A former recycling center is destined to be converted into commuter parking.
The Manteca City Council when they meet tonight at 7 p.m. is expected to approve the purchase of 0.46 acres at 346 and 372 Moffat Boulevard — the site of the former Manteca Recycling Center — to expand the Manteca Transit Center parking lot. The agreed upon price is $350,000.
The deal that secured passage of State Senate Bill 1 to get the gas tax hike in placed also included $400 million to extend Altamont Corridor Express service south into Ceres by 2023.
The extension includes a stop at the downtown Manteca Transit Center, Ripon, and Modesto.
It will initially include three northbound ACE trains originating in Ceres traveling to Natomas north of downtown Sacramento for the morning commute and starting from Sacramento and an existing ACE train that originates in Stockton and travels to San Jose.
The plan also calls for the creation of a transfer point with a new North Lathrop station on the eastern edge of the SHARP Depot site next door to Manteca’s city limits. At this point someone catching a train in Ceres, Modesto, Ripon or downtown Manteca could switch to trains to head into San Jose or also continue north into Sacramento. This is also where Valley Link — an effort to provide a connection to BART service that now ends in Dublin/Pleasanton to Stockton with stops along the way at River Islands, Tracy, and Livermore — will connect with ACE service. Valley Link could be up and running by 2028.
That means starting in 2023 you will be able to catch a train in downtown Manteca and take ACE all the way to downtown San Jose or into downtown Sacramento and beyond to the Natomas employment area. ACE is also working on extending service to Merced later this decade to connect with the California High Speed Rail line.
Ridership forecasts anticipate a need for upwards of 1,000 spaces based on ACE projections of 1,500 passengers boarding daily when initial service starts near the Manteca Transit Center in downtown. The transit station has just over 100 spaces. The city has not indicated exactly how many parking places they intend to have in place by the time ACE service starts.
The city has some land already along Moffat Boulevard that could be used for parking.
There are other parcels such as the two-story house on the southern end of the existing parking lot. The city has not indicated if they have designs on that property.
Whether the city wants to make the parking lot continuous also has not been made clear at least to the public. In all likelihood eventually there could be parking lots all along Moffat between the Veterans Center and the transit station except for where the city has an arsenic treatment plant that is tied to multiple wells in the central district.
To avoid stopped trains from blocking Main Street during boarding and disembarking as ACE has promised, the passenger platform would likely be somewhere near where the former recycling center is or father south.
The city has secured a $2.8 million grant for the parking lot expansion.
ACE service likely to
create parking issues
near downtown area
Given the commuters will leave their vehicles parked for a minimum of 10 hours, two things are imperative:
*The city needs to have adequate parking spaces available.
*There needs to be some municipal program in place to restrict parking in a nearby residential area west of the Manteca High campus as well as possibly nearby municipal parking lots serving downtown.
That may involve establishing street time parking limits and/or a sticker system for residents.
And for either to work the city would need to enforce the time limits using personnel through the police department.
The city also needs to assess the wisdom of on-street parking along Moffat near the parking lots or at least control where it can go.
In previous safety discussions involving Manteca High, public works and the police expressed concern of how Moffat tends to encourage higher speeds. At the same time the city is not restricting truck parking along Moffat.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org