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Decries Manteca’s head in the sand approach to traffic law enforcement

Editor, Manteca Bulletin

Have you ever wondered how truck drivers know if they are on a legal STAA truck route or not?  The Department of Transportation (DOT) places signs along a STAA route — they are blue and white with an image of the back end of a semi-trailer — and they will have arrows indicating which direction from that point STAA trucks may legally continue. 

You can see one on west bound Lathrop Road, just west of Highway 99 before reaching the frontage road, which only allows STAA trucks to turn right and go north on the Frontage Road.  By its presence at that location, and with only a right turn arrow, that means no STAA trucks can legally continue west past the Frontage Road.  Coming off Interstate 5 east bound on Lathrop Road, you see the DOT sign only allowing STAA trucks to turn north or south on Harlan Road, continuing east on Lathrop Road past Harlan is illegal.  Along the Airport Way and French Camp intersection you can see the signs limiting STAA trucks to only continue east or west on French Camp or to turn north on Airport Way.  Turning south on Airport Way is restricted and illegal.

Now we come to Roth Road.  There is a DOT sign just to the east of the Union Pacific entrance/exit that says END meaning no STAA trucks can legally pass that point.  To the best of my knowledge that DOT sign has been there for the 11 plus years I’ve lived in Manteca.  Then along comes the new traffic signal installed by CenterPoint as a condition levied by the City and guess what, a new signal warning sign with a flashing amber light is placed approximately six feet in front of the DOT sign effectively blocking it from truck driver’s view.  (Check out the attached picture.)  I’m sure that signal warning sign was a City requirement even though the actual traffic signal is less than a hundred yards away and easily visible without the warning sign.  

One has to wonder if the placement of the warning sign was intentionally done to block the DOT sign and give truck drivers an excuse for breaking the law; and further, one wonders why in the heck city staff have allowed it to remain where it was installed.  Is this just another example of a “head in the sand” approach to law/code enforcement that seems to be prevalent in Manteca across many city departments which are responsible for our welfare and the future of our City?

Bill Barnhart