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Santa Barbara could declare Chick-Fil-A in their city to be just that due to traffic
chick fil a
Chick-Fil-A drive-thru traffic has effectively taken over long stretches of Northwoods and Yosemite Avenue since opening in Manteca creating safety hazards for pedestrians and jamming traffic on Manteca’s main east-west street.

Manteca resident Robert Oakes has a question.

If Santa Barbara can see Chick-Fil-A for what it is — a public nuisance — and take steps to deal with how it has commandeered parts of a city street for use as a de facto drive thru lane then why can’t the City of Manteca take similar action for the mess the chicken sandwich place has foisted on the local community via Northwoods Avenue and Yosemite avenues?

Oakes is referencing an action that the City Council of the Southern California coastal enclave of 88,650 — basically the same size of Manteca — is pondering tonight.

The issue may sound eerily familiar.  Chick-Fil-A opened in 2013 on Santa Barbara. Ever since then the public has rallied against the drive-they lane that like clockwork backs up into one of that city’s busiest streets, triggers traffic backups on a routine basis, plus contributes to an occasional traffic collision.

In Santa Barbara the Chick-Fil-A often blocks State Street up to 91 minutes on weekdays and 155 minutes on Saturday. That is in addition to blocking access to nearby businesses. That info is gleaned from a City of Santa Barbara study that notes the fast food joint poses serious safety concerns to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Santa Barbara police and public works have tried numerous measures such as targeted enforcement involving warning and tickets. Chick-Fil-A has used mobile order takers walking the line of vehicles and added a second “drive thru lane” by manually taking orders in a parallel fashion but to no avail.

The company has “cooperated” but nothing has worked.

Finally after nine years the Santa Barbara council is deciding whether to schedule a public hearing and declare Chick-Fil-A a public nuisance. If that happens and the council agrees after a hearing is completed it would grant the city legal authority to shut the chicken sandwich purveyor down.

Chick-Fil-A is well into its second year in Manteca.  With the addition of a fourth chicken place within a third of a mile — Raising Cane’s that has created similar but much milder problems — Chick-Fil-A operates as if Yosemite Avenue and Northwoods exists only for their business plan.

Chick-Fil-A generated $4.3 billion in sales nationally in 2020. Profits were at $715.9 million up 10.6 percent over 2019 levels.

Yet Chick-Fil-A doesn’t have the decency to dump — and therefore pay for garbage collection — for the trash their thousands of customers create when they commandeered an adjoining shopping center’s parking lot. That happens because Chick-Fil-A won’t allow customers to park on its property to eat their meals.

Pouring salt into the wounds not only has the area closest to Chick-Fil-A been posted off-limits to Chick-Fil-A customers but the shopping center owners had to pay for extra garbage cans and service to dump them. That’s despite Chick-Fil-A management leaving them with the impression they’d at least do that.

This past Saturday the right lane of Yosemite Avenue westbound was all about Chick-Fil-A as usual. Those in the queue on Northwoods — just like they often do — did not hug the curb. The meant shopping center customers, guests of nearby hotels — including future ones of the multi-story Tru by Hilton now under construction — as well as nearby residents were blocked from driving down the street as there was ongoing traffic in the left turn lane coming off of Northwoods.

When there were gaps thru vehicles semi-straddling the lane would squeeze through coming precariously close to other vehicles.

For the record, Santa Barbara actually took steps that Manteca hasn’t and posted signs telling motorists not to stop in the travel lane. You’d be surprised to find out they’ve been ignored.

Interesting to note that Santana Barbara has had a Chick-Fil-A traffic issue for almost a decade.

Yet when Planning Commissioners during the Manteca approval process asked about such issues the traffic consulting firm the city uses almost exclusively implied through a representative   they found no such concerns. Apparently the consultants don’t do what an 11-year-old can do which is Google “Chick-Fil-a traffic issues.”




At least they painted

curbs by fire hydrants

to deal with trucks

Manteca Councilman Dave Breitenbucher has on numerous occasions asked city management to paint curbing red in front of a fire hydrant on Moffat Boulevard where up to 16 complete trucks with tractors and trailers, plus detached trailers, and RVs of the homeless can be found on by given day.

The hydrant is routinely blocked on any given day by trucks or parked cars.

Thursday the city crews were cleaning up trash left by the homeless, and to address trucking issues, they painted the curb red in front of two hydrants.

It’s too bad the city didn’t think it had the authority to do the same to curbing at Powers Avenue and Cowell Avenue used by pedestrians crossing to access the Tidewater Bikeway where trucks often block access and sight lines.

At least it’s a start.

One nearby resident doesn’t think the city has to look high and low for a legal justification to restrict or limit truck parking on Moffat since it is a legal designated truck route.

That’s because the truckers parking their rigs there, they are clearly Manteca operators that aren’t making deliveries or pickups nearby. They also aren’t “resting” as required by federal law after “x’ amount of hours on the road.

They are parking their trucks for days at time while driving to and from their homes miles away.



Bee hives, first

signs of spring

The countryside around Manteca, Ripon, Escalon, and Tracy is about to get a good buzz.

Boxes of bee hives have started popping up in orchards throughout the region.

It’s part of the largest pollination mobilization in the United States as well as the first on the calendar.

Once the afternoons start warming as we move into February, bees will get to work pollinating California’s 1.5 million acres of almonds.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email