Traffic calming devices along Mission Ridge Drive may be the best bet to address ongoing concerns residents on the east-west street between South Main Street and Union Road have regarding speeding.
Manteca Police Chief Jodie Estarziau indicated that it is her opinion “a traffic calming device would be of great benefit to this area.”
“Additional enforcement efforts along Mission Ridge Drive will provide temporary relief during police presence but (speeding) will later continue due to the width of the roadway and the length of the main artery,” the police chief noted in an email.
Residents in April started pushing for all-way stops as well as high profile crosswalks at Swan Drive and Mission Ridge as well as Locust Avenue and Mission Ridge. They also have sought stepped up traffic enforcement and keeping trucks off the street. They based their requests on what they said were “years of speeding and accidents.”
Estarziau’s observation about the need for traffic calming devices is based on Traffic Sergeant Joshua Sweeten conducting an 18-month review of department traffic enforcement efforts and collisions along Mission Ridge Drive from December 2016 to this month.
The review showed:
*36 citations were issued for speeding, vehicle right of way violations, failure to stop at posted strop signs, and various cell phone violations.
*7 traffic collisions took place along the corridor. Five of those accidents took place at Mission Ridge Drive’s intersections with either South Union Road or South Main Street. They were due to red light violations or vehicle right-of-way violations.
*The Manteca Police radar speed trailer has been placed on Mission Ridge Drive five times during the past 18 months.
Estarziau said the department efforts target areas where collisions are regularly occurring in a bid to have the biggest impact on reducing unsafe driving. The department has three motorcycle officers assigned to the traffic division
In the past 18 months Manteca officers have been dispatched to 1,400 traffic collisions — 946 in 2017 and 454 for the first six months of this year. There were 1,673 tickets issued for moving violations for speeding, rolling through stop signs, running red lights, texting while driving, and failure to yield to pedestrians and such during the month period.
Seven — or 0.5 percent — of the city’s 1,400 traffic accidents that MPD responded to took place on Mission Ridge Drive.
During the same time there were 84 collisions including 47 injury accidents and East/West Yosemite and 67 collisions including 31 injury accidents on North/South Main. The 131 accidents on the two streets represent almost 10 percent of all citywide collisions during the 18-month period.
A speed survey — required by the state to establish the speed on the street based on the 85 percentile of how fast vehicles are driving in order to allow the use of radar to enforce speed limits — in 2013 showed that speed had actually dropped at that time going from 37 mph at the 85th percentile in an earlier survey down to 30 mph.
During the review period the police chief noted targeted speed enforcement efforts have been conducted in the 500 to 900 block of Mission Ridge Drive that she described as “an elongated-straight roadway section.”
Estarziau said Sweeten has met with several residents along Mission Ridge to hear their concerns. The department also targeted enforcement at the stop signs at Tahoe Street and Mission Ridge.
The chief said a speed survey will be conducted on Mission Ridge Drive after a similar speed survey is completed next week on Pillsbury Road.
Pillsbury Road south of Woodward Avenue is another collector street where residents have complained about speeding.
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