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City exploring whether to create a 4-way stop
cottage stop signs
Two cars and a bicyclist pass through the Cottage Avenue and Alameda Street intersection on Wednesday.

There could be a four-way stop in the future for Cottage Avenue at Alameda Street.

The Manteca City Council was told by staff during Tuesday’s meeting they were looking into the possibility of placing stop signs on Cottage Avenue. There is already a stop sign at the intersection for Alameda Street traffic as well as those for entering it from the driveway of the Cottage Villages.

Residents of the 48-unit Cottage Village senior apartments that have their only access tied into the eastern side of the intersection have consistently been expressing concern to Manteca officials about their safety and that of others going through the intersection since the complex opened in late 2020.

Topping their list are the number of accidents and near-misses at the intersection including one that put a resident in a coma for months. They also have zeroed in on speeding, pedestrians having difficulty crossing the streets, and visual impediments that make turning out of their complex dicey.

On Tuesday the manager of the complex was back before the council noting ongoing issues and the fact that even her 13-year-old son is concerned for his safety while trying to cross Cottage.

She expressed her concerns during public comments at the start of the meeting. When it got around to the end of the meeting four plus hours later, a council member asked staff about the intersection and was told of the fact stop signs are being considered.

There are a number of things that the city has to weigh.

And as Councilman Charlie Halford noted, it includes the fact the intersection is at the base of freeway overpass where traffic heading south goes from a 40 mph down zone to a 30 mph zone. That often means even if drivers  take their brake off the gas at the crest of the overpass while going the speed limit there could be issues with safe stopping if a number of vehicles are backed up at a stop sign.

The complex manager’s suggestion of speed humps such as are found on Hacienda Avenue won’t fly on Cottage Avenue under the city’s adopted traffic calming program.

That’s because Cottage carries too much traffic.

It is somewhere between a collector street and a major arterial that has been forged due to growth on a street that isn’t any wider in spots than a typical residential street.

It started out as a country road that turned into a  city street with little traffic.

By the time Spreckels Sugar was transformed into a business park and community center it led into the four-lane Spreckels Avenue once it crosses Yosemite Avenue.

The city’s decision to put in the missing link between Industrial Park Drive to Moffat where Spreckels Avenue connects with it about 15 years ago turned Cottage into a heavily traveled route to reach commercial areas and neighbors.

It starts in the north as Cottage Avenue where it intersects with Lathrop Road two miles north of the city limits. It turns into Spreckels Avenue at Yosemite, Industrial Park Drive at Spreckels, and then Mission Ridge Drive at Main Steet. It T-intersects into Mission Ridge where a traffic signal will soon be in place.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email