Manteca’s elected leaders will have the final say whether the city will get its first cul-de-sac attached to an emergency vehicle access area that allows passage of pedestrians and bicyclists but no through traffic in a bid to reduce through traffic cutting through residential neighborhoods.
The emergency vehicle access is being recommended by the Manteca Planning Commission so the development of a 158-home neighborhood east of North Main Street and north of Lancaster Drive won’t result in Aksland Drive in Springtime Estates being connected with Northgate Drive where it now intersects at North Main.
The City Council will decide whether to approve the emergency vehicle access when they meet Tuesday at 4 p.m. The meeting is three hours ahead of the usual time due to National Night Out activities,
The commission agreed with 308 Springtime Estates residents signing a petition that extending the street would lead to increased traffic in their neighborhood despite traffic consultants saying it wouldn’t.
Traffic consultants use models to make their projections. Residents in Springtime Estates point to a number of instances in Manteca where drivers defied models and have turned what were supposed to be quiet streets into ones with more traffic than expected as well as higher speeds.
The emergency vehicle access solution would have the new street starting at the Northgate Drive/North Main intersection turn into a cul-de-sac before it connects with Askland Drive that currently is stubbed with a barrier. The area between the barrier and the cul-de-sac would be raised and have improvements that prevent thru traffic but would allow police and fire to pass in the event of an emergency. Pedestrians and bicyclists would be allowed to pass freely.
The concept would fall in line with the current council’s push to reduce traffic issues such as speeding in neighborhoods.
The extension of Northgate across Main Street and then into Aksland Drive is the only access to serve 158 homes being proposed on 30.7 acres bordering North Main Street across from Casino Real.
All of the 158 homes being proposed would be to the south of the Aksland Drive extension save for one that would be built on a vacant lot that backs up to the freeway and fronts the existing section of Aksland Drive that is now stubbed.
There are no other access points to North Main Street that is the heaviest traveled north-south corridor in Manteca.
Aksland Drive does not connect directly with Louise Avenue. That said, a half block drive from where Aksland T-intersects into April Way is Springtime Avenue that is a straight shot to Louise Avenue and intersects with Lancaster Drive that ties into North Main Street with a traffic signal. The concern voiced by residents is that non-neighborhood traffic would perceive Aksland as a short cut to go from Louise Avenue to Northgate Drive.
The extension could also raise concerns with Springtime Estates residents for what is proposed on the north side of the Aksland Drive.
The subdivision itself will require 23.72 acres of the 30.7 acres to be rezoned from commercial mixed use to light density residential. The remaining 6.45 acres north of the extension would remain commercial mixed use. That means future development of those 6.45 acres coupled with another roughly 8 acres north of that with the same zoning that is currently Caltrans surplus property after the flyover ramp and off ramp for the Lathrop Road interchange was removed could draw additional traffic through the Springtime neighborhood.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org