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Woodward, Buena Vista: Crosswalk gets OK
A crosswalk was approved Tuesday night across Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Stacey Ivey-Hernandez started getting concerned about the safety of her kids and other Paseo West neighborhood children having to cross busy and often high-speed Woodward Avenue walking to school over a year ago.

That’s when the Manteca Unified School District was forced to drastically cut back on bus service due to the budget crisis requiring neighborhood kids to walk to Woodward School. Ivey-Hernandez contacted city officials and started circulating a petition to get a crosswalk across Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive. Almost 90 people signed the petition.

Her efforts paid off Tuesday as the City Council voted unanimously to approve a crosswalk complete with signage alerting approaching traffic that they are nearing a pedestrian crossing. It also is expected to be the first crosswalk in Manteca stripped in what is known as the triple four patterns that consists of two lines of solid squares from curb-to-curb. Existing city crosswalks primarily consist of dual solid lines curb-to-curb or several with solid bar markings such as appear on a crossing midway between North Street and the Highway 99 overcrossing on Cottage Avenue.

Ivey-Hernandez may also have helped put something else in motion that could ultimately slow down Woodward Avenue traffic that routinely exceeds the posted 40 mph speed limit.

Mayor Willie Weatherford told staff he wanted them to come up with a plan that could possibly narrow Woodward Avenue to two travel lanes with a concrete island down the middle that could serve as a pedestrian island while at the same time reduce the amount of traffic lanes pedestrians have to cross. He also envisions having in-street parking by Woodward Park as well as along the sound walls on the south side between Buena Vista and Main Street. Such parking could even be diagonal given the width of the street.

It would also reduce the amount of vehicles parking in nearby neighborhoods to attend soccer game and other events at Woodward Park.

Manteca recently switched Woodward Avenue to a two-lane street with landscaping median west of Main Street. The only stretch that has actually been built wide enough for four travel lanes and a turn pocket is from Main Street east to Bridewell on the east side of Woodward Park.