Missing chunks of major arterials have been the bane of Manteca motorists for decades.
A prime example is Louise Avenue east of Main Street where the two eastbound lanes were put in place in the 1970s on either side of a stretch of seven homes but not in front of them. That has required eastbound motorists for over 40 years to go from two lanes down to one lane and back to two lanes.
That’s because Manteca requires developers to build sections of major arterials to the centerline only in front of the property they develop as Center Point Business Park has done on Airport Way south of Roth Road. That same philosophy has allowed development to occur that puts in wider streets up to both sides of a property that has yet to develop.
The result of that policy last year created a widening gap for northbound lanes on Union Road just south of Woodward Avenue. The owners of the property bordering the gap have no plans to convert their homes to other uses that would trigger the requirement that they widen Union Road.
Manteca is about to break the habit of waiting for property to develop before completing pavement gaps on key roads.
On Tuesday, the City Council is being asked to approve an agreement with Oleander Limited Partners to put in place the missing gap on Union Road.
Oleander principals Toni and Bob Raymus have agreed to pay for the $312,500 project even though it does not front or adjoin any other projects. They are, however, preparing to build homes west of Union Road.
The $312,500 covers right-of-way acquisition, underground infrastructure, relocating power poles, sidewalks, curb and gutter as well as widening the east side of Union Road.
The widening will significantly enhance the safety of children walking to nearby Veritas School as it eliminates forcing them to walk along the edge of a narrow two-lane road to reach Woodward Avenue.
The project is included on the list of Public Facilities Improvement Plan road projects that all growth pays toward.
To fast track the improvements, the city has entered into an agreement that would reimburse Oleander Limited Partners for the work they are not responsible for but will complete by giving them credits against future building permit fees for roads until such time the $312,500 cost they are incurring is recovered.
Up until 2000, Union Road between the 120 Bypass and Lathrop Road narrowed to two lanes from four lanes and back in three places even though the nearly 3-mile stretch had been almost completely developed except for several small parcels.
Manteca-based developers such as the Raymus siblings as well as Mike Atherton and Bill Filios along with their partners have been advocating the elimination of the creation of what Councilman Richard Silverman has dubbed “squeezies” given that motorists are forced to go from two lanes down to one lane and then back to two lanes.
Atherton Homes and Raymus Homes are pursuing development of 1,532 homes on 334 acres south of Atherton Drive and west of Main Street are part of Griffin Park. They are committed to widening the east side of the eventually four-lane wide South Main Street corridor that also calls for a turn lane/medians from a point roughly midway between Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue to Sedan Road.
Silverman at October 2017 council meeting said he was disappointed that the city hadn’t tried to do the same resolution on Pillsbury Road at Atherton Drive where a short stretch of a narrow, former country road essentially chokes traffic flow before widening given hundreds of homes are now being built in the area.
The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com