Bicycling across the 120 Bypass could become safer when the Manteca Bicycle Plan is fully implemented.
The city plans to place separate bicycle lanes protected by a concrete barrier when the bridge decks on Union Road and Main Street crossings of the 120 Bypass are widened. The future McKinley Avenue interchange will also have a separate bicycle path going under the 120 Bypass similar to the one now in place on Van Ryn Road. It is part of a plan to more than triple the number of miles of bike paths in Manteca.
The Manteca Planning Commission will examine the bicycle master plan adopted in 2003 on Tuesday as a precursor to efforts to update it. The commission meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
Several council members have expressed a desire to include separated bicycle paths to access Big League Dreams and the future family entertainment zone to the west that may also include a Great Wolf Resort. They also want to make sure the bike path connecting Manteca with Ripon is kept on the radar as well.
In addition some projects that are moving forward such as CenterPoint in northwest Manteca weren’t anticipated when the bike plan was adopted.
The current plan calls for a separated bicycle path to run along McKinley Avenue between Woodward Avenue and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at which point it will follow the tracks it a point north of Lathrop Road - and south of the CenterPoint project. It ultimately will turn to the east and connect with the separated bike path in Del Webb at Woodbridge that terminates at Airport Way. The proposed southern extension of McKinley Avenue that will swing east to a new interchange eon Highway 99 between Ripon and Manteca was not envisioned back in 2003.
The adopted plan inventoried 5.7 miles of separated bicycle paths (Class I), 20.1 miles of marked bicycle lanes using continuous white stripes (Class II) and 18.3 miles of bicycle lanes indicated occasionally by signs or pavement markings (Class III). The plan proposed 15.0 more miles of Class I bike paths, 33.7 additional miles of Class II bike lanes, and 5.7 miles of more Class III bike lanes.
Since the plan was adopted bicycle paths were added along Atherton Drive in front of the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley as well as in Del Webb at Woodbridge and Union Ranch.
There was a $21.1 million price tag put on completion of the plan. That included $11.2 million for the Class I bike paths, $10.1 million for the Class II bike lanes, and $29,000 for the Class III bike lanes.
Virtually all of the cost will be paid by developers that either build on property adjacent to the proposed bike paths or along roads with the marked bike lanes.
And what isn’t covered by developers, the city is trying to secure other funding sources. For example, the proposed placement of a landscaped median down Louise Avenue from Airport Way to Main Street that could be accomplished this summer with federal funds would include marked bike lanes.
The city for the past 10 years has required developments to include landscaping as well as bike path maintenance as part of landscape maintenance districts put in place for adjoining developments. That way the city won’t have to maintain or replace the pavement on the city’s dime or pay for landscaping upkeep.
Councilman Vince Hernandez back in January 2011 said he would like to see some formal organization - whether it is a non-profit that is formed working with the city or a municipal committee composed of community members - to build upon what bicycle paths are in place. That would include working to extend the network by partnering with “our friends in Ripon and Lathrop”, encouraging more events to utilize the existing paths, and to encourage people to help adopt sections of the bike path system.
Hernandez indicated two years ago that simply having a master plan in place is not enough to keep moving toward implementation. That’s why he expressed interest in exploring the formation of an advocacy group or municipal citizens committee to make sure long range planning isn’t forgotten and to advocate for enhancements and to help secure volunteers for such work.