If first impressions mean anything, Manteca has set a low threshold.
It’s been two months since the homeless man set up shop along the southbound off-ramp of Highway 99 at Yosemite Avenue.
That’s the interchange that is essentially the entrance to Manteca for most travelers. It even includes the low-key raised planter median with the words “Manteca” breaking up the bricks.
A check on Monday revealed that the homeless individual still has an office desk with bookshelves as well as everything else imaginable from used tires to an oil drum stuck in a tree. There are even Christmas decorations adorning shrubs. There is of course the prerequisite pilfered shopping cart along with a pop-up tent.
Perhaps it is the City of Manteca and Caltrans’ answer to distract motorists stuck on the off-ramp on Saturdays when Chick-fil-A profits outweigh any efforts to keep traffic moving off the freeway and down Yosemite Avenue.
On Saturdays if you get stuck back that far as often happens when you are trying to turn right “legally” onto Yosemite Avenue but don’t have a hankering for Chick-fil-A, you can always whip out your smartphone and start clicking away.
Maybe you can post the photos on social media and brag how Manteca’s homeless are now serving as de facto “welcome ambassadors” for the city.
If you do post such photos let people know if they want to turn right at the end of the ramp they are going to have to do so illegally from the center lane unless they want to sit for 30 minutes or so in the right hand turn lane that is now the de facto Chick-Fil-A drive-thru lane.
Apparently illegal camping within Caltrans interchanges — take a look along the 120 Bypass – is the state’s answer to housing the homeless. Any bets on how long before they set up house within the recently completed $28 million diverging diamond interchange at Union Road and the 120 Bypass?
Want to steal & strip a car?
About two weeks ago the City Council made “beautifying” Manteca a top priority.
That was a week after someone took a stolen car that they stripped and dropped off along Moffat Boulevard below the 120 Bypass overcrossing.
In case you were wondering what has happened, a second stripped vehicle joined it last week.
Two stripped vehicles have added to the ambiance created by graffiti vandals having assurances that their work will stay untouched for at least a month if not more. The graffiti in the area has more than doubled since the first stripped car popped up.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org