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Manteca mulls crosswalk policy
Neighbors seek crosswalk at Woodward & Buena Vista
The Manteca City Council on Tuesday may adopt a formal crosswalk policy to address safety concerns. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Future crosswalks at uncontrolled intersections in Manteca may no longer simply consist of dual solid lines from curb-to-curb or even the solid bar markings that appear on a crossing midway between North Street and the Highway 99 overcrossing on Cottage Avenue.

Instead they may be striped in what is known as the triple four pattern that consists of two lines of solid squares from curb-to-curb.

At least that is the city staff recommendation when the City Council Tuesday considers adopting a formal policy to address crosswalk issues.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting the council will consider a request from 87 citizens who signed a petition to have crosswalks placed across Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive. The neighborhood effort is being led by Stacey Ivey-Hernandez. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Among items outlined in the proposed crosswalk policy designed to improve pedestrian safety are:

•Narrowing travel lanes to the minimum of nine feet - especially at left and right turn pockets at intersections since it takes a pedestrian an average of 4 seconds to cross a wider lane. The shorter distances for non-through lanes where drivers have to slow down anyway enhances the safety of pedestrians.

•Removing sight line problems that prevent drivers and pedestrians from seeing each other. This can include eliminating parking spaces, removing signage or landscaping, and making sure street furniture such as bus stops with benches are placed in such a manner they do not interfere with sight lines.

•Raised pedestrian islands on busy streets where conditions warrant it. That would allow a pedestrian to cross half a street at a time.

•Raised crosswalks used as speed tables - flat-topped speed bumps - complete with crosswalk markings - that allow a pedestrian street-level crossing between the bumps. This slows down vehicles plus makes pedestrians more visible.

A proposed policy is also included to address requests such as the one for a crosswalk on Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive.

The steps that policy proposes is as follows:

•City staff receives a request for a crosswalk at an uncontrolled intersection.

•Staff visits the site to gather data.

•If 20 pedestrians cross at the location during a peak hour or 60 pedestrians in four hours - not necessarily consecutive hours - the request advances. If it doesn’t meet that criteria but is near a location that is expected to generate a lot of pedestrian traffic such as a hospital, school, park, bus stop, or trail the request still advances.

•If the nearest appropriately marked or controlled crosswalk is at least 300 feet away the request keeps moving forward. But if the crosswalk is closer and the posted or actual speed is 25 mph or slower the request still advances.

•If a pedestrian can been seen from a feasible stopping distance generally 10 feet times the speed limit the crosswalk advances. If not but staff determines it is feasible to remove sight line reductions or lower the speed limit the request still advances.

At that point the staff examines various options for crosswalks as outlined in the proposed policy and determines the best course of action.