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Pillsbury speed limit: What’s that there for?

Add Pillsbury Road to the growing number of neighborhood drag strips in Manteca.

Lauren Blote — who has lived at the corner of Brenda lee Drive and Pillsbury Road since 2010 — told the Manteca City Council Tuesday night that rapidly growing new neighborhoods southeast of Woodward Park are dumping more vehicles on the home lined street that are moving significantly above the posted speed limit.

In short, the once narrow two-lane country road that ended less than a third of a mile south of Woodward Avenue at the vineyard that once surrounded the Hat Mansion is well on its way to becoming a de facto collector street much like what happened to Cottage Avenue.

Other the past three months other residents have complained about speeding and asked for relief in other areas of Manteca:

*Mission Ridge Drive between Main Street and Union Road where neighbors are pushing for stop signs and high visibility crosswalks to combat speeding as well as reduce accidents.

*Trailwood Avenue residents upset with speeding and increased traffic have asked for traffic calming devices to discourage motorists from taking shortcuts. Trailwood is the only north-south street that goes from Northgate Drive to Louise avenue between Union Road and Main Street.

*Residents on Clearwater Creek Boulevard at the entrance to the Union Ranch neighborhood east of Del Webb at Woodbridge have asked for speed humps to combat speeding cars.

To date, none of the requests appear to have gotten much traction.

Bote noted there are now accidents occurring on a regular basis. She said it is so bad that a firm she retained to do work at her home asked permission to park their truck on her property instead of along the street as they were concerned about the safety of their workers having to access items from the truck.

Bote said the radar trailer the city has placed periodically on Pillsbury Road to alert motorists that are exceeding the speed limit has been “mildly effective.” She said they will slow down but once they pass the radar sign they pick up speed as they approach Tannehill Drive.

Councilwoman Debby Moorhead agreed with Bote about unsafe speeding on the street noting she drives Pillsbury Road daily. Moorhead said she also has concerns about the T-intersection of Pillsbury Road with Woodward Avenue where the council has authorized the placement of a three-way stop with red flashing beacons.

Moorhead said she was almost hit head-on as she was northbound on Pillsbury when a westbound driver turning south on to Pillsbury cut the turn short as they drove in front of a rapidly approaching vehicle heading east on Woodward. She said both vehicles were traveling well above the posted speed limit.

Moorhead said her 16-year-old grandson who just started driving was stunned to find drivers exceeding posted speed limits by 10 to 15 miles per hour.

“I told him it doesn’t matter,” Moorhead said. “You keep going 25 mph.”

Police Chief Estarziau said even when the portable radar is not flashing speed numbers for any reason, it is still recording speed information that is used to help the city plan enforcement. 

The chief said traffic officers will work Pillsbury Road into stepped up targeted enforcement efforts when they are available.

Manteca has three dedicated traffic officers — one less than in 2008 when Manteca had 15,500 less residents.


People who don’t

like dogs don’t

need professional help

Place the following in the “They’ve Got a Point” file.

A  Bulletin reader sent a quick note regarding the Annie’s Mailbox column that ran Wednesday.

“In her July 4th column Annie responded to ‘Dog Lover’ with the final note that her friend should seek professional help.

“Why do dog lovers expect everyone to love dogs? Worse, why is it anyone who doesn’t like dogs ‘needs professional help’?

“Anyway, to the point of the article I don’t consider it respectful to continuously subject anyone to an experience they are uncomfortable with ‘until’ they like it.

“Then, after failing to win them over, recommending (they get) ‘help’. Is your solution applicable to cats, birds, guns, sky diving? What can you consider that makes the point clearer?”

It’s up the same alley as people who take dogs into stores where they are clearly prohibited except in specific cases. In one instance observed several years ago at Home Depot where a couple brought with them a large German Shepherd that nuzzled the leg of a lady who recoiled in fear, the man assured the woman “He’s just friendly.”

If you don’t like dogs you shouldn’t be forced to deal with them where they are not allowed to be. Nor should you have to walk in public with dogs running at will as that is the reason cities like Manteca have leash laws.

To the credit of Home Depot staff that asked the couple to takes their dog out of the store. The couple complied with no objections.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email