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Residential lots as large as 20,400 square feet
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Get ready for Manteca’s first roundabout on a major arterial.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is considering requiring a developer planning to build 492 homes to place a roundabout on Louise Avenue about midway between the Highway 99 overcrossing and Cottage Avenue where the main entrance to the subdivision will align with the existing Felice Way that accesses the 99-home Rodoni Estates to the south.

The basic functional design will be similar to the roundabout on four-lane 11th Street just west of Interstate 5 where it intersects with West GRantline Road/Kasson Road on the way to Tracy.  Two lanes of eastbound and westbound Louise will wrap around the landscaped roundabout. At the same time Felice Way will have one travel lane in each direction feeding into the roundabout. Typically roundabouts have yield signs and not stop signs.

In order to make it work, Louise Avenue will swing slightly to the north to accommodate the roundabout.

Pedestrian crossings will be away from the roundabout on Louise Avenue as well as on the entrance road to the development that aligns with Felice Way.

The 122-acre subdivision is northwest of the Louise Avenue and Cottage Avenue intersection. It will have only two access points for the seven distinct neighborhoods Trumark Homes is planning — the one at the roundabout on Louise Avenue and the other on Southland Road.

The roundabout is in lieu of placing traffic signals at the intersection with the entrance that was originally approved as Shadowbrook Estates.

Roundabouts — or traffic circles — are now viewed by the city as a way of addressing four major traffic concerns including how to:

uimprove the safety of pedestrians especially crossing at intersections adjacent to neighborhood parks and schools.

ukeep traffic moving and avoid costly traffic signals where collector streets meet and — in some cases — where an arterial and collector street cross.

ureduce traffic speed.

uimprove air quality by eliminating stop signs which in turn reduces increased air pollution created by stop and go movements.

Manteca already has three roundabouts located within a block north of the Woodward Avenue corridor east of South Main Street. Two are at the edge of Tesoro Park and a future park site while the other is much larger with an acre park in the middle of  Buena Vista Drive north of Woodward Avenue. There is a fourth semi-roundabout on Woodward at Tinnin Road but it only has plastic markers and uses stop signs.

Seven more are already approved to go on or near Woodward Avenue as part of the 1,450-home Trails at Manteca moving toward construction on the western end of Woodward Avenue. Two of the seven will be at access streets intersection with Woodward Avenue.

Virtually every new neighborhood in the planning process has a requirement for roundabouts either adjacent to future schools or parks or deployed in a manner to slow traffic on the main access street. All roundabouts built in new neighborhoods as a condition of development are landscaped.

They are also being pondered for use at some intersections on the proposed McKinley Expressway. The expressway will eventually be Manteca’s southern most thoroughfares swinging from the current terminus of McKinley Avenue at Woodward Avenue in southwest Manteca and eventually to a new interchange on Highway 99 midway between Ripon and Manteca.

The three roundabouts already in place reflect two different strategies. The ones in the Tesoro neighborhood are designed to slow traffic down near schools and parks that have heavy foot traffic. The acre roundabout on Buena Vista Drive is designed to discourage future through traffic from the between Atherton Drive and  Woodward Avenue now that the gap on Atherton between South Main Street and Wellington Avenue has been completed. The area along Atherton Drive is zoned commercial and is expected to lure heavy traffic volumes.

The use of roundabouts would allow the city to keep traffic moving while slowing it down enough to allow access from connector streets. It also would also go toward meeting a mandate of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to reduce vehicle idling. The more time vehicles have to stop at traffic signals or stop signs, the less efficiently they burn carbon-based fuel which in turn impacts air quality. Idling vehicles are a major source of valley air pollution.

Roundabouts also save cities considerable amount of money and can reduce the cost of new homes. That is accomplished by deploying roundabouts instead of traffic signals wherever feasible on moderately traveled streets. Not only does that save $500,000 in upfront cost for signals but it reduces ongoing maintenance costs. The reduced development costs also can translate into slightly lower housing prices. The cost of neighborhood infrastructure including improvement sot nearby arterial streets is collapsed into the price of a new home.

Ripon and Lathrop also make use of roundabouts.

Shadowbrook is  no longer being built as an age-restricted neighborhood where buyers have to be 50 years or older as envisioned by the original developer, the late Antone Raymus.

The residential lots will vary in size from 4,200 square feet to 20,400 square feet.

The Manteca City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail