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Potential for congestion, safety issues on Moffat
MHS new gym
A separated passenger drop-off lane has been created adjacent to the new Manteca High gym.

When 2023 rolls around the most congested area in Manteca — and arguably ground zero for serious pedestrian-vehicle conflicts — could be on Moffat Boulevard.

It’s because a later 4 p.m. Manteca High dismissal time triggered by a state mandate will likely conflict with the first ACE trains returning from Sacramento and San Jose with  commuters.

At the same time on-street parking issues could arise along Moffat creating safety concerns. Depending upon how strong ridership is, it could also create problems where commuters are parking on-street in adjacent residential neighborhoods.

It is why making Moffat safer is on the list of city priorities.

That is especially true as Manteca Unified works to “turn” the face and main entrance of Manteca High around to face the old Highway 99 route as efforts to  modernize the 101-year campus and expand it to accommodate city growth moves forward.

The district has set the stage for eventually increasing traffic it generates by 25 percent — roughly the increased enrollment capacity they will be able to accommodate once campus facilities to meet the educational programming needs of 2,200 students are in place.

At the same time the city is also creating more traffic on Moffat.

It includes the Manteca Transit Center parking lot expansion they are putting in place for the start of Altamont Corridor Express service in 2023. The San Joaquin Rail Commission projects as many as 1,500 boardings — and 1,500 embarkments — initially on work days. Boarding platform for ACE trains will be as close to the Manteca High campus as they are to the Manteca Transit Center.

 Growth approved by the city in southeast Manteca along with alterations to Austin Road and Woodward Avenue as part of the 120 Bypass/Highway 99 upgrades breaking ground later this year will make using Moffat more convenient for future and existing residents accessing downtown, Spreckels Park, and the Main Street corridor.

 Acting City Manager Toni Lundgren noted Manteca is committed to working with the school district to keep implementing ways to make Moffat safer not just for students but the community overall.

“The city has absolutely been great to work with when it comes to finding ways to make it safer for students to walk to and from school and not just at Manteca High,” said Victoria Brunn, Manteca Unified’s Chief Business & Information Officer.

The work now underway at Manteca High has a heavy emphasis on safety and campus security.

A drop-off zone has been created on the south side of the new 2,200 seat gym. It is separate from the parking lot that has been repaved. When it is put to use, traffic will be one-way going from Buffalo Way — the southern segment of Garfield Avenue that was disconnected by the campus expansion and renamed by the Manteca City Council to Sherman Avenue.

There will also be a roundabout on the northern end of Buffalo Way to allow traffic to return to Moffat.

Various potential safety improvements on Moffat in front of and near the school the city and district have explored and are on the table for possible implementation on the future include:

*Implementing no parking on both sides of Moffat to eliminate people getting in and out of cars during heavy traffic congestion before school and at dismissal.

*Potentially installing roundabouts on Moffat at both Sherman Avenue and Buffalo Way (Garfield Avenue).

*If not roundabouts then possibly making left turns form Sherman or Buffalo Way illegal onto Moffat due to sight line issues created from the two-streets intersecting at an angle.

The city has already installed high visibility crosswalks across Moffat with pedestrian activated flashes at both Sherman and Buffalo Way.

The same time the city did that, crews re-striped Moffat almost all the way to Spreckels Avenue/Industrial Park Drive with bike lanes to narrow the travel lanes in a bid to slow down traffic.

Moffat, which is slowly reviving its historical role as an arterial, goes a mile between signals where there aren’t even stop signs.
As a result traffic can often exceed the 45-mph speed limit.

The city is pondering creating a three-way stop where Powers Avenue T-intersects into Moffat in a bid to slow traffic.

Last month the city created a no-parking zone on the south side of Moffat from a point west of Powers to Spreckels to prevent trucks and other vehicles from parking there.

Truckers were working on their vehicles, double parking in the bike lane plus the middle turn lane, and creating visual hazards for pedestrians trying to cross Moffat at Powers Avenue and Cowell Avenue to reach the Tidewater Bikeway.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email