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Tidewater backbone of envisioned 14-mile path
A bicyclist uses a segment of the Tidewater Bikeway south of Alameda Avenue. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

The Tidewater Bikeway is Manteca’s one of most used parks on a daily basis when it comes to non-organized activities .
Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists use the 3.4-mile bikeway — dedicated 15 years ago —  that runs from Lathrop Road in the north to Spreckels Avenue in the south. Along the way users can access Manteca High, downtown, the library, the skate park and Northgate Park.
The 35 acres of abandoned Tidewater Southern Railroad right-of-way was purchased in the 1990s and developed by Manteca using Measure K sales tax receipts and state grants.
It is designed as the backbone of a nearly 14-mile loop of Manteca.
Due to the cost, Manteca has adopted a pay-as-you grow policy requiring developers to put in place various segments when they develop property along the route. At the same time the city requires developers to include future pavement maintenance as well as landscaping upkeep in landscape maintenance districts funded by nearby property owners.
Separated bike path paths such as the Tidewater are delineated as Class I. So far the city has roughly eight miles of  Class I bike paths of which  less than four miles are being maintained on the city’s dime.
Nearly six miles of the 14 mile loop route is in place. You can take the bike path from the western edge of Del Webb at Woodbridge at Airport Way all the way to the western edge of Paseo Villas along Atherton Drive. There are two other segments of the Atherton Drive portion in place. One is along the Orchard Valley frontage and the other can be found on both sides of Airport Way.
Other Class I bike paths are along Atherton Drive from Van Ryn to Woodward Avenue, Wellington Avenue that allows Tidewater users to reach Woodward Park, Van Ryn Avenue, a short segment along Industrial Park Drive, Spreckels Avenue, and a path through Spring Creek/Button Estates Park in east Manteca.
The city’s bike plan calls for the western route of the loop to be built under the 120 Bypass at McKinley Avenue and head north jogging to the east to tentatively follow the drainage slough that runs along the east side of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks before swinging east to connect with the current terminus at the edge of Del Webb at Woodbridge along Airport Way.
The city has talked about tying the loop route at McKinley to the extension of Daniels Street to access the Big league Dreams sports complex, Stadium Retail Center, and the future family entertainment zone. Also as Atherton Drive heads south of Woodward Avenue that bicycle path will be extended as well with the ultimate goal of tying it into Ripon.
The biggest city investment in bicycle paths in 15 years could break ground by early 2018. That’s when a separate bicycle path/pedestrian walkway bridge will be built as part of the diverging diamond interchange at Union Road and the 120 Bypass. That would fulfill a goal in the city’s general plan and bicycle master plan to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety by having separated and protected paths across the 120 Bypass Existing overpasses have neither sidewalks or any sort of bicycle lane. The original idea was to have bicycle lanes possibly protected by K-rail and  sidewalks.
When the overpasses were built in the 1980s there was no urban development south of the 120 Bypass.
Altogether Manteca’s bicycle master plan calls for 20.7 miles of separated bike paths and another 77.8 miles of bicycle lanes along city streets.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email