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Keeps Woodward semi-rural
Street plan protects integrity of neighborhood
The semi-rural character of Woodward Avenue would be enhanced under a proposed design plan. This section of Woodward Avenue is between Main Street and Union Road. - photo by HIME ROMERO

There was a movement at one time to send four lanes of traffic down Woodward Avenue from Main Street to its western terminus near Wetherbee Lake.

Critics couldn’t understand why Woodward Avenue should be four lanes when Atherton Drive was being developed as a major four lane arterial less than a quarter of a mile to the north.

A second look at Manteca’s future traffic circulation planning that emphasized the need to reduce costs as well as to de-emphasize catering to shaving seconds off of trips at the expense of neighborhoods means Woodward Avenue is being developed as a two-lane collector street as Manteca grows south of the Highway 120 Bypass.

That would make Woodward Avenue a collector street much like Powers Avenue, Crom Street, Hacienda Avenue, and Tannehill Drive.

That is promoting the city to develop a new streetscape plan for Woodward Avenue that has the potential of making it the nicest looking two-lane collector street in Manteca by retaining the semi-rural atmosphere. Ultimately, Woodward Avenue will consist of larger lots - existing as well as proposed - that would be more accurately described as estate sized with some as large as an acre.

Design standards are being planned that would continue the semi-rural character of the existing housing and require new development to fit into that pattern instead of erecting sound walls.

The width of Woodward is proposed at 76 feet from the back of sidewalks on each side of the street. There will be a 14-foot wide median planted with trees flanked by 11-foot travel lanes along with 5-foot bike lanes by the curb. There will also be a 10-foot wide landscaping area with trees between the curb and five-foot wide sidewalk. In addition all new homes will have a minimum 30-foot setback from the back of the sidewalk. In the case of an existing sound wall or a project that has been already approved but not built, there will be a 19-foot setback from the back of the sidewalk that will be landscaped with a 7-foot masonry wall.

Proposed rules being considered during Tuesday’s 7 p.m. Manteca Planning Commission meeting in the Civic Center council chambers at 1001 W. Center St. include requiring new residential subdivisions be designed to provide lots fronting on Woodward Avenue to fit in with existing homes.

On-street pocket parking will also be incorporated into new residential projects along Woodward Avenue.

Driveways will be deigned to allow vehicles to enter and leave the roadway in a forward direction. This can be accomplished with circular or hammerhead driveway designs.

No more than two adjacent homes will have the same front yard setback just as is the case along existing Woodward Avenue.

Since setbacks are deeper, front yard landscaping shall incorporate a mixture of drought tolerant trees, shrubs, and ground covers. It may include the installation of natural landscape features such as rock and stone, walkways, plazas, courtyards, and structural features such as fountains.