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‘Crazy lanes’ game comes to Manteca
Dennis Wyatt
Dennis Wyatt

The latest driving game in Manteca is maneuvering through the “crazy lanes” on southbound Main Street between the 120 Bypass and Atherton Drive.

In order for vehicles to safely access the new Chevron station and convenience store from southbound Main Street the city required a left turn pocket. The turn lane is extremely well marked with three left turn arrows instead of the usual one painted on the asphalt.

The fun part comes immediately after that when the through lane that parallels the turn lane suddenly becomes a restricted right turn lane for Atherton Drive. It requires through traffic to jog quickly to the left.

The fun should come when heavy tule fog returns although it will also be fun in the darkness especially for drivers unfamiliar with the area due to the dearth of street lighting.

It’s another example of the city’s piecemeal approach to major arterials. The developers of the gas station and mini-food store were only required to widen to the centerline along their property.

That means the southbound side won’t be widened for years if not more than a decade. Remember, this is Main Street — the heaviest traveled north-south corridor in Manteca — that the city just approved more than 1,300 new homes to be along the street south of Atherton Drive.

About that blasé entry

 feature on Yosemite Avenue

Mayor Ben Cantu made some passionate points about how Manteca as a city of 81,500 residents on its way to topping 105,000 by 2030 based on the current growth rate should refrain from trying to get by on the cheap with entry signs welcoming people to the city at key locations.

During Tuesday’s Manteca City Council meeting he took exception to the median planter and welcome feature in the middle of East Yosemite Avenue across from In-and-Out Burger and the Best Western at the Highway 99 ramps.

Cantu said not only is the median feature less than impressive but you have to make an effort to see the word “Manteca” that based on where it is placed on the brick veneer on the side you can’t tell if it is the street name or the city’s name.

Cantu might find a former mayor to be in 100 percent agreement with him.

When the Highway 99/Yosemite Avenue interchange was being designed by Caltrans on his watch as mayor, Willie Weatherford pushed to make a positive impression of Manteca on travelers by placing a water feature or a fountain in the median. It would have been done at the city’s cost and not the state’s.

Caltrans happens to have control of East Yosemite Avenue for 100 feet or so in each direction beyond the interchange ramps. They rejected a water fountain and feature as being both a potential distraction to drivers as well as a possible sight-line issue for drivers. They did not want an elevated monument-style sign in the middle of the median welcoming people to Manteca for the same reason.

The letters spelling out Manteca were originally going to be in brass. But in 2005 copper and metal thefts were starting to get out of control so Caltrans opted for a material for the letters that would not be subjected to being stolen.

The median and the Manteca “sign” is what it is today not because of city officials not wanting an impressive and classy entrance feature to the city or a desire to do it on the cheap but because Caltrans made it clear safety was first.

Reis’ induction into Manteca 

Hall of Fame delayed a year

Eric Reis — the former Manteca High football coach that led the Buffalos to a slew of section and league titles — was picked for induction into the Manteca Hall of Fame next month for athletics.

Reis, however, had a prior commitment that he cannot get out of on the date of the dinner and induction.

The Hall of Fame committee has indicated Reis will now be inducted next year as part of the Class of 2020 which also happens to be the Manteca High centennial year.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email