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Projects design puts brakes on speed
Crivello Estates first neighborhood with intersection bulb outs
This 1,200-foot stretch of Vasconcellos Avenue looking south toward Nehemiah Drive concerns residents due to the speed of traffic. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Crivello Estates — a planned semi-custom neighborhood of 65 homes in East Manteca — is being designed to avoid Vasconcellos Avenue from being turned into a thoroughfare.

To accomplish that, Community Development Department worked with the developers Tom Wilson and Ed Machado to place bulb-outs at key intersections as well as to create a landscape area to allow emergency vehicle access only at the ultimate northern end of Vasconcellos Avenue to prevent through traffic to Louise Avenue.

“We (the city) and the developers heard the concerns of the neighbors loud and clear,” said Community Development Director Mark Nelson.
The project is before the Manteca Planning Commission this Tuesday at 7 p.m. The commission meets in the council chambers at 1001 W. Center St.

Planners met with 30 residents in the adjoining neighborhoods immediately east and north of Joshua Cowell School and the adjacent park to hear their issues and concerns and to see what could be addressed.

It was noted for those who were against any homes being built that the land had been zoned for such purposes. It was clearly what was going to happen when they bought their own homes as Azalea Lane Carnation Way, Iderbitzin Way, and Vasconcellos Avenue are all stubbed as dead-ends to accommodate street extensions.

Residents on Vasconcellos were particularly concerned about speeding.

There is already a 1,200-foot stretch of Vasconcellos between Nehemiah Way and Iderbitizin Way where motorists – primarily those who live there and their visitors since the two streets currently dead-end – reach substantially high speeds. Manteca has since pursued a subdivision design policy that avoids creating such long streets out of concern for speeding.

To avoid Vasconcellos from becoming a short cut for someone traveling from Louise Avenue to East Highway 99 by cutting up Azalea Way from Pestana Avenue, the project will have bulbs outs at Azalea’s intersections with Inderbitzin Way and Vasconcellos Avenue.

The bulb outs would be placed in a manner like the ones downtown at the southern end of the 100 block of North Maple Avenue where they effectively squeeze the pavement down to the travel lane.

This has two advantages. First, it forces those making right turns to do so at 15 mph or less. It also provides added protection for pedestrians as vehicles won’t block the corner and turning traffic has to slow.

It also makes it safer for those jogging, walking or bicycling down the concrete path in the greenbelt that will be extended through East Manteca near power transmission lines. The current park will be extended to reach the southwest corner of Azalea and Iderbitizin Way. The upkeep of both the park and the greenbelt along with landscaping as wells as sound walls on Louise Avenue will be paid by future homeowners through a landscape maintenance district.  The greenbelt now connects two parks and will connect more as Manteca grows to the east.

There will be an opening in the sound wall along Louise Avenue with an area with low level landscaping to allow emergency vehicle access when needed.

Vasconcellos was never designed to serve as a collector street as it is 50 feet wide while Pestana is designed as such a street with a width of 60 feet from Louise Avenue to East Yosemite Avenue. Caltrans would not allow both Pestana Avenue and Vasconcellos Avenue to have traffic signals. The traffic signal at Vasconcellos serves a southern four-lane extension that ultimately will access the proposed Yosemite Square office park and residential area.

Staff provided presidents with copies of the city’s traffic calming program that is a how-to process to get stop signs or other passive devices put in place to slow down traffic. Requests for such devices must come from neighborhood groups.

The developers also agreed not to build any two-story homes backing up to the houses now in place along Marigold Way.

Nelson emphasized the city cannot enforce such a rule in a standard development but noted Machado willing agreed to do so.

The city can and has exercised control over the location of two-story homes in planned unit developments such as the 177-hoem Curran Grove neighborhood that is part of Spreckels Park.