Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
What is it about “illegal” that truckers and trucking firms don’t understand! It is illegal for STAA rated trucking to utilize either Lathrop or Airport Roads. Truckers use those routes strictly for their convenience and no other reason.
Where does road maintenance funding come from — DMV fees and fuel taxes. What large or even independent through freight trucking firms are located in Manteca? Little to none other than perhaps a moving company and thus little to no DMV fees coming back for road maintenance. How about fuel taxes then, at last count there were zero truck stops in Manteca so I guess that means Manteca gets no fuel taxes from all the big rigs that are tearing up our roads. Yes, while road maintenance may be lacking, and lacking largely due to shortage of funding from the trucks that are tearing up our roads, one has only to drive Lathrop road to see evidence it is the large trucks that are tearing up the roads, not regular vehicular traffic. The evidence is right there for anyone to see and it is very easy to correlate the damage caused by the trucks if you are following one and see where their tires, and subsequently their full weight, impact on the asphalt.
UPS has illegally moved STAA rated truck trailers from other locations to their facility on Lathrop Road. One can only hope this is temporary while they make upgrades to their other locations. Raley’s and Savemart have an exemption under state law that allows them to utilize their STAA rated trucks on these roads, and no one to my knowledge is even questioning these trucks as these businesses are good neighbors and contribute to the betterment of the community. While through freight trucks do carry all forms of goods for us the consumers, they should not be practically delivering those goods to my front door. Those trucks go exclusively to distribution centers from which goods are further legally distributed by local haulers. Each and every distribution center in the vicinity of Manteca and Lathrop all have at least one STAA rated route to get to and from major highways. Why they feel an overwhelming need to travel through our community endangering the populace is beyond comprehension.
One has only to travel Lathrop Road during the time period daily when our children are being bussed home from school to see the big rigs blow by school busses that have their red lights blinking and the STOP sign displayed. At 5:00 am on week mornings it is not unusual to see them blowing through the red light at Union and Lathrop roads. We have children walking to and from school along Lathrop road, we have churches along Lathrop and Airport roads that necessitate cars backing out onto these roads to exit the parking facilities. We have a very large senior community along Lathrop road that pays much higher than average property taxes in Manteca but each person is at risk when they pull out onto Lathrop Road from this area.
If one does their research, and takes out of the equation their bias in favor of these large trucks, they will find that the frontage road west of Highway 99 north of Lathrop Road is a main industrial/commercial corridor. The large undeveloped area to the northwest of the Highway 99 and Lathrop Road interchange is intended for a large shopping center eventually. Those are the primary reasons the interchange was designed as it was to eventually facilitate a major amount of surface traffic in an out of the area.
The “burdensome” regulations placed on long haul truckers are put there for many, many reasons. Just to name a few: protection of unions, protection of independents, safety of the general public whether it be weight limits, speed limits, etc; limiting the hours of driving, limiting where firms are licensed to haul to and from and many others, again for the safety of the public. The same applies to any industry whether it applies to the building industry, the dairy industry, the automotive industry, etc., etc. The trucking industry is in no way unique in this perspective.
Strickly for their convenience and their convenience only, truckers are putting the safety of our school children, seniors and church goers at risk every day, many, many times a day. They are costing us, the residents of Manteca and Lathrop, whatever the costs are going to be to repair these two roads to keep them serviceable for daily regular vehicular traffic and likely not paying a dime themselves towards these necessary repairs.