Last week two of the three RVs occupied by homeless parked among trucks on the south side of Moffat Boulevard had piles of trash literally blocking the sidewalk.
On Tuesday it was somewhat better after some of the debris had been cleaned away. Occupants of at least one RV, though, by late afternoon had stacked items back on the sidewalk.
The issue of homeless dumping litter and trash along Moffat and the nearby Tidewater Bikeway as well as issues caused by parked trucks plus speeding is being addressed in a multi City of Manteca department effort involving police, the streets division, and engineering.
On Thursday the most visible effort to date by the city takes place with crews addressing pavement damage caused by parked trucks as well as trash dumped in the area.
Deputy City Manager Toni Lundgren indicated various city departments are working together to seek solutions to ongoing issues on the Moffat corridor in an effort to improve safety and enhance the general appearance of the area.
The effort includes:
*The possibility of a three-way stop at Powers Avenue and Moffat Boulevard.
*Researching potential steps to address issued related to truck parking.
The area typically has between 12 and 16 complete trucks — cabs and trailers — parked along the south side of Moffat between a point just west of Powers Avenue and a point west of Spreckels Avenue. There also will be several unhooked trailers that are particularly problematic as they concentrate the trailer’s weight on two support legs that accelerate pavement deterioration.
On Tuesday afternoon after the city posted a sign advising there would be no parking Thursday between 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. to allow municipal crews to perform work the truck count was down to six.
Several months ago homeless living in RVs started parking between trucks.
While the city provides off-street parking at its emergency homeless shelter at 555 Industrial Park Drive for RVs and other vehicles the homeless live in, a number still opt to park on the streets, in municipal parking lots such as by the Powers Avenue fire station, as well as the Spreckels BMX park and commercial parking lots.
Legally the homeless are allowed to do so under court rulings if a community doesn’t have available beds for the unsheltered. What isn’t clear is whether the 72-hour limit to on street parking is still enforceable against homeless living in vehicles.
Several of the RVs haven’t moved for several weeks as occupants use separate vehicles when they travel to other destinations.
Those jogging by on the Tidewater have seen the homeless routinely pile trash in the barren area between the bike path and sidewalk that either is blown area or collected by city crews. At one point there were several large plastic gallon containers left by billboards on city property that appeared to contain urine.
Truck issues along
Since Moffat Boulevard is a legal truck route, trucks can legally park along it unless otherwise posted.
The city over seven years ago to stop trucks from parking east of the Manteca Community Center/VFW Hall along a quasi-park and storm basin posted it with no parking signs.
They also prohibited vehicles over 6-foot in height from parking near entrances and exits at the Manteca Transit Center on Moffat where such vehicles created serious sightline issues.
On the stretch of Moffat the city is addressing Thursday there are two access points to the Tidewater for pedestrians crossing the street at Powers Avenue as well as Cowell Avenue. The crossing at Powers has several yards of curb painted red. Even so, trucks often block the crossing as they do at Cowell.
At Cowell pedestrians are forced to step between parked trucks and peer into traffic that is speeding by at 45 mph plus just feet away in order to see when it is safe to cross. Also on the north side of the street at Cowell those trying to turn onto Moffat have a sightline problem when it comes to eastbound traffic.
Manteca Police have issued citations to drivers of trucks that park vehicles blocking the bike lane on Moffat or else park in the center turn lane. It is not uncommon to see drivers working on their trucks.
As for leaving trailers unhitched on city streets it is illegal for residents to do so with mobile homes or trailers. It isn’t clear if that applies to commercial trucks.
Speeding on Moffat
Four years ago the city narrowed travel lanes by painting bike lanes along Moffat. It followed a Manteca High student being seriously injured while crossing Moffat.
The goal was to slow down traffic. The same strategy has worked to a large degree on South Powers Avenue. That effort involved placing two stop signs between Yosemite and Moffat where there were none before.
The city is now looking at whether warrants justify placing stop signs on Moffat at Powers.
As it stands now, Moffat runs a mile without traffic signals or stop signs between Main and Spreckels. That fact plus it being is a wide two lane street tends to encourage drivers to speed.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com