Springtime Estates residents — 308 of them — aren’t buying a traffic consultant’s claim that extending Askland Drive to Northgate Drive as part of a proposed 158-home subdivision along North Main Street won’t have a detrimental impact on their neighborhood.
They signed a petition making it clear they will fight efforts to extend the street when the project comes up for approval at the Manteca Planning Commission on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
They dismiss modeling by hired consultants that states extending Aksland Drive so it connects with the four-lane Northgate Drive at North Main Street won’t increase speeding or traffic in their neighborhood bounded by Highway 99, Louise Avenue, and the back of commercial along North Main Street.
Staff is recommending the planning commission approve extending Askland. But if they opt not to recommend that to the City Council, staff provided an extensive review of options other cities have used that would allow the street to go in but would put improvements in place that would allow only pedestrians and bicyclists to pass through as well as emergency vehicles in a pinch.
The extension of Northgate across Main Street and then into Aksland Drive is the only access to serve 158 homes being proposed on 30.7 acres bordering North Main Street across from Casino Real.
The subdivision as it is designed would tie an extension of Aksland Drive into the Northgate Drive/North Main Street intersection where a traffic signal already exists. All of the 158 homes being proposed would be to the south of the Aksland Drive extension save for one that would be built on a vacant lot that backs up to the freeway and fronts the existing section of Aksland Drive that is now stubbed.
There are no other access points to North Main Street that is the heaviest traveled north-south corridor in Manteca.
Aksland Drive does not connect directly with Louise Avenue. That said, a half block drive from where Aksland T-intersects into April Way is Springtime Avenue that is straight shot to Louise Avenue and intersects with Lancaster Drive that ties into North Main Street with a traffic signal.
The extension also raises concerns with Springtime Estates residents for what is proposed on the north side of the Aksland Drive.
The subdivision itself will require 23.72 acres of the 30.7 acres to be rezoned from commercial mixed use to light density residential. The remaining 6.45 acres north of the extension would remain commercial mixed use. That means future development of those 6.45 acres coupled with another roughly 8 acres north of that with the same zoning that is currently Caltrans surplus property after the flyover ramp and off ramp for the Lathrop Road interchange was removed could draw additional traffic through the Springtime neighborhood.
The city is processing a negative declaration for the project meaning they have determined it will have “less than significant impact” including on traffic.
The negative declaration projects the 158 homes would generate 77 more kindergarten through eighth grade students and 37 high school students.
The project would include a 2.2 acre park/storm retention basin.
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