It is not your imagination if it seems to take less time in recent weeks to travel through downtown on Main Street.
New software has been installed to enhance the synchronization of traffic signals on Main Street from Alameda Street to Moffat Boulevard.
Spot checks during the noon hoor and the late afternoon — chronic bottleneck periods for traffic over the years — has shown a sharp improvement when trains have not blocked the Main Street crossing.
There has been a slight uptick in delays for east-west traffic to clear signals especially on Center Street and Yosemite Avenue as staff said would happen. That was necessarily to improve the flow of traffic on Main Street.
On Tuesday between 3:15 and 3:45 p.m. when Manteca High classes were dismissed traffic westbound on Moffat appeared to be subject to less delays than last school year when trying to turn onto Main Street.
Interim City Manager Toni Lundgren indicated Wednesday staff plans to have the City Council revisit what it may want further done to enhance traffic movements on the Main Street corridor at a council meeting in October.
Councilman Gary Sing who has led the push to improve traffic on the Main Street corridor through downtown, indicated he’d like to see the other traffic islands removed in the 100 block of North Main Street and replaced with an extended left turn lane similar to southbound Main Street at Center Street in front of Wells Fargo Bank.
That work — along with the synchronization — cost the city $100,5000 to complete using primarily municipal public works staff and equipment.
Singh has made it clear in his campaign for mayor that he will cotinine to rush for reconfiguring Main Street through downtown to four lanes to improve overall traffic flow in the community.
“I understand why staff wanted to go about it the way they did,” Singh said.
He noted it would allow elected leaders and the community to see if the changes would make marked improvements.
At the same time the changes would not need to be tossed aside and/or ripped out as they would dovetail into additional changes that would fit four lanes of traffic — two in each direction — with left turn lanes through downtown within the existing area between curbs.
“Ultimately Main Street needs to be four lanes,” Singh said.
The councilman has repeatedly noted the city has only three north-south arterials — Union Road, Airport Way, and Main Street.
The city currently has 88,000 residents. There are housing projects at various stages in the development pipeline that will push the city’s population to 110,000 in the coming years.
The bulk of that is planned in the south and in the north.
That means more people from the northern parts of the city trying to reach shopping areas on South Main and nearby areas will be passing through downtown.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com