Editor, Manteca Bulletin
This afternoon (Wednesday) as I was nearing the red light going westbound on Lathrop Road at Union, a large STAA size truck (any vehicle exceeding 65’) was already stopped in the right lane. Right before I reached the McDonalds entrance/exit a Manteca PD SUV pulled out in front of me moving to the left lane alongside the STAA truck. Both vehicles were the first ones up to the crosswalk. When the light turned green both vehicles pulled away at a regular speed, the PD SUV was in no hurry. Later this evening, coming home from a great dinner at a Chinese kitchen across from the Ford dealership, we saw a STAA size truck parked on the north side of Lathrop Road, just east of where the Tidewater Bike Trail crosses Lathrop Road. We actually see between one and three of these trucks frequently parked here at night. The ironic thing this time was the truck had pulled far enough west so that the No Parking sign was visible a few feet beyond the rear of the truck. I guess the PD never travels Lathrop Road after dark. I used to go to breakfast just before 6 a.m. once a week and would see STAA trucks flying through the Lathrop Road/Union intersection regardless whether they had a red or green light.
I fail to understand why the Manteca PD can/will not ticket these STAA trucks that are illegally using Lathrop Road. The CHP confirms these trucks are illegally using Lathrop Road but they say it is actually City PD responsibility to police this road. I’ve heard mention that the Highway 99/Lathrop Road Interchange was designed for STAA trucks. Well, I can attest it wasn’t engineered for it. The number 2 and 3 east bound lanes at the last stop light before entry onto southbound Highway 99 are already sinking from the weight of the many trucks using Lathrop Road illegally. On those few occasions when the City of Lathrop has put large electronic signs just off Interstate 5 on eastbound Lathrop Road indicating no STAA trucks beyond Harlan Road, it reduces that kind of truck traffic through Manteca to almost nil.
What is so difficult with the City of Manteca putting up permanent NO STAA TRUCK signs along Lathrop Road at appropriate locations and then enforce it? I even recently discovered that the Delicato Winery recently put in a turn-around for the STAA trucks which turned onto the Highway 99 Frontage Road by mistake. That would provide a perfect recovery for truckers who mistakenly thought they could come off Highway 99 and go west on Lathrop Road. When will it stop?