By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Latest bid to address traffic congestion thru downtown
north main traffic 100 block
Traffic backs up on North Main Street through downtown Manteca last Saturday evening

The long-stalled and long-promised effort to improve traffic flow on the Main Street corridor through downtown Manteca could move toward reality Tuesday.

That’s when staff is advancing a traffic light synchronization plan that — if the City Council opts to pursue it — would be the first step to improve traffic through the downtown tourniquet that has frustrated motorists for the better part of a quarter of a century by going to four lanes.

Or they could elect to keep the status quo on current lanes and see how much synchronization will reduce backups.

The $100,500 project as proposed would:

*Synchronize the five traffic signals from Moffat Boulevard to Alameda Street along Main Street corridor to reduce delay times on the key north-south arterial.

*Modify the median in the 100 block of North Main near Wells Fargo to increase the number of vehicles that can stack to six in the left turn pocket from northbound Main to westbound Center Street. A narrower concrete median will prevent the return of traffic crossing over traffic lanes in and out of the bank parking lot that created major problems before the original median was installed.

*Increase delays on all side streets including Moffat, Yosemite, Center, North, and Alameda.

The traffic engineering firm of GHD instead of the city’s usual go-to consultant of Fehr & Peers anticipates such a move will allow for optimum flow with the existing two travel lane configuration on Main Street.

In traffic jargon, flow conditions would improve from the exiting “E” level to “D” on a scale where “F” is the worst and “A” is the optimum with free flowing traffic.

The $43,750 for the traffic signal medication portion covers hardware that is equipped with programmable software to allow future adjustments.

The balance of the cost goes for street work primarily involving the median.

What the proposal doesn’t involve is investing significant dollars into reconfiguring lanes that would require relocating in pavement traffic sensors, re-stripping, and removing the remaining landscape bulb outs in the 100 block of North Main. That means unlike the other five “remedies” to improve traffic flow through downtown since 1993 if the current or future council opts to go to the maximum solution of four lanes they can do so without tearing out interim solutions.

In fact, everything that is being proposed including the partial replacement of the existing median with a thinner version to increase the turn pocket stacking can be used if the corridor is converted to four lanes without switching to pavers as proposed several years ago.

That means the council could even decide Tuesday to go ahead and order the traffic synchronization and come back in a month or so and decide if they want to four-lane the corridor by keeping the current width and not using pavers. That would still require the elimination of parking to do so.

If that were to happen the signal synchronization equipment would be en route or in the city’s possession to allow such a four-lane solution to proceed in a timely manner.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center council chambers, 1001 W. Center St.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email