The same group of concerned residents that got the Lathrop City Council to table any additional work on the Lathrop Road widening project is now requesting that the arterial’s truck route designation be pulled.
And it may actually be on the table.
During the public discussion portion of Monday’s council meeting, a handful of the same residents who dominated a three-plus hour meeting in October that led to the widening of the city’s namesake arterial street being tabled until city staff could adequately address their concerns – which likely won’t happen until early next year – made the case that truck traffic is ruining the quality of life for those who live along the route and fear for their safety.
With Vice Mayor Steve Dresser running the meeting in the place of an absent Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, the public comment portion of the meeting where the majority of the comments came lasted more than an hour as residents and their supporters reiterated their concerns about Lathrop Road if it were to be widened – this time focusing heavily on the role that trucks play in their concerns.
Part of the concern centered on the fact that Lathrop Road is a designated truck route and while a new 35 miles per hour speed limit sign was installed – and Lathrop Police Services has been addressing speed concerns that have been raised by homeowners and residents – the heavy 48-foot and 53-foot trucks rumble past without any regard for the posted signs.
With the regular traffic and heavy trucks, one resident said that she feared for the children who walk along Lathrop Road and have to cross the I-5 onramp and offramp in order to get to Lathrop High School in the morning and pass by the same way in the afternoon when school has let out – noting that she has seen several close calls with trucks that didn’t see the children walking past.
Coupled with an accident on Monday between a truck and a school bus, the residents put pressure on the council to consider the idea of rerouting truck traffic out to either Roth Road – which will soon be home to a Pilot/Flying J Truck Stop – or Louise Avenue and away from the heavily-used school zone.
But in the eyes of resident Dan Doyle, there’s a fine line between accommodating requests and inconveniencing the kinds of businesses that Lathrop has worked so hard to secure.
“You can ask for it to go from Lathrop out to Roth or out to Louise all you want,” Doyle said. “But pretty soon you’re going to drive all of the businesses out of Lathrop because they don’t want to have to deal with that. That’s where this thing is headed.”
Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore said that his staff will have answers to the questions that were posed during the October meeting early next year – citing the intricacies involved in compositing such detailed responses to detailed questions.
At that point staff will look into what it would take to reroute truck traffic to another arterial thoroughfare at the request of council.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.