Stop signs are in the future of Woodward Avenue motorists at Pillsbury Road.
The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is expected to award a bid of $314,157 to Pelagic Engineering for three safety improvement projects along the Woodward Avenue corridor. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
The project includes:
uInstalling solar powered LED stop signs at Woodward and Pillsbury as well as doing striping work.
uInstalling high visibility crosswalk with overhead flashing beacon system and LED signs at the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Wellington Avenue.
uInstalling high visibility crosswalk and flashing beacon system at the intersection of Woodward and Pagola avenues.
The city budgeted $1 million for the three projects by setting aside Local Transportation Funds.
Woodward Avenue traffic — particularly speeding and pedestrian safety — has been an issue for residents south of the 120 Bypass for a number o0f years.
The three-way stop at Pillsbury Road’s T-intersection with Woodward Avenue is being triggered by new development. That said the speed of traffic on Woodward between Van Ryn Road and Atherton Drive has been a bone of contention for residents.
Although speed surveys show that 85 percent of the traffic doesn’t exceed the posted speed limit of 45 mph, residents have said it is difficult to turn onto or cross Woodward due to the 15 percent that exceeds the posted speed limit.
The death of a grandfather who was struck while crossing Woodward and Buena Vista Drive while pushing his grandson in a stroller happened before the city was able to get highly visible overhead flashing lights in place at the crosswalk.
Residents concerned about the safety of their children walking to and from Woodward School and Woodward Park using the crosswalk at Buena Vista were irked a year prior when a consultant hired by the city to see pedestrian flashers were justified concluded he observed few people using the crosswalks and most of the ones that did appeared fit enough they could jog out of the way. Residents noted the consultant did not indicate the time frame he observed the crosswalk given a number of children do use it.
The in-ground crosswalk flashers on the Woodward Avenue crosswalk at Wellington have not worked for 17 months after being in place for a decade. The city determined repairing the system was not a wise move given the cost and how overhead flashers are more effective at getting the attention of drivers.
The city was much more nimble responding to concerns of students crossing busy Woodward at Pagola from new homes to reach Veritas School. Within weeks of parents contacting the city about their concerns in August 2016 a crosswalk along with solar powered flashers were put in place as an interim measure at the council’s direction.
At the time Councilman Richard Silverman lauded the staff’s quick response and the fact the solar powered flasher could be employed elsewhere in the city once the permanent flashing lights were put in place to save tax dollars.
Permanent roundabouts are also being put in place by new development to further slowdown traffic and enhance pedestrian safety.
In addition, once the gap of Atherton Drive between Airport Way and Union Road is completed later this year, it will take traffic off of Woodward Avenue that bypasses the 120 Bypass at Airport Way and use Woodward to reach Moffat and then Highway 99 when there is an accident or severe back-up.
The city opted to lump the three projects together that the council in asking to give the green light to proceeding with on Tuesday in a bid to get the work done at a lower cost due to the economy of scale.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org