 120 Bypass at Union Road.
None of the three bridges across the 120 Bypass — Main Street, Union Road, or Airport Way — have sidewalks or any barriers separating pedestrians from traffic such as on the new 11th Street bridge under construction across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Tracy.
Eight years ago when budget cuts forced school districts from throughout the state to cut back on home-to-school transportation, bus service to Sierra High from south of the 120 Bypass was eliminated. It has resulted in hundreds of teens daily crossing Union Road and Airport Way bridges that also lack fencing as is now standard for pedestrian safety on bridges crossing freeways.
When the 120 Bypass was built in the early 1980s, there was no development south of the freeway. Ramps weren’t added to Union Road until 1995.
The City Council in advancing the diverging diamond design for the Union Road interchange upgrade expected to get underway in 2018, were concerned the design that calls for traffic to switch sides twice in order to improve traffic flow by eliminating the need for some traffic signals would make it even more treacherous for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Given that the design would save a significant amount of money compared to a partial cloverleaf interchange and the council’s commitment to enhance pedestrian safety after three deaths in an 18 month period prior to making their decision, the council opted for a separate crossing for bicyclists and pedestrians.
City Manager Tim Ogden noted Manteca is also applying for Measure K funds for three other projects:
uSolid green bike lanes for the Main Street pavement improvement project from Atherton Drive to Center Street.
uSolid green bike lanes for the Yosemite Avenue pavement improvement project from Cottage Avenue to Main Street.
uDevelopment of a non-motorized transportation plan for the city.
There is $19.8 million of Measure K funds available for local municipalities to assist with specific projects involving Bicycle, Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School program. The grant applications are due Dec. 15 for the fund administered by the San Joaquin Council of Governments.
Measure K funds are collected through the countywide half cent sales tax to help pay for transportation projects.
Manteca in the past has received Measure K funding for the Tidewater Bikeway, to help extend Industrial Park Drive to Moffat Boulevard, to build the Manteca Transit Center, as well as annual funds for pavement maintenance among other projects.
In additional an advance loan to Caltrans from Measure K allowed the 120 Bypass to be widened to four lanes from three lanes in the late 1990s some eight years ahead of schedule. Measure K funds also secured Proposition 1B bond money to widen Highway 99 from the Cross-town Freeway in Stockton to Yosemite Avenue in Manteca as well as replace the Lathrop Road and French Camp Road interchanges.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com