Manteca’s Public Works engineering department has been analyzing a traffic roundabout on Woodward Avenue between Airport Way and Union Road to determine what actions to take in the future to reduce accidents.
Brothers David and Danny Craigg lost their lives while riding motorcycles when they struck the roundabout last month.
More than one municipal city official said the city has been careful not to interfere with the grieving processes of the families who lost their sons, husbands and fathers. Not only does the roundabout need to be cleaned up but the painting on the bricks and on the asphalt will have to eventually be removed.
Two yellow caution signs have been erected on poles in advance of traffic reaching the turnaround.
Woodward Avenue has become known among many as a high speed drag strip or sorts. While the roundabouts are an accepted way of reducing speeds when drivers are paying attention they can lead to mishaps. A similar crash occurred about a year ago at North Ripon Road and Milgeo Avenue northeast of that city where the rider also lost his life after flipping over the landscaping of the roundabout when he slammed into it at a high rate of speed.
The accident scene has been cleaned up once already with city workers taking away much of what was left by mourners as it became damaged by the weather and other elements. As least one case of beer that had been left in the center of the roundabout with two candles has also been removed as have other parts of the unofficial memorial to the motorcycle riders.
The Public Works Department officials have noted that there was one “15 mile per hour” sign on an A-frame along with a “construction ahead” sign along the roadway at the time of the crashes. Two of the Harley Davidson motorcycles collided with the roundabout and flipped into the air before landing own the road. The third rider veered off to the right and crashed into a nearby field. The two other signs were installed after the crash, one within less than 150 feet of the roundabout and the other another estimated 150 feet beyond the first sign, according to city staffers.
The city’s claim of the existing signage counters rumors that the city had no warning signs for the oncoming eastbound traffic. The speed limit on Woodward at the time of the crash was 45 miles an hour that has now been reduced to 25 miles an hour because of the residential element in the neighborhood.
A pending traffic study will determine the appropriate speed that should be maintained on the roadway as related to the existing traffic flow of observed vehicles both east and west. The complexion of Woodward Avenue between Union Road and Airport Way has changed significantly since new homes have been built along the south side of the arterial.
Motorists traveling along Woodward seem to respect the area where the two men lost their lives and slow their vehicles to a respectful crawl as they drive by the scene of the fatal crashes.
To contact Glenn Kahl, firstname.lastname@example.org.