Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Thanks for your article in Monday’s Bulletin concerning the city staff’s recommendation to build the proposed Union Road overcrossing of the 120 Bypass without a separate pedestrian/bicycle pathway. I’ve often wondered why the planners of the current overpass, which wasn’t built that long ago, made no accommodation for pedestrians or cyclists. The 120 Bypass is almost 6 miles long and effectively divides the city in half. Did they not think that children and adults, on foot or on bikes would be out of necessity using this and the other over passes, or were they only concerned with the cost?
The current bridge has never been safe. I’ve ridden my bike across the Union Road overpass many times, and it’s a little unnerving to look down at the traffic below and realize that the only thing preventing me from ending up splattered all over the roadway is a two foot tall wall designed to keep vehicles from plummeting off of the edge, and that all I’d have to do is hit a rock or dodge a car with a texting driver at the wheel and over I’d go. Good night nurse. That and the fact that cyclists and pedestrians are required to share the traffic lanes with no protection from vehicles, during the day and in the dark of night, leads me to hope that the city won’t make the same mistake twice.
As you point out in your article, the planners stand to save millions of dollars by using the diverging diamond design. I hope that they will apply some of that savings to build an interchange that is friendly to children, pedestrians and cyclists.