Funds sought for 120 By­pass pedes­trian over­cross­ing

Manteca Bulletin - - Front Page - By DEN­NIS WY­ATT

Man­teca plans on ap­ply­ing for Mea­sure K sales tax funds to help build what is ar­guably the most am­bi­tious project ever un­der­taken in Man­teca to en­hance pedes­trian and bi­cy­cle safety.

The project in­volves build­ing a sep­a­rate bridge cross­ing for pedes­tri­ans and bi­cy­clists across the 120 By­pass at Union Road.

None of the three bridges across the 120 By­pass — Main Street, Union Road, or Air­port Way — have side­walks or any bar­ri­ers sep­a­rat­ing pedes­tri­ans from traf­fic such as on the new 11th Street bridge un­der con­struc­tion across the Union Pa­cific Rail­road tracks in Tracy.

Eight years ago when bud­get cuts

forced school dis­tricts from through­out the state to cut back on home- to- school trans­porta­tion, bus ser­vice to Sierra High from south of the 120 By­pass was elim­i­nated. It has re­sulted in hun­dreds of teens daily cross­ing Union Road and Air­port Way bridges that also lack fenc­ing as is now stan­dard for pedes­trian safety on bridges cross­ing free­ways.

When the 120 By­pass was built in the early 1980s, there was no de­vel­op­ment south of the free­way. Ramps weren’t added to Union Road un­til 1995.

The City Coun­cil in ad­vanc­ing the di­verg­ing di­a­mond de­sign for the Union Road in­ter­change up­grade ex­pected to get un­der­way in 2018, were con­cerned the de­sign that calls for traf­fic to switch sides twice in order to im­prove traf­fic flow by elim­i­nat­ing the need for some traf­fic sig­nals would make it even more treach­er­ous for bi­cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans.

Given that the de­sign would save a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money com­pared to a par­tial clover­leaf in­ter­change and the coun­cil’s com­mit­ment to en­hance pedes­trian safety af­ter three deaths in an 18 month pe­riod prior to mak­ing their de­ci­sion, the coun­cil opted for a sep­a­rate cross­ing for bi­cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans.

City Man­ager Tim Og­den noted Man­teca is also ap­ply­ing for Mea­sure K funds for three other projects:

▶Solid green bike lanes for the Main Street pave­ment im­prove­ment project from Atherton Drive to Cen­ter Street.

▶Solid green bike lanes for the Yosemite Av­enue pave­ment im­prove­ment project from Cot­tage Av­enue to Main Street.

▶De­vel­op­ment of a non­mo­tor­ized trans­porta­tion plan for the city.

There is $19.8 mil­lion of Mea­sure K funds avail­able for lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to as­sist with spe­cific projects in­volv­ing Bi­cy­cle, Pedes­trian and Safe Routes to School pro­gram. The grant ap­pli­ca­tions are due Dec. 15 for the fund ad­min­is­tered by the San Joaquin Coun­cil of Govern­ments.

Mea­sure K funds are col­lected through the coun­ty­wide half cent sales tax to help pay for trans­porta­tion projects.

Man­teca in the past has re­ceived Mea­sure K fund­ing for the Tide­wa­ter Bike­way, to help ex­tend In­dus­trial Park Drive to Mof­fat Boule­vard, to build the Man­teca Tran­sit Cen­ter, as well as an­nual funds for pave­ment main­te­nance among other projects.

In ad­di­tional an ad­vance loan to Cal­trans from Mea­sure K al­lowed the 120 By­pass to be widened to four lanes from three lanes in the late 1990s some eight years ahead of sched­ule. Mea­sure K funds also se­cured Propo­si­tion 1B bond money to widen High­way 99 from the Cross-town Free­way in Stock­ton to Yosemite Av­enue in Man­teca as well as re­place the Lathrop Road and French Camp Road in­ter­changes.

To con­tact Den­nis Wy­att, email dwy­att@man­te­cab­ul­letin.com

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