Woodward Avenue will move a step closer to becoming four lanes from Main Street to Atherton Drive as part of a deal to build 69 more homes in South Manteca.
Oakdale-based Woodward Pacific Builders are seeking to develop a new neighborhood dubbed Vintage II on 16.30 acres along the southern side of Woodward Avenue starting 393 feet east of Pillsbury Road and abutting the backyards of homes along Endure Avenue in the Richmond American neighborhood to the east.
The developer will be required to obtain right-of-way along Woodward Avenue for the city from the parcel on the west that borders Pillsbury Road. The builder will be required to then widen Woodward Avenue to four lanes — complete with sidewalk, curbs, and gutters — from Pillsbury to the Richmond American improvements made last year.
That will leave just Bridevell Avenue on the eastern edge of Woodward Park to Pillsbury Road as the only segment of Woodward between Main Street and Atherton Drive that will not be four lanes wide.
The project will create the fifth T-intersection on Woodward Avenue between Wellington Avenue/Woodward Park eastern parking lot entrance and Atherton Drive. In addition to the new road that will T-intersect into Woodward that is known as Birdie Avenue, two streets that are now stubbed in the Richard American project — Veteran and Patriot streets — will be extended for additional access. Solera Road from the south will also extend into the new Vintage II neighborhood.
The Community Development staff report being presented to the Manteca Planning Commission when they consider the project on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center council chambers, 1001 W. Center St., does not get into traffic circulation issues involving Woodward Avenue. That’s because Vintage II is essentially one of a few missing pieces of developable land left along Woodward Avenue between Main Street and Atherton Drive. As such it is essentially an infill project.
Originally Woodward Avenue was envisioned by the city as major east-west route south of the 120 Bypass. It was originally intended to function as a major four-lane arterial between what is now the Oakwood Shores gated community and Moffat Boulevard. That was before the concept of Atherton Drive was advanced.
Atherton Drive is now the designated heavy arterial mover of traffic from McKinley Avenue eastward where it curves south, intersects Woodward Avenue and is planned to continue south toward Ripon.
The initial phase of the 120 Bypass/Highway 99/Austin Road project Caltrans expects to break ground in the next two years will include realigning Woodward Avenue to connect with a new street to access Austin Road that will see a four lane bridge built to cross both Highway 99 and the railroad tracks. The connector street between Woodward and Austin will access a replacement crossing of the tracks for Woodward Avenue that will be at a 90-degree angle for enhanced safety.
While the on and off ramps on the north side of the Austin Road interchange will initially be closed and not replaced until a later phase, when they are put in place it could generate additional traffic on Woodward Avenue.
The decision by the city to keep Woodward Avenue two lanes west of Main Street has changed the once rural road into a hybrid collector/arterial street mainly because of the wide expanse Woodward Avenue is east of Main Street.
Over the years residents in the area have approached the council a number of times with concerns about speeding as well as the safety of pedestrians crossing the street. There has been one pedestrian fatality in the past decade with several injuries.
In part of its bid to slow down traffic, the city placed a high profile three-way stop at Pillsbury and Woodward earlier this year.
City staff is apparently comfortable with that being able to slow down traffic enough as no proposal was made for a three-way stop at the envisioned Birdie and Woodward intersection. The fact there will be five T-intersections in a row reduces the potential for crashes as opposed to four-way intersections where only two directions have stop signs on the street posted for 45 mph.
The city also identified no issues with traffic turning west on Woodward Avenue from Birdie conflicting with westbound Woodward Avenue traffic turning south onto Pillsbury as no mentioned was made of creating islands or medians on Woodward to prevent traffic for traveling in the middle lane to create conflicts with turns as happens on a daily basis on Spreckles Avenue between Norman Drive and the Food-4-Less driveway as well as segments of East Yosemite between Northwoods and Cottage.
The developer is also being required to put in place a 7-foot masonry wall on the western border of the neighborhood. That is because the parcel that will remain undeveloped for now on the southeast corner of Pillsbury and Woodward is designated as neighborhood commercial.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com