By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Coming this summer to Lathrop Road: Pavement repair between Highway 99/Union & traffic signals
lathrop road signals
Traffic signals will be installed on Lathrop Road where the entrance to the 134-unit apartment complex under construction aligns with the entrance to the Raley’s shopping center.

Manteca Mayor Gary Singh wants to find a way — if feasible to do in-house — to improve the congestion issues at Van Ryn Avenue and Industrial Park Drive.

It is a problem not just during morning rush to beat the first bell at Manteca High, but throughout the day after trains pass the nearby crossing and the backed up traffic snarl tries to unwind.

His idea, that he is mulling over with staff experts, is to have two right turn lanes onto Industrial Park Drive.

It would require removing a small median on Van Ryn, re-striping, and likely making the median on Industrial Park Drive more of a finger median.

It may or may not happen.

But it is indicative of a trend the entire City Council pushed to make happen — more collaboration between elected officials and key staff members to determine how to deploy available resources to improve not just street pavement but traffic patterns as much as possible.

The increased collaboration has been wedded with staff empowerment.

It has been strengthened by buying equipment to allow the city’s street crews to conduct more pavement repairs than they had been able to do in past years. Some of that equipment also allows for large-scale in-house re-stripping efforts.

At the same time, the Community Development Department with stepped up input from the Manteca Planning Commission, has been fine tuning potential traffic concerns with new developments, especially commercial projects.

All of that is in addition to taking a two-prong approach to tackling a backlog of road repair work. Instead of always waiting until funds can be accumulated to redo entire segments of arterials, they will do what they can to address the problematic sections.

It was the approach used on the Airport Way corridor last year. And it is being used in the next few months to address Louise Avenue between Highway 99 and Main Street.

It might not look aesthetically appealing, but it will be a major improvement in the travel surface.

An in-house multi-department group involving police, fire, streets, engineering and others gather twice a month to address traffic flow and safety concerns,

What comes before them are issues the public has raised through the government outreach app, issues city workers have noticed, and concerns residents have shared with — and/or observed by — council members.

The council has also set aside money and given staff flexibility to develop and execute solutions.

Key to that working was slashing red tape — cumbersome processes that experts recommended  being put in place years ago.

As such, issues such as controlling semi-truck parking can be addressed within a month or so of it first being brought up.

By contrast, it took the city more than two years to address a chorus of concerns about truck parking along the Moffat Boulevard corridor that was creating safety issues for motorists and pedestrians alike that were centered around visibility.

Traffic calming devices have also been fast tracked.

That not only includes the process to verify they are needed and would be effective, but also installing them.

Lathrop Road work taking place this summer underscores the effectiveness of stepping up collaboration between policy makers and staff, relying on in-house expertise, and making sure issues development will create are addressed.

*The 136-unit apartment complex being built on Lathrop Road west of Union Road has been required to install traffic signals at the entrance that aligns with the Raley’s shopping center entrance.

*Segments of the most problematic pavement on Lathrop Road between Union Road and Highway 99 will be repaired.

*Finger medians are being required on commercial projects on Lathrop Road near both Airport Way and Union Road that effectively will prevent left turns in and out of developments requiring the crossing of faster mover arterial traffic.

*Some of those finger medians will also address traffic flow issues that undermine safety such as on Union Road that will eliminate left turns in and out of the Raley’s center on that thoroughfare.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email