By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
To park or not to park by park
Workshop tonight on converting Woodward Ave. to 2-lanes
The City of Manteca is considering converting a section of Woodward Avenue from four lanes into two lanes with parking. - photo by RYAN BALBUENA


• WHAT: Workshop on potential of converting four lanes of Woodward Avenue from South Main Street to Bridewell Avenue with bicycle lanes and on-street parking.
• WHEN: Tonight at 6 p.m.
• WHERE: Council chambers at Manteca Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
• MORE INFO: Contact the Public Works Department by e-mailing, call 456-8500, or fax 923-8949.

Woodward Avenue near its namesake park has generated a lot of neighborhood complaints.

It is unsafe for children to cross the wide expanse of pavement to reach the park. Traffic - especially during commute time - often significantly exceeds the posted 40 mph speed limit. And parking during major soccer tournaments jams streets in front of nearby homes often a block or so away from the park.

Municipal staff believes they have come up with a possible solution to address all three issues for at least the next 10 years if not longer.

The plan is to convert four lanes of Woodward Avenue between South Main Street and Bridewell Avenue to two lanes along with six-foot-wide bike lanes and parallel parking. The bike lane would be far enough away from parked vehicles that motorists could actually pull out of the travel lane while maneuvering into parking spaces. A crosswalk would also be placed across Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive.

The City Council told the staff to further study the proposal and to obtain community input.

They are doing just that during a public workshop planned tonight at 6 o’clock at the Manteca City Council chambers at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. Staff will present the plans including options and alternatives. Interested parties are asked to bring concerns regarding traffic, parking, and pedestrian safety to the workshop.

City staff will also update those attending on the proposed Bridewell Avenue parking lot on the southeast corner of the park.

Public Works Director Mark Houghton noted work starts on Aug. 1 on Woodward Avenue to the west of South Main Street to install sewer lines. The new street profile for that section of Woodward Avenue will take the narrow two-lane roadway and widen it to a two-lane street with a wider-than-normal median lined with trees to eventually provide a shade canopy over the pavement. The design is to preserve the rural character of the section of Woodward that has more than 40 existing homes on half acres and larger.

Houghton noted the improvements by the park - if made - could be removed in the future if development and traffic from the 1,040-acre Austin Road Business Park warrants it.

It would cost $20,000 to make the proposed improvements to convert that section of Woodward Avenue into two lanes including the creation of 160 on-street parking spaces and a high visibility crosswalk.

The most likely source of funds for the work would be Measure K sales tax and restricted taxes collected by the state for the purpose of paying for the creation of bike lanes.

A two-lane roadway can handle 14,600 vehicles a day and still meet the city’s targeted service level. The segment of Woodward by the park currently carries 6,300 vehicles a day.

During the first weekend in May, police personnel issued 36 tickets for soccer match attendees blocking fire hydrants, partially blocking driveways, and blocking handicapped access points in the Woodward park neighborhoods.

Some residents have simply asked the city step up ticketing instead of changing Woodard Avenue.

Given budget cutbacks, such enforcement would be spotty at best.