Making it safer for kids to walk ands bicycle to and from school is a good move but nearby neighbors of Sierra High believe the city would make a bigger safety impact by addressing speeding on Wawona Street and Fishback Road.
And several council members including Dave Britenbucher and Gary Singh who drive daily down Wawona agree.
The concerns came up Tuesday as the council accepted a $1.5 million grant from the San Joaquin Council of Governments for specific pedestrian and bicycle related improvement projects near Sierra and Manteca high schools as well as Golden West, Stella Brockman, Shasta and Brock Elliott elementary schools.
Neighbors noted cut thru traffic using Wawona between Main Street and Airport Way often exceeds the posted speed limits by 20 to 30 mph. They also pointed to a trend of some drivers burning donuts at stop signs.
The neighbors want the city to step of traffic enforcement and perhaps look at speed humps on possibly Wawona and Fishback. Speed humps are similar to those used on Hacienda Avenue between Alameda Street and Louise Avenue.
They noted numerous youth teams throughout the year access Sierra High athletic facilities along Wawona and Fishback in addition to Sierra High students walking to and from school. They added it is also a safety issue for those in the neighborhood.
Britenbucher who travels to Sierra every day where he serves as a swim coach, agreed that speeding is an issue on Wawona. He also pointed out there are two schools on the collector street. The other is Sequoia Elementary School.
Singh requested that the city staff reach out to neighbors while Councilman Charlie Halford was hopeful, they’d be a stepped-up Manteca Police traffic enforcement presence in Wawona.
The most significant improvements using the safe routes to school grant are planned near Sierra High and Golden West School.
The Golden West School work includes adding a crossing on North Main Street at Jason Street. Besides a high visibility crosswalk, there will be a refuge island built in a median. It is designed to break crossing the busy four-lane North Main Street corridor with a raised area in the middle of the street that pedestrians can use while crossing Main Street.
Curb ramps will be added or replaced at nine intersections near Golden West School. That is in addition to replacing five existing crosswalks with high visibility crosswalks.
The Sierra High work incudes putting in place a missing segment of sidewalk on the north side of Thomas Street as well as adding sidewalk on the west side of Fishback Road from Thomas Street to Wawona Street.
The entirety of Thomas Street will be restriped to accommodate a buffer for bike lanes. When completed there will be a 7-foot bicycle lane, 5-foot buffer area marked on the pavement, a 12-foot travel lane, a 12-foot middle turning lane, a 12-foot travel lane, a 5-foot buffer and a 7-foot bicycle lane.
The work will also include five highly visible crosswalks as well as ramp replacements or additions at 16 intersections or mid-block locations.
The work near Manteca High includes replacing or adding ramps at five intersections plus adding four high visibility crosswalks.
Ten intersections by Brock Elliott School will have ramps added or replaced. That is in addition to three new additional high visibility crosswalks.
Shasta School will see nine intersections with ramps replaced or upgraded with five new highly visible crosswalks. There is also a missing sidewalk gap being installed on the north side of Edison Street where the campus abuts residential use to the west.
The work near Stella Brockman School involves adding sidewalk to the south side of Crom Street from Silverado Drive to Zurich Drive along the municipal golf course.
Stella Brockman will also have 18 intersections that will have ramps replaced or added along with putting in place four highly visible crosswalks.
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