There’s a lot of chatter going around about roundabouts.
On Tuesday during a council meeting approving a map for more homes in Southwest Manteca, Mayor Ben Cantu shared how there are those in the community that don’t like the idea there are so many roundabouts already on Woodward Avenue — with more to come — slowing down traffic.
But as staff pointed out that is the entire point of roundabouts. They slow down traffic, enhance safety, and do so while keeping traffic moving more freely. Those are three objectives elected leaders and residents have been demanding the city strive for when it comes to Manteca’s streets.
“Roundabouts are good at slowing down traffic,” Councilman Jose Nuño noted.
That said he would like to see the city make future ones that are constructed be designed to make it easier for delivery trucks and school buses to navigate. Nuño noted there have been issues with the ones now in place on Woodward Avenue east of Airport Way.
Cantu agreed with Nuño that the city needs to make sure delivery trucks and buses can clear the roundabouts without an issue.
“Roundabouts when done properly work,” Councilman Gary Singh added
More roundabouts are planned along Woodward Avenue including one where the new alignment of McKinley Avenue now intersects Woodward Avenue. The alignment will be renamed Raymus Parkway at some point.
Cantu would like to see the city eliminate or reduce the number of planned roundabouts on Woodward Avenue and the envisioned Raymus Parkway. He also favors looking at the existing roundabouts on Woodward Avenue to determine if there is adequate spacing between them.
Cantu questioned roundabouts along Raymus Parkway arguing the original concept of a four-lane road with traffic signals was more appropriate to accommodate growth and handle projected traffic volume.
Staff noted the road — once planned as an expressway — is now being designed as a two=lane parkway out of the gate with most of it that passes through neighborhoods between Woodward Avenue and Main Street to where it will curve to the east being two lanes.
However if the city in the future wants to send four lanes of traffic along that segment there is adequate right-of-way to do that.
Cantu made the observation at that point the roundabouts could be torn out and replaced with traffic signals if needed.
Roundabouts are going in on the alignment of Raymus Parkway through the 1,301-home Griffin Park project breaking ground this year. That includes the intersection with Main Street.
The new neighborhood known as Cerri that was being discussed Tuesday will have a roundabout at its main entrance dubbed Shoreline Drive at Woodward Avenue west of McKinley Avenue. It will also have a roundabout in the interior of the development along Shoreline when it intersects with a street that borders the northwest corner of a planned neighborhood park.
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