Sunday afternoon was an all-too-typical day on the streets of Manteca.
During a 30-minute loop of the city shortly after 3 p.m.:
*A motorist southbound on Powers Avenue blew through the stop sign at Hutchings Street near Lincoln School without even trying to slow down.
*A northbound driver on Main Street entered the intersection with Industrial Park Drive just after the light turned green for Industrial Park Drive.
*A minute later just south of that intersection a driver passed another vehicle on the right where there is no lane to cut them off to reach the 120 Bypass onramp.
*A mini-van in the outside lane heading north on Union Road was traveling less than 20 mph. Those passing on the left could see the driver who had her cellphone in hand apparently punching in phone numbers.
*Then there were numerous instances going the posted speed limit where vehicles in the inside lane were passed or had other vehicles riding their rear end leaving less than a car length.
About the only semi bright spot was on Mission Ridge Drive where for an 8-minute period seven of nine eastbound cars were either going the posted speed limit or below or dropped down to 35 mph when they approached the recently installed speed radar signs.
The City of Manteca is seeking your input on Thursday, Nov. 1, on what you think are the best strategies to “calm” traffic in Manteca. The community meeting on the new traffic calming program and measures that is being put together takes place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.
Staff will provide an update on the process the program will entail as well as describe various traffic calming options that they are seeking “input/comments from residents to develop the most optimum calming devices for Manteca.”
Examples of traffic calming measures include:
*striping designed to narrow lanes and alert drivers. pedestrians and bicyclists.
*bicycle lanes to promote bicycle use and safety as well as slow down vehicles by making travel lanes narrower.
*Botts Dots with reflective markers to keep drivers on the right side of the road. They are especially useful on curves such as those found on North Powers Avenue.
*speed limit radar displays in conjunction with static speed limit signs in a bid to educate motorists of their speed and to encourage compliance. Deployment includes temporary radar trailers and solar powered speed limit signs.
*increase traffic enforcement. As opposed to other measures it would be impossible to have in place 24/7.
*speed humps across the street that force motorists to slow down in order to cross. They would not be deployed on emergency response routes.
*speed lumps — basically three smaller speed hump — spaced to allow buses and emergency vehicles to straddle them by going down the middle of the road or toward the side of the road.
*speed tables that are a flat-topped speed hump of a longer length that can be used on emergency response routes.
*raised crosswalks that provide pedestrians with a sidewalk level street crossing. The raised crosswalks function as a speed hump of sorts while making pedestrians more visible to approaching motorists.
Other traffic calming devices include bulb outs, pedestrian islands, traffic circles, partial or full closure of streets, and stop signs.
Any proposal to examine the need for the deployment of a traffic calming device would require robust public participation.
This would involve the following steps:
*a request for a study.
*developing a traffic calming plan by identifying criteria, determining hotspots, analyzing data, and identifying appropriate traffic calming measures.
*approval process with public participation.
*implementation and evaluation.
If the initial effort doesn’t deliver the desired results a second stage would take place. That would involve looking at applicable measures, a community meeting, and then securing department or City Council approval before implementing.
Those involved in the approval process besides impacted neighbors would be the fire department, police department, ambulance services, local and regional transit, Manteca Unified School District, public works (garbage, street sweeping, and maintenance), Community Development Department, postal carriers, and delivery services.
Key thresholds would have to be met specifically for speed limits and stop signs.
One example for speed limits would be if 85 percent of the driving on a roadway that is not an arterial is traveling at speeds above 32 miles per hour then the street would be eligible for traffic calming.
Examples of thresholds that would be needed for stop signs include if an intersection has a significant number of automobile-pedestrian collisions or a high potential for them to happen, an intersection with a history of correctable traffic collisions, and a series of warrants that must be met to protect the city’s future liability.
Staff will return to the City Council at a future date with a traffic calming program to replace the last one implemented in 2000.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com