Manteca has spent close to $12 million since 2004 cleaning up Moffat Boulevard as well as pumping new life into the corridor.
That includes upgrading the street, improving drainage, adding sidewalks as well as curbs and gutters, the Manteca Transit Station, the Manteca Veterans Center, Spreckels BMX Park, trees along the Tidewater Bikeway, and clearing out a problematic trailer park.
One of the first steps they took before spending money of any consequence was to halt the wholesale dumping of trash and banning truck parking on city-owned property. That’s because council members at the time astutely pointed out that the city would be throwing money away if they didn’t enforce code rules along the corridor.
Trucks have been parking on city property overnight along the Tidewater with increasing frequency. The problem is not as bad as it was years ago so perhaps the city is staying on top of it.
That said, recently truckers have been unhitching their trailers and leaving them parked along Moffat for days at a time.
If Moffat Boulevard is a legal truck route the city needs rules in place — and enforce them — regarding the unhooking of trailers and leaving them parked on the streets.
There are many independent truckers as well as contract truckers that bring their big rigs “home” occasionally who follow the rules. There are several concerns in the area that rent space for independents to park their big rigs so they are not parked on city streets.
Perhaps traffic enforcement officers can provide contacts for such places as well as other information about what is illegal and what is legal when it comes to the movement of trucks in Manteca much like police are doing with homeless contact information.
Given the Manteca City Council is about to spend $125,000 on a citywide truck route study they might want to sure several truck-related items are addressed:
uCreating a map that can be downloaded from the city’s website showing where truck routes are located. There is one uploaded for the STAA route for longer trucks that starts at Highway 99 and Yemenite Avenue and goes down Spreckels Avenue and them Industrial Park Drive before tying back to the 120 Bypass. There is no information, however, about what roads the city has designated by council resolution to be regular truck routes.
uMaking sure all truck routes — once designated — are clearly posted.
uProviding at least Manteca Police traffic officers with training to recognize what a STAA truck is instead of just abdicating such enforcement on city streets to the CHP. If there are local laws governing the movement of trucks for safety, quality of life, or wear and tear of pavement then there should be local enforcement of those laws.
uBringing all Manteca-area based trucking firms to the table and find out what the city can do to make their jobs easier. After all is said and done, our economy would stop moving if we didn’t have trucks.
Truckers are not the enemy. At the same time, the community needs to have standards for quality of life.
Letting truck drivers park their rigs overnight wherever they want on a routine basis is not acceptable. Nor is putting in distribution centers and not taking steps to make sure accessing them by truck as easy and safe as possible.
The City Council deserves credit for stepping up to the plate and looking at truck routes on a citywide basis. But at the same time they need to take a holistic approach to trucking in Manteca and not simply stop at drawing a few lines on the map.
As Mayor Steve DeBrum likes to say, “it is never easy to do the right thing but doing the right thing is always the right thing to do.”